Tree lucerne (Cytisus proliferus) is a key supplementary feed for ruminant animals particularly in dry seasons

 

Photo credit: Google

Tree lucerne a promising animal feed option for Ethiopia farmers

Improved sweet potato varieties in West Africa

 

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: International Potato Center

Sweet potato project improves nutrition and incomes

by Samuel Hinneh

Speed read

  • A three-year project has improved sweet potato varieties in West Africa
  • The project combats vitamin A deficiency and boosts yields and incomes
  • But an expert says a major challenge being addressed is post-harvest losses

[ACCRA] Farmers and entrepreneurs in West Africa are benefiting from a project that offers improved sweet potato varieties and market access.

The US$4 million project that began in April 2014 and ended last month (March 2017) was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria.

“Post-harvest experts and food scientists are working with us to develop [new orange fleshed sweet potato] varieties.”

Ernest Baafi, Crops Research Institute, CSIR, Ghana

The other partners include Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles in Burkina Faso, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)–Crops Research Institute in Ghana, and the National Root Crops Research Institute, Nigeria.

The project called Jumpstarting Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato in West Africa through Diversified Markets aimed to establish commercial sweet potato seed systems to provide clean planting materials throughout the year, and develop formal and informal markets for the varieties through participation of farmers in the value chain.

The development and commercialisation of orange-fleshed sweet potatoes would help tackle micro nutrients deficiency, according to the International Potato Center (CIP), the lead organisation of the project, during a field visit to project sites in Ghana on 7 February.
Read the full article: SciDevNet

 

And yet they could apply container gardening

 

 

Nearly two billion people depend on imported food

Date:
April 13, 2017
Source:
Aalto University
Summary:
Researchers show empirically: when population pressure increases, food is imported. The big issue, say authors of a new report, is that people may not even be aware that they have chosen dependency on imports over further investment in local production or curbing demand.

Earth’s capacity to feed its growing population is limited — and unevenly distributed. An increase in cultivated land and the use of more efficient production technology are partly buffering the problem, but in many areas it is instead solved by increasing food imports. For the first time, researchers at Aalto University have been able to show a broad connection between resource scarcity, population pressure, and food imports, in a study published in Earth’s Future.

‘Although this has been a topic of global discussion for a long time, previous research has not been able to demonstrate a clear connection between resource scarcity and food imports. We performed a global analysis focusing on regions where water availability restricts production, and examined them from 1961 until 2009, evaluating the extent to which the growing population pressure was met by increasing food imports,’ explains Postdoctoral Researcher Miina Porkka.

Read the full article: Science Daily

AND WHAT IF WE WOULD TEACH OUR KIDS TO GROW FRESH FOOD AT HOME ?

170220084213_1_540x360
Many parents do not promote healthy eating in kids, according to this month’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan. Credit: C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health – https://images.sciencedaily.com/2017/02/170220084213_1_540x360.jpg

Let us convince the complete world how easy it is to grow food in containers. That’s what I was thinking after reading this university report:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170220084213.htm

 

Only one-third of parents think they are doing a good job helping kids eat healthy foods

Date:
February 20, 2017
Source:
Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan
Summary:
If you know healthy eating is important for your kids, but you also feel like it’s easier said than done, you’re not alone. Many parents may not be following the recipe for encouraging healthy diets in their kids, and 1 in 5 don’t think it’s important to limit fast food and other junk food, outlines a new report.

Urban malnutrition has evaded policymakers and researchers for a long time since it is a unique continuous process

 

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Panos

Undernutrition rampant in urban Sub-Saharan Africa

by Calvin Otieno

Speed read

  • A programme is facilitating local assessment of undernutrition
  • It provides a platform for key actors to identify and address undernutrition
  • An expert cites limited funding as a challenge to tackling urban undernutrition

A programme is helping address undernutrition — insufficient quantity and quality of food intake by a person — in Sub-Saharan Africa through creation of a local platform to assess and discuss challenges.

According to UNICEF, about 28 percent of children in Sub-Saharan Africa are underweight. But experts say existing nutrition assessment such as household economy approach face challenges such as lack of in-depth assessments and situational analyses.

To help address these challenges, Action Against Hunger (AFC), a humanitarian non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in France has developed a programme called Link Nutrition Casual Analysis (Link NCA).

“Urban malnutrition has evaded policymakers and researchers for a long time since it is a unique continuous process.”

Esther Mogusu, Nairobi County

“Link NCA is a local process that tries to understand what’s happening across different regions by providing independent nutrition survey and analysis and providing multi-sectoral tailor-shaped nutrition security programmes to the communities and stakeholders,” said Blanche Mattern, AFC and Link NCA technical advisor, during the Link NCA Learning Event held in Kenya on 28 February.

Mattern explains that compared to other nutritional analysis programmes, Link NCA uses people-centred approach.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

What if we planted willow trees all over the world ?

 

Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston – 

http://www.thefranklinnewspost.com/news/plant-a-tree-save-the-earth/article_eaa1f898-1f7f-11e7-baa4-d307378e180d.html

Plant a tree, save the earth

Black willows were used because they are easy to propagate and grow into a new tree from cutting off a limb

  • By STACEY HAIRSTON SHairston@thefranklinnewspost.com

……………………..

The STIC program was started in 2012 as a partnership between Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

As part of the program, students root native Black Willow cuttings in the classroom for about three to four weeks and then take a field trip to plant the trees, said Krista Hodges, DRBA education manager.

“Trees along streams help keep water clean by buffering out pollution like chemicals and litter, and help keep the streams at cooler temperatures during the summer,” Hodges said. “The trees also provide habitat for wildlife seeking food or water, and shelter.”

Black willows were used because they are easy to propagate and grow into a new tree from cutting off a limb, Hodges said. The limbs, when handled and treated properly, will root in a couple weeks and can be planted within three to four weeks after cutting.

“The Black Willows are perfect for the program because they are native to the area and love wet areas near streams,” she said.

Read the full article: The Franklin News Post

How do you plant a landscape under drought conditions?

Photo credit: New World Associates

Landscapes in Drought

by Bruce Eitzen NWA

Posted by New World on Thursday, February 23, 2017 Under: Drought
Cape Town and the SW Cape has been experiencing a severe drought in the last few years. Now, in late February 2017, the city’s reservoirs have only 4 months water supply left! And the hot, dry and windy weather is continuing, especially down in the Peninsula where gardening in this extreme weather with water rationing is highly challenging.

Nevertheless, life goes on and so does development. A current project under construction in Bellville, a landscape we are collaborating on with Earthworks Landscape Architects, at the Karl Bremer Hospital, where two office blocks have been developed and are completing soon, has suffered the city-wide ban on irrigation of landscapes by hosepipes and irrigation systems. Furthermore, more severe restrictions on any type of watering are likely.

So how do you plant a landscape under these conditions? Quite simply, as far as possible, don’t! At least, not until the hot dry summer and early autumn are over. Conditions in the Peninsula have been so windy that once the 30-40km/h “strong breezes” (according to weather app YR), in reality near gale force, have blown for days and nights, any soil preparations have been blown flat and scoured of their top inch of compost and soil! It is not a good idea to plant, especially if you can’t water!

However, as a sustainable industry by its very nature, landscape architecture needs to be practising sound planting design, which we already are, namely, through the specification of locally indigenous, that is, endemic planting, as well as a good soil preparation specification that includes heavy composting and mulching.

Read the full article: New World Associates
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