Need to increase agricultural productivity

 

Photo credit: FAO

A farmer taking cuttings from cassava plants. The FAO report stresses the need to increase production and productivity of staple food crops.

Food insecurity and poverty pose major challenge to goal of ending hunger by 2030 in sub-Saharan Africa

Some 153 million people, representing about 26 percent of the population above 15 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa, suffered from severe food insecurity in 2014-15, according to a new FAO report.

The second edition of the Regional Overview of Food Insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa (2016) underscores how severe food insecurity and poverty pose a major challenge to the region’s ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by 2030.

“What it means is that, around one out of four individuals above 15 years of age in sub-Saharan Africa was hungry,  meaning they did not eat or went without eating for a whole day for lack of money or other resources for food,” Bukar Tijani, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa, said commenting on the findings of the report.

“This assessment underlines the significance of the challenge facing the region in meeting SDGs’ target 2.1 and the relevance of sustainable and substantial support to food security and nutrition policies and programmes in the region,” he added.

At the aggregate level, sub-Saharan Africa achieved adequate food availability, in terms od dietary energy supply, over the 2014-2016 period. However, several countries in the region remain highly dependent on food imports to ensure adequate food supplies, with some sub-regions depending on imports for up to a third of their cereal needs.

This indicates that substantial demand for food exists for these countries, and there is a need to increase agricultural productivity, food production and value addition, among other things.

Read the full article: FAO

Trees overlooked as a source of income for farmers

 

Photo credit: Science Daily

Farms near forests tend to have more trees, which provide income and other benefits for local people, such as these farmers in the buffer zone of W National Park, Benin.
Credit: Daniel Miller

Trees supplement income for rural farmers in Africa

Date:
January 23, 2017
Source:
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Summary:
Trees may be easy to spot on the plains of Africa but they are often overlooked as a source of income for farmers. A new study shows trees on farms may help reduce rural poverty and maintain biodiversity. The study used satellite images showing forest cover and nationally representative household-level data gathered from in-person interviews in Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.

 

Read the full article: Science Daily

Deforestation and economy

 

 

Poor nations’ economies grow with rising deforestation

by Baraka Rateng’

Speed read

  • Researchers assessed the link between economic growth and deforestation
  • They found that in poor countries, increased deforestation leads to growth
  • An expert says the study is useful for formulating policies

Poor countries’ economic growth increases with deforestation rates but the effect disappears in wealthier economies, a study says.

According to researchers, climatic factors and inadequate data make it difficult to establish the link between economic development and overexploitation of natural resources.

But using satellite data, researchers were able to assess the link between deforestation rates and economic factors across countries.

“Our results quantify the potential costs that such policies could potentially have in terms of forest cover loss.”

Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, Vienna University of Economics and Business

The study published this month (16 January) in the journal Scientific Reports found that as developing countries become richer, a decrease in forest cover occurs, but such a relationship disappears at higher levels of income per capita.

“This implies that increases in deforestation, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, are expected as poorer economies converge in income per capita to that of developed countries,” says Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, a research scholar and professor of economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, who led the study.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

$265 billion annually !

 

Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Rural development and youth employment are strongly connected to migration. Photo: FAO/Riccardo Gangale

Global Goals on poverty and hunger require $265 billion annually – UN conference told

The world must take urgent action to mobilise the estimated $265 billion a year needed to achieve the first two Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger by 2030, the head of the United Nations agency for financing rural development projects has told an international conference.

“The need is urgent,” Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said at last night’s opening of a conference, titled “Investing in inclusive rural transformation: innovative approaches to financing,” held in Rome, Italy on 26-27 January.

“Despite decades of commitments and considerable effort to end poverty and hunger, nearly 800 million children, women and men still go hungry every day, and an almost equal number live in extreme poverty,” he added, stressing the need to be more creative in using public resources and mobilise financing.

He also emphasized the need to make it easier for the private sector and philanthropists to invest in rural areas, where rates of poverty and hunger are highest.

Speakers agreed it cannot be left up to governments alone. In 2015, Official Development Assistance (ODA) was approximately $192 billion and only $9 billion of that was earmarked for agriculture.

Read the full story: UN NEWS CENTRE

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TIMES 5 = 1325 BILLION (MY COMMENT: Willem VAN COTTHEM)

Just one question and I rest my case:

“Take you have 1325 billion dollars to spend over 5 years, how many kitchen gardens with containers for hungry families can you build in that period of time and what would be the sustainable effect of such an action (program) on malnutrition, hunger and poverty?”.

 

Enabling farmers to enhance their incomes.

 

Photo credit: ICRISAT

Demonstration of pigeonpea inter-cultivation. Photo: H Mane, ICRISAT

ENHANCING TRIBAL FARMERS’ INCOMES THROUGH VALUE ADDITION

A dal mill (pigeonpea processing unit) and a sorghum processing unit has been set up to enable farmers in tribal areas of Telangana, India, enhance their incomes. The dal mill will fetch farmers a premium price of around INR 86 per kg instead of the farm gate price of INR 45 per kg as received by farmers during the previous season.

The aim is to eliminate intermediaries and step up farmers in the value chain by enabling them to process their own produce. By establishing direct linkages with retail and corporate actors, an incremental price benefit can be realized in comparison with the traditional market prices. This would also groom the entrepreneurial skills of the tribal farmers in the region.

The dal mill will process around 80 tons of pigeonpea estimated to be harvested in January. The market facilitation would be done by ICRISAT. With an investment of less than USD 10,000 per mill, it is a viable solution for rural areas.

During kharif (rainy) season of 2016, 2 tons of high yielding pigeonpea (ICPH 2740) seeds were distributed to 2000 farmers. These farmers were trained on best practices for pigeonpea cultivation. In addition exposure visits to ICRISAT were organized to address farmers’ queries on the challenges of cultivating pigeonpea. The crop production training at ICRISAT and in their respective mandals (smallest administrative area), ensured that farmers have a better understanding of the newly introduced pigeonpea hybrid in the region. Field visits were taken up by experts to provide timely support on fertilizer and pesticide usage as per field conditions.

Read the full article: ICRISAT

Poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts, but Kenya greens drylands.

 

Photo credit: IPS News

A Kenya Forestry Research Institute technician pruning an acacia tree at a drylands research site in Tiva, Kitui County. Credit: Justus Wanzala/IPS

Kenya Greens Drylands to Combat Land Degradation

High levels of poverty, low water availability, deforestation and land degradation are fuelling conflicts among communities in East Africa.

Faced with growing degradation that is swallowing large swathes of land in arid and semiarid areas, Kenya is heavily investing in rehabilitation efforts to stave off the threat of desertification.

Charles Sunkuli, secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, says a programme targeting 5.1 million hectares of degraded and deforested land for restoration by 2030 was launched in September 2016. He added that Kenya is increasing its forest cover from the current seven percent to a minimum of 10 percent.

“We have introduced an equalisation fund to help communities living in dry and degraded lands eke out at a living and participate in rehabilitation initiatives,” said Sunkuli.

He was speaking in Nairobi during the Fifteenth Session of the Committee of Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), which concluded last week.

Afforestration, he noted, will mainly be done in the country’s arid and semiarid areas which make up 80 percent of Kenya’s land cover, although other areas of the country to are being targeted too.

To succeed in its ambitious endeavour, Sunkuli said Kenya is implementing a programme to promote drought-tolerant tree species such Melia volkensii (locally known as Mukau) in the country’s vast drylands to increase forest cover.

Indeed, Kenya is heavily investing in research into drought resistant trees to enhance afforestration of dry lands and improve livelihoods. At Tiva in the dry Kitui County, eastern Kenya, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) has established a research centre to breed tree species ideal for planting in arid and semiarid areas. The centre is supported by the government in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Read the full article: IPS News

Poverty and Desertification in Sudan

 

Photo credit: Sudan Vision Daily

Khartoum-Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development

Dr. Hassan Abdulgadir Hilal

Plan to Combat Poverty and Desertification: Hilal

by Mona Alihimir

Khartoum-Minister of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development Dr. Hassan Abdulgadir Hilal has participated as a main speaker in the International

Forum on Natural Habitat by presenting a paper entitled “Managing Arid Lands in Sudan”. The forum was organized by a number of international organizations including the World Bank and the United Nations’ Environment Programme.

The paper reviewed the environmental condition in Sudan with a focus on the problem of desertification and the arid lands as well as extreme rains and temperature degrees.
Hilal outlined the effects of desertification on the lands productivity of crops as well as winds and water and their impact on soil deterioration and hence the agricultural crops noting that managing the problem of desertification and combating it. It requires laying down a programme of an integrated national plan and linking it with the programme of combating poverty with the participation of all the related agencies.

Read the full article: Sudan Vision Daily