Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Africa

The 54 countries in Africa – from the dry northern African nations, through those in deserts and rainforests, all the way to the temperate parts of South Africa – are hugely varied in their ethnic, cultural, climatic, geographic, and economic aspects. The continent’s population of over a billion inhabitants, with a median age of 19.7 years, is the youngest in the world. Due to both its localised epidemics of hunger and its huge untapped agricultural potential, Sub-Saharan Africa specifically is a key focus area for many NGOs and development agencies interested in food production and security.

1 April 2016

In this paper, researchers from a range of research institutions investigate the likely ‘transformational adaptations’ that will be necessary over the next century to maintain agricultural yields in sub-Saharan Africa.

16 February 2016

In this paper, researchers from James Cook University, Australia, assess the impact on the environment and agriculture of 33 planned or existing “development corridors” in sub-Saharan Africa. Development corridors are tracts of land earmarked for large-scale infrastructure expansions (e.g. road access) with the aim of increasing agricultural production.

18 January 2016

The director of nutrition at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Anna Lartey warns that while addressing problems with undernutrition has long been the main focus of African countries and aid organisations, the increasing challenges related to overweight and obesity are not being given sufficient attention.

11 September 2015

This article in Nature Climate Change argues that the global climate and agriculture research community needs to put increased emphasis on mixed crop-livestock farm systems and their interplay with climate adaptation and mitigation. Written by authors from CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the piece outlines mixed farming systems' value to national development, climate adaptation and resilience building, farmers’ livelihoods and the globe’s food demand.

3 September 2015

Agriculture for Impact has just released an online database on Sustainable Intensification  in African agriculture. The database explores innovations and practices from the fields of ecology, genetics and socio-economics to build environmentally sustainable, equitable, productive and resilient ecosystems that improve the well-being of farms, farmers and families.

16 July 2015

This policy research working paper by the world-bank has revisited numbers on women’s contribution to agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. Its findings have challenged the development profession to revisit a number of claims about African economies, including those about the role of women in African agriculture.

20 May 2015

This paper finds that the introduction of legally binding agreements, signed by ranchers and slaughterhouses in Brazil, have been effective in halting deforestation.

8 May 2015

Coffee is the most widely traded agricultural commodity of the tropics, and studies have shown that as a crop it is very sensitive to rising temperatures arising from, climate change. Two new studies now look at the implications of warmer temperatures on Arabica coffee production.

29 April 2015

Twenty three African and European research partners are involved in this new long term research and innovation partnership on the sustainable intensification of the agro-food system in Africa - PROIntensAfrica. The project is funded by the EU and its focus is on sustainably improving food and nutrition security and the livelihoods of African farmers.

31 March 2015

Some scientists have suggested that Africa's wet savannahs could be ideal for growing crops needed to meet the growing demand for food and bioenergy. In this paper however, researchers from Princeton University and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) warn that farmland conversion of these savannahs will come at a much higher cost than previously thought.

26 March 2015

Researchers involved in this 18-month study examined the traditional agriculture of specific Liberian communities where farmers do not use industrial farming practices or artificial fertilisers.  The study found that sacred forests and ancestral lands were valued more than short-term economic gain through increasing food production.

26 November 2014

Animal products are vital components of the diets and livelihoods of people across sub-Saharan Africa. They are frequently traded in local, unregulated markets and this can pose significant health risks.

23 October 2014

In this article, part of National Geographic’s’ The Future of Food series, Tim Folger talks about the potential of biotechnology in the next 'green revolution', and its implications for subsistence farmers worldwide. While acknowledging the anxieties against genetically modified crops, he argues that their value in combating common plant diseases is significant for preventing large-scale agricultural losses.

25 September 2014

This report from Oxfam discusses large-scale partnerships between governments in Africa and donors and multinational companies. “Moral Hazard? ‘Mega’ public–private partnerships in African agriculture” is as the name suggests critical of these partnerships (PPP) and questions whether these partnerships lead to poverty eradication and improved rural livelihoods. The report argues that this way of mobilizing funds for the agricultural sector is often unproven and risky.

25 April 2014

Africa has been thought to be a potentially large carbon sink of great value in efforts to mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. But this study reveals that it could be a net source of greenhouse gases that will increase global warming.

18 February 2014

On January 22nd USAID’s  online knowledge sharing platform Agrilinks held a seminar on Scaling-up Re-greening Solutions in Africa to Boost Smallholder Yields. It discussed a recently released report by World Resources Institute (WRI)  on “Improving Land and Water Management”.

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