Some of the causes, especially conflicts, are man-made.

 

Photo credit: SABC

As we respond to the famine and starvation crisis, it is imperative that we fast-track efforts aimed at investing in longer-term solutions, if we are to break the endless cycle of food insecurity.(SABC)

 

The problem isn’t hunger

OPINION: Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré

Famine and starvation are threatening the lives of tens of millions of people in Africa today.

In Ethiopia alone, over 7 million people need emergency food aid. What is troubling is the fact that food aid will run out soon in the country. This is extremely unsettling and begs the question: Will this cycle of hunger ever end?

As we respond to the current crisis, it is imperative that we fast-track efforts aimed at investing in longer-term solutions, if we are to break the endless cycle
of food insecurity.

In 1974 a global conference on food security resolved that “within a decade no child would go hungry.”

Ironically, exactly a decade later, almost one million Ethiopians died in one of the worst famines in recent history. This was not the last one. Famines have been recurring, and they will return, unless public authorities, the donor community, United Nations agencies, regional bodies and national institutions genuinely refocus their efforts on dealing with the underlying causes, some of which I highlight below.

Some of the causes, especially conflicts, are man-made.

Read the full article: SABC

Desertification can be effectively tackled, solutions are possible

 

 

Tanzania: Tackle Desertification to Avert Catastrophe

Official reports on desertification are apocalyptic and are, therefore, likely to make millions of Tanzania cringe: economic lives of 80 per cent of farmers and livestock keepers are under threat as 61 per cent of landmass is increasingly becoming dry, losing vegetation and wildlife.

The Ministry of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union and Environmental Affairs) has been forthright that the situation is worsening in Singida, Dodoma, Shinyanga, Manyara, Simiyu, Geita and Arusha regions.

In its report ahead of this year’s World Day to Combat Desertification, the government yet warned again the growing danger. The day reminds everybody that desertification can be effectively tackled, that solutions are possible, and that key tools to this aim at community participation and cooperation at all levels.

Read the full article: allAfrica

Over-exploitation of land for cultivation, grazing, water resources and deforestation

 

Photo credit: TRUST

Desertification eating into agricultural land in India, satellite images show

“Population pressure has resulted in over-exploitation of land for cultivation, grazing, water resources and deforestation”

More than a quarter of India’s land is turning to desert and the rate of degradation of agricultural areas is increasing, according to new analysis of satellite images.

A report from the Indian Space Research Organisation says land degradation – broadly defined as loss of productivity – is estimated at 96 million hectares, or nearly 30 percent of Indian land.

“As a country we should be more than alarmed by this data,” said S. Janakarajan, chairman of the South Asia Consortium for Inter-disciplinary Water Resources Studies.

“There is no coherent plan to reverse this process or its impact.”

Analysis of satellite mapping shows new areas in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir and eastern Indian states like Orissa and Jharkhand turning arid, with nine states together accounting for nearly 24 percent of desertification.

In states like Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujarat and Goa, more than 50 percent of land is under desertification.

Read the full article: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Investing in preparedness and building the resilience of farmers is fundamental to cope with extreme drought

 

Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Herders collect water with camels at one of the few remaining water points in drought-affected Bandarero village, Moyale County, Kenya. Photo: Rita Maingi/ OCHA

UN urges ‘reboot’ of drought responses to focus more on preparedness

Investing in preparedness and building the resilience of farmers is fundamental to cope with extreme drought, because responding to such situations when they hit might be too late, the head of the United Nations agricultural agency said today.

“People die because they are not prepared to face the impacts of the drought – because their livelihoods are not resilient enough,” Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva told an international seminar in Rome, Italy, recalling that more than 250,000 people perished from hunger in the 2011 drought in Somalia.

“Saving livelihoods means saving lives – this is what building resilience is all about,” he added, noting that for years, the focus has been responding to droughts when they happen, rushing to provide emergency assistance and to keep people alive.

While these emergency responses are important, investing in preparedness and resilience puts countries on a footing to act quickly before it is too late, meaning that farmers and rural communities are better positioned to cope with extreme weather when it does hit.

The need for a global drought re-boot is pressing. The many impacts of drought drive not only hunger and instability but cause economic losses up to $8 billion each annually.

As the planet’s climate changes, severe dry-spells are becoming more and more frequent. Since the 1970s, the land area in the world affected by situations of drought has doubled.

People die because they are not prepared to face the impacts of the droughtFAO Director General

The burden is especially high in developing countries, where agriculture remains an economic mainstay. Over 80 percent of damage and losses caused by drought are born by agriculture in the developing world, FAO studies have shown.

And Africa in particular has borne the brunt. Between 2005 and 2016, 84 droughts affected 34 different African nations.

Read the full article: UN NEWS CENTRE

How to pre-empt devastating drought impacts

 

Photo credit: FAO

Parched earth in Kenya, one of the East African countries currently feeling the impacts of drought.

World needs to pre-empt devastating drought impacts through better preparedness

Seminar at FAO seeks to rekindle international cooperation, wider use of existing tools and approaches

Investing in preparedness and building the resilience of farmers is fundamental to facing situations of extreme drought, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today.

“Saving livelihoods means saving lives – this is what building resilience is all about,” he said in a speech at the start of an international seminar on drought organized by Iran, the Netherlands, and FAO and held at the UN agency’s Rome headquarters.

Recalling the 2011 drought in Somalia that saw over 250,000 people perish from hunger, Graziano da Silva said: “People die because they are not prepared to face the impacts of the drought – because their livelihoods are not resilient enough.”

“For years, the focus has been responding to droughts when they happen, rushing to provide emergency assistance and to keep people alive,” Graziano da Silva said, noting that while “of course, that is important,” investing in preparedness and resilience is essential. Doing so puts countries on a footing to act quickly before it is too late, means that farmers and rural communities are better positioned to cope with extreme weather when it does hit.

John Mutorwa, Minister for Agriculture, Water and Forestry of Namibia, said that in these times of climate change, drought has emerged as a challenge that all countries will be forced to face, again and again.

Read the full article: FAO

Improving the yield potential of 40 % of global land area under arid and semi-arid conditions

 

170615213728_1_540x360
Tillage systems research is ongoing at the New Mexico State University Agricultural Science Center at Tucumcari. Murali Darapuneni, an assistant professor of semi-arid cropping systems in the NMSU Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, is researching dryland cropping systems at the Tucumcari center. – https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2017/06/170615213728_1_540x360.jpg

Dryland cropping systems research addresses future drought and hunger issues

Date:
June 15, 2017
Source:
New Mexico State University (NMSU)
Summary:
The projected world population by 2056 is 10 billion. If researchers succeed in improving the yield potential of 40 percent of global land area under arid and semi-arid conditions, it will lead to a significant contribution to future food security.

Read the full article: Science Daily