Category “News”

Africa: Money Fails to Flow Into Seed Treaty’s Benefits Fund

A shortfall in funding is threatening the future of an international treaty on sharing benefits from plant genetic resources, known as the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA).

The treaty was established in 2005 to improve access to genetic resources of 64 key crops for food and agriculture, and to equitably share the commercial benefits arising from their use.

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Central African Republic: Teetering on the Brink

Ertharin Cousin, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, has just wrapped up a two-day fact-finding visit to the Central African Republic – a country facing a humanitarian disaster that risks getting even worse. In her latest blog, the WFP chief talks about her personal impressions of this ‘forgotten crisis’.

People often laugh when I say I like to meet smiling, chubby babies when I’m out looking at World Food Programme operations in the field. But it’s true. A happy, healthy baby is the most obvious sign that we’re getting things right.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that we are going to get things right all of the time, everywhere in the world. The desperate situation I’ve witnessed these past few days in the Central African Republic shows the dangers of ignoring the warning signals for far too long.

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Africa: Agroecology Taps a Wellspring of Farming Knowledge

Over recent decades, formal research and extension, led by governments and big enterprises, have led to novel answers for emerging problems in agriculture.

However, these have generally failed small-scale farmers – one fifth of the world’s population. Every day, small-scale farmers face numerous challenges that include feeding their families, paying for labour, controlling pests, managing natural resources, coping with market demands, adapting to climate change and the rising cost of energy, and dealing with political and military conflicts.

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Kenya: Ancient Solution Brings Water to Makueni

A mature dam looks dry on the upper side but it’s actually storing a lot of water Construction of the sand dam wall Farmers in Makueni dig terraces Fish farmed with water from one of the sand dams Richard Barnes, trustee of Excellent Development with Anita Gorasia, during the building of Sand Dam on Thange River Water flows over a sand dam Residents have learnt the tricks Romans used 2,000 years ago to make their land green.

In many parts of Makueni County, donkeys used to scavenge for water often die on roadsides because they get very little to drink themselves. The region is in many ways the poster child of Kenya’s recurrent droughts, sometimes blamed on the changing climate.

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Ivorian, Tanzanian firms win grants from agriculture fast track fund

Two firms: the National Federation of Food Production Cooperatives (FENACOVICI) of Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania-based Darsh Industries (a tomato processing company), have been awarded grants under the Agriculture Fast Track Fund (AFT),” the African Development Bank (AfDB) announced late last week.

It said that the award coincided with the celebration of the 2013 World Food Day.

According to Chiji Ojukwu, the bank’s Director, Agriculture and Agro-Industry, “these awards are a demonstration of the extent to which African countries and their development partners are willing to go to propel the African agriculture transformation through enhanced development of agribusinesses in a manner that is more consistent with how business and investors really work.”

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Angola: 2013/2014 Agricultural Campaign Reinforced With Irrigation Systems

The 2013/2014 Agricultural Campaign that is to start in October this year will be reinforced with the implementation of irrigation systems, distribution of seeds and other inputs, with a view to avoid the loss of crops, given the shortage of rains.

The information was released in Lubango , southern Huila province, by the local provincial director of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lutero Campos.

According to the official, the campaign that is expected to till more than 605,000 hectares of land, and the involvement of 150,000 peasant families organised into cooperatives existing in Huiila province, is expected to produce 500,000 tons of assorted crops.

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Africa: Kenyan Scientist Wins Food Innovation Award

Washington — Charity Mutegi, a 38-year-old agricultural scientist from Kenya, will receive an international award that recognizes young researchers for innovation in food security.

The World Food Prize Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation September 5 announced Mutegi is the 2013 winner of the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application during the African Green Revolution Forum in Maputo, Mozambique. Mutegi will be presented with the award October 16, World Food Day, in Des Moines, Iowa, as part of the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue international symposium.

Read the full article HERE

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