Guinea : Agriculture can play a key role in boosting nutrition (AfricaFiles / IRIN)

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Guinea: Nutrition finds a place in agriculture plan

Summary & Comment: Agriculture can play a key role in boosting nutrition by increasing the income of a family so that they can then purchase more and higher quality food, as well as by helping farmers produce more nutrient-rich food. Both ways, the health of the community are improved. That is why officials in Guinea are embedding a nutrition component into their agricultural investment strategy. Agriculture is not only about production, it’s about health. CJW

Author: IRIN
Date Written: 7 July 2011
Primary Category: Food and Land
Document Origin: IRIN
Secondary Category: Western Region
Source URL:
Key Words: food security, nutrition, development


The quality of a baby’s first solid food and teaching families about proper nutrition and hygiene are now part of Guinea’s agricultural investment strategy. Experts working on the 2011-2015 agriculture plan, to be finalized in the coming weeks, say the first-ever nutrition component stems from an increasing recognition that agriculture must be harnessed to improve nutrition and health. “There is a realization that agriculture is not production alone,” said Kaba Camara of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. “We need to ensure people are educated about proper feeding habits and monitor people’s nutritional status.”


Niger is now trying to overcome the extreme vulnerability of its population’s nutrition (ACTED)

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Agricultural fairs are hope for a brighter future

A victim of over ten years of food crises, Niger is now trying to overcome the extreme vulnerability of its population’s nutrition, health, as well as its economy and society

On 17 June, ACTED simultaneously organized 4 agricultural input fairs for 10,500 beneficiaries as a complement to upcoming money transfer activities. The people were identified as vulnerable after a study on households’ income, which helped better grasp the security issue in areas of intervention. At the same time, ACTED teams had also studied the prices of inputs being sold in the region – in a way to avoid destabilizing the market with different prices – and identified the most reliable traders in terms of seed quality and price levels.


Urban horticulture programme in DRC doubled its output of vegetables, turned profits, increased nutrition and employed thousands (UNNews)


New York, Jun 10 2011  7:05PM

A five-year United Nations urban horticulture programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has more than doubled its output of vegetables, turned profits, increased nutrition and employed thousands – some at four and five times the income they made previously, according to a report issued today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The $10.4 million FAO plan, financed by Belgium and implemented by the Ministry of Rural Development since 2000, has assisted urban growers in five cities – Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Mbanza-Ngungu, Kisangani and Likasi – to produce 330,000 tons of vegetables annually, up from 148,000 in 2005-2006, FAO said in a <“”>press release.

Less than 10 per cent of the vegetables produced by the project are consumed by beneficiaries. The remainder, constituting more than 250,000 tons of produce, is sold in urban markets and supermarkets, for up to $4 a kilo for the major vegetables produced: tomatoes, sweet peppers and onions, for a surplus value of about $400 million, FAO said. Continue reading “Urban horticulture programme in DRC doubled its output of vegetables, turned profits, increased nutrition and employed thousands (UNNews)”

A project or innovation implemented by an NGO, individual or small business (EMWIS / SEMIDE)

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Nestlé Prize for outstanding project in the area of water, nutrition or rural development

Deadline: 30 June 2011
All Countries

The Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value honours a project or innovation implemented by an NGO, individual or small business. The Prize helps the selected project scale up and become financially sustainable through a financial commitment of US $480,000 for scaling it up among other benefits.

The Nestlé Prize in Creating Shared Value is given in alternate years to recognize a project implemented by an NGO, individual or a small business and demonstrates innovation; measurable results on a pilot or small-scale; feasibility and applicability on a broader scale or in other communities; a viable business model; and a high promise of improving the lives of farmers and rural communities, delivering high nutritional value to populations suffering from nutritional deficits, or improving access to and management of water. Continue reading “A project or innovation implemented by an NGO, individual or small business (EMWIS / SEMIDE)”


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Hillocks RJ*1

1Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, Chatham Maritime, Kent ME4


Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come (SUNRAY) – (IRINNews)

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FOOD: Home-grown nutrition research for Africa

JOHANNESBURG, 21 April 2011 (IRIN) – A group of international academic institutions and an NGO backed by the European Union (EU) have launched Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come, or SUNRAY, to develop a nutrition agenda for Africa, with specific emphasis on the 34 sub-Saharan countries.

“We want to make sure nutrition interventions in the next 10-15 years – when Africa faces potential environmental changes which will impact on nutrition – are sustainable, driven by African countries, and their priorities are not pre-defined by donors,” said Carl Lachat, a researcher at the Belgium-based Institute for Tropical Medicine, one of the participating institutions.

A recent study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a US-based think-tank, found that in another two decades the effect of climate change on food production could drive child malnutrition up by 20 percent. Continue reading “Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come (SUNRAY) – (IRINNews)”

U.S. looks to Monsanto to feed the world (La Vida Locavore)

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by: Marcia Ishii-Eiteman

Originally posted on Pesticide Action Network’s blog, Groundtruth.

At the annual World Economic Forum this past weekend in Davos, Switzerland, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Director Rajiv Shah stood beside CEOs from Monsanto and other infamous giant corporations, and announced U.S. support for a “New Vision for Agriculture.”

Yes, you should be worried.

Claiming that “large-scale private sector partnerships [can] achieve significant impact on global hunger and nutrition,” Shah introduced the initiative’s 17 agribusiness “champions”: Archer Daniels Midland, BASF, Bunge Limited, Cargill, Coca-Cola, DuPont, General Mills, Kraft Foods, Metro AG, Monsanto Company, Nestlé, PepsiCo, SABMiller, Syngenta, Unilever, Wal-Mart, and Yara International.

What!?! Are you kidding me? Most of these agribusiness giants could be listed in an edition of Who’s Who in Environmental Destruction, Hunger and Human Rights Violations. A few minutes’ of investigation on GRAIN, CorpWatch, Food & Water Watch or PAN’s chemical cartel page will prove this point.


Staple food crops do not want global warming, but vegetables and fruits don’t bother (Willem Van Cotthem)

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CLIMATE CHANGE: Staple food crops do not want global warming

Cancun, 5 December 2010 (IRIN) – Taking steps to control global temperatures is a key issue at the UN talks on climate change in Cancun. Within the next four decades maize prices could rise by up to 131 percent, there could be 17 million more undernourished children in the poorest countries, and some African farmers might have to give up agriculture if the planet keeps getting hotter, new studies show.

“[We wanted] … to get countries in Cancun to take action now to keep the global temperature increase below two degrees Celsius by the turn of the century – otherwise we are headed towards a four degree rise if greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked,” said Phillip Thornton, of the Kenya-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), who used climate models in a study showing the serious impact of a four-degree Celsius rise in temperature on food production in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2090s.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted in its latest assessment that a two-degree Celsius increase in global temperatures by the turn of the century would have a catastrophic effect: water stress in arid and semi-arid countries, more floods in low-lying coastal areas, coastal erosion in small island states, and the elimination of up to 30 percent of animal and plant species.

Thornton said his study was prompted by a conference called ‘4 degrees and beyond’ organised at Oxford University in 2009, where the UK Met Office had warned that a 4 degree increase in the global temperature was quite possible by the end of this century and even earlier.

Much academic attention in the agriculture sector has centred on 2050, by which time the global population is expected to increase from around 6.3 billion today to 9.1 billion, adding a third more mouths to feed, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

A comprehensive study led by Gerald Nelson and Mark Rosegrant of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI),  projected the possible impact of climate change on three of the world’s main staple foods – maize, rice and wheat – from 2010 to 2050.

The study used various combinations of income and population growth juxtaposed with temperature and rainfall levels ranging from slightly to substantially wetter and hotter. Crop yields and prices fared best when global temperatures rose by one degree Celsius by 2050, IFPRI noted. Other scenarios saw rice yields plunging and maize production dropping considerably, even in countries such as the United States of America, while prices of the staples soared.

The IFPRI study showed that a perfect scenario of sustained higher incomes, lower population growth and effective cuts in greenhouse gas emissions had a dramatic effect on the number of malnourished children in developing countries, bringing it down by 45 percent between 2010 and 2050.

Incomes help


MY COMMENT (Willem Van Cotthem)

To the best of my knowledge vegetables and fruit trees would readily continue to grow, flower, set fruits and seeds, even with a 4 or more degree rise of temperature.

Undernourished children will be better off with vegetables and fruits than with staple food crops, genetically modified or not.

Give the smallholder farmers a kitchen garden and you will come much closer to a solution than with 10 more COPs on climate change.

Hope to break down any remaining resistance of agriculture decision makers to encourage crop breeding for nutrition (Global Food for Thought)

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Roger Thurow – Outrage and Inspire – “Hidden Hunger Exposed”

Hidden hunger was brought out into the open in a big way this week – and so was a promising solution.

As we have often noted, nearly one billion people suffer from a chronic lack of food – this is a visible hunger all too familiar to us from scenes of famine and food shortages.  But more than two billion people suffer from what is called hidden hunger – a chronic lack of micronutrients such as vitamin A, iron and zinc.  This under-nutrition isn’t as visible because the sufferers may be consuming enough calories; they may appear to be reasonably well fed.  But a lack of access to more nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables and animal products leaves them deprived of vital nutrients that makes them vulnerable to blindness, increased risk of disease and premature death, and leaves countless children stunted mentally and physically.

But critical help appears to be right around the corner.  At a conference hosted by HarvestPlus this week in Washington DC, crop breeders, nutritionists and economists gathered to examine the potential benefits of biofortification, or boosting the nutritional aspects of staple crops.

At the vanguard of these efforts is the orange-fleshed sweet potato, high in provitamin A, which is already being planted by farmers and available in rural markets in Mozambique and Uganda.  In the next couple of years, crop breeders say, a multitude of other fortified crops will be ready to be deployed: beans with iron in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); pearl millet with iron in India; cassava with vitamin A in Nigeria and the DRC; maize with vitamin A in Zambia; rice with zinc in Bangladesh and India; wheat with zinc in India and Pakistan. Continue reading “Hope to break down any remaining resistance of agriculture decision makers to encourage crop breeding for nutrition (Global Food for Thought)”

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