Category “Food Security”

Indigenous vegetables ‘boost food security in Nigeria’

Indigenous vegetables grown by rural farmers in Africa have the potential to improve food security, nutrition and incomes on the continent, researchers in Nigeria say.

In a paper presented on underutilised vegetables project in Nigeria during the Research to Feed Africa Symposium in Naivasha, Kenya, last month (23-27 June), the researchers note that research systems have failed to prioritise indigenous vegetable species despite their immense potential.

The researchers say they selected six underused indigenous vegetables— African nightshade, eggplant, scarlet eggplant, local celery, fluted pumpkin and local amaranth — based on their food values, consumer acceptability, marketing potential and amenability to agronomic practices.

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Zimbabwe: Harness Biotech for National Food Security

Food insecurity remains the biggest threat not only to Zimbabwe, but to Africa as a whole. By 2050, Africa’s population will more than double to 2,4 billion and will need to be fed, along with the billions of animals raised annually for food and as pets. Pollution will intensify, contributing to climate change and low agricultural production among our smallholder farmers.

The picture is grim. At present, much of Africa is a net importer of maize and other food crops, a development that is costing our countries billions of dollars annually.

We are richly endowed with vast tracts of land but we are not investing in agricultural biotechnology to boost crop yields and to promote more efficient food production.

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Africa: Joint Action Needed to Tackle Massive Global Food Losses

Tackling the world’s massive food loss problem is a key to reducing hunger and poverty, but governments and companies must step up their collaboration on the issue, an international congress on food losses and waste heard today.

Speaking at the 2nd SAVE FOOD International Congress in Düsseldorf, FAO Assistant Director-General Ren Wang underlined that effective coordination across all sectors could make “a real difference” to one of the world’s major food security challenges.

While 842 million people suffer from chronic hunger, around 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted every year. FAO estimates that the food produced but never eaten would be sufficient to feed two billion people.

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South Africa: City Women Generate Food & Income on Tiny Urban Plots

Cape Town — “It’s a lot of work”, says Mama Lulama Jim as she takes respite from the wind in a makeshift container kitchen. She pauses to study her notes made during an early morning inspection of the current crops of cabbage, carrots, spinach, brinjal and spring onion.

“It’s a lot of work, but we manage because we have a passion for farming”. Mama Jim is part of a revival of urban agriculture in the townships of Cape Town. On the back of higher food and commodity prices, micro farmers like Mama Jim are using tiny parcels of land to grown food for their families and to generate an income.

She and three other women, all over the age of 60, run a communal food garden in Gugulethu, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town.

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Africa: Small Farmers As the Key to Africa’s Agricultural Future

Rome — Workshop in Zambia to examine lessons from IFAD supported projects in East and Southern Africa

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Zambia are holding a regional workshop for East and Southern Africa from 6 to 9 May in Livingstone, Zambia, to review lessons learned from IFAD-funded projects and identify strategies to address challenges faced during their implementation.

Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda and Agriculture and Livestock Minister Wilbur Simuusa of Zambia will join Périn Saint Ange, Director of IFAD at the opening session of the workshop Tuesday.

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Gambia: Agricultural Cooperatives and Food Security

Empirically, agricultural activities account for one third of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the lion’s share of which comes from industrial agriculture. But farmers are also among the first to feel the impacts of climate change, as harvests fail due to increasingly extreme weather. This presupposes agriculture is both culprit and victim of climate change. We need to urgently change the way we produce and consume food if we are to nourish the world’s growing population while respecting nature.

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Africa: UN Announces First Countries Set to Benefit From African-Led Food Security Fund

A unique, Africa-led United Nations-backed fund designed to improve food security across the continent has become a reality for the first six countries slated to benefit from the initiative.

The Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mali, the Niger and South Sudan today signed agreements in Tunis, Tunisia, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), to receive $2 million each from the Africa Solidarity Trust Fund.

“The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund shows that African countries are ready to step up and work with their neighbours to build a sustainable and food secure region, and to have the future we want,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, who encouraged other African Governments to join the effort and contribute to the Fund.

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