Better forest management and slowdown in deforestation

 Photo credit: Google

Forest in Thailand

Carbon emissions from forests down by 25% between 2001-2015

Better forest management and slowdown in deforestation contribute to emission reduction

Total carbon emissions from forests decreased by more than 25 percent between 2001 and 2015, mainly due to a slowdown in global deforestation rates, according to new estimates published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today.

Global emissions from deforestation dropped from 3.9 to 2.9 Gigatonnes (Gt) of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year over the period of 2001-2015. Deforestation is defined as a land-use change, from forest to other land uses.

“It is encouraging to see that net deforestation is decreasing and that some countries in all regions are showing impressive progress. Among others, they include Brazil, Chile, China, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Turkey, Uruguay, and Viet Nam,” said FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva. “I urge all those countries to share their successful experiences with other countries. Through South-South Cooperation programme, FAO is ready to facilitate this collaboration and knowledge exchange.”

FAO emphasized at the same time that despite the overall reduction in carbon emissions from forests linked to less deforestation, emissions from forest degradation have significantly increased between 1990 and 2015, from 0.4 to 1.0 Gt CO2 per year. Forest degradation is a reduction in tree biomass density from human or natural causes such as logging, fire, windthrows and other events.

Read the full article: FAO

Agrocorridors as economic driver

Photo credit: FAO

Farmers dry rice on the road to Hon Don in Vietnam.

New report touts agrocorridors as economic driver

FAO highlights ways large-scale development plans can foster inclusive, sustainable and transformative rural growth

Rome – Economic “agrocorridors” can be a strategic tool to draw private capital and large-scale investment to projects that benefit smallholder farmers and boost food security in lower-income countries, according to a new FAO report that provides guidance on how development planners can avoid pitfalls.

These corridors, according to the report, are development programmes that foster promising economic sectors – notably agriculture in developing countries – in a territory connected by lines of transportation like highwaysrailroads, port or canals.

The strength of this approach is its integration of investments, policy frameworks and local institutions.

“The key idea is not just to make transportation or irrigation infrastructure improvements but to provide a platform that enables and empowers authorities at local, national and regional levels to make more informed decisions about what they want to achieve,” says FAO agribusiness economist Eva Gálvez Nogales, author of “Making economic corridors work for the agricultural sector.”

Read the full article: FAO


Gender and Land Rights

Photo credit: PIM.CGIAR

Caption from the GLRD leaflet

FAO’s Gender and Land Rights Database launches a new website

by Evgeniya Anisimova

FAO’s Gender and Land Rights Database (GLRD) has launched its new and improved website aiming to increase awareness about gender and land issues around the globe. PIM is proud to be one of the partners of this initiative, especially because the new GLRD’s indicators of men’s and women’s control over land draw from those proposed in the PIM paper by Doss et al (2013), “Gender Inequalities in Ownership and Control of Land in Africa: Myth versus Reality”. 

The three major components of the site are the country profilesgender and land-related statistics and the Legislation Assessment Tool (LAT) – all featuring interactive maps to facilitate information-gathering processes.

Read the full article: PIM.CGIAR

The Purchase from Africans for Africa programme (PAA Africa)

Photo credit: FAO

FAO and WFP have long been partnering to promote food and nutrition security of vulnerable communities.

Public procurement in Africa benefitting family farmers and schools

Innovative partnership operational in five countries


An innovative partnership spanning five African countries is providing important lessons on how governments can procure food for public institutions, such as schools, directly from small-scale family farmers. Modelled on Brazil’s achievements in fighting hunger and poverty, the Purchase from Africans for Africa programme (PAA Africa) helps promote local agricultural production while also improving livelihoods and nutrition.

Lunchtime at a school in Ethiopia. -
Lunchtime at a school in Ethiopia. –

PAA Africa is implemented by Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Senegal with technical leadership and expertise from FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP). Now entering its third year, the programme is yielding promising results as detailed in a recently released report.

As the PAA Africa programme shows, in developing countries the purchasing of produce from family-farmers – often among the most marginalized groups – can contribute towards government efforts to combat rural poverty.

“Public purchasing from local producers  adds value to local markets by integrating small-scale family farmers and by channelling demand – in this case from schools – for their produce, contributing to food security and diversity,” said Florence Tartanac, of FAO’s rural infrastructure and agro-industries division.

Read the full article: FAO

Women’s contribution to food and nutrition security

 Photo credit: FAO

Research suggests increasing women’s access to agricultural resources would significantly improve food security worldwide.

Int’l Women’s Day 2015: Women farmers key to fighting hunger

IFAD, WFP and FAO celebrate women’s contribution to food and nutrition security

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Marking International Women’s Day 2015 (March 8th), leaders from the United Nations’ three Rome-based food agencies gathered to remind the world that women farmers play a central role in achieving food and nutrition security.

At the Rome event, leaders from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) shared testimonials of their innovative interventions that have empowered rural women, and in doing so have contributed to food security and nutrition. They also highlighted that promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment can significantly strengthen efforts to reduce rural poverty.

This year’s event also marks the 20th anniversary of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 (Beijing +20).

IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze delivered the opening keynote address pointing out that as men in developing countries migrate to urban centers or shift to better-paid work, a “feminization of agriculture” has occurred with approximately half of the agricultural workforce worldwide now made up of women.

“Women are the backbone of rural societies as they grow and process food and make sure their families are well-fed and well-nourished,” Nwanze said. “Too often, rural women are doing the backbreaking work. To improve women’s social and economic status, we need more recognition for the vital role they play in the rural economy.  Rural women need more opportunities to participate, improve their skills, gain access to assets, and be involved in agricultural production and marketing. Let us all work together to empower women to achieve food and nutrition security. For their sake, and the sake of their families and communities.”

Read the full article: FAO

Boosting production and income of Ethiopian women

Photo credit: FAO

Members of the cooperative whose cactus pear marmalade will soon reach Italian tables.

Ethiopian women cooperative increases incomes thanks to FAO-Eataly partnership

Cactus pear marmalade to join more traditional jams on Italian shelves

A cooperative of women in Ethiopia is set to reach the international market thanks to a partnership between Italian gourmet food store Eataly and FAO.

The two joined forces in 2013 to support family farmers around the globe in boosting their production and finding ways to reach new overseas customers. The work with the women’s cooperative is one example of this collaboration.

For a few years Tsega Gebrekidan Aregawi ran a small kiosk in the northern Ethiopian town of Mekelle, where local university students would stop by to purchase fresh fruit juice, biscuits and homemade marmalades on their way to and from class.

It was a small operation. At that time Tsega could hardly imagine that some of her own products might someday fly from Africa to reach international markets.

But things changed last year when FAO and the Italian food chain Eataly reached out to her and her five-woman cooperative with a challenging offer.

Founded in northern Italy in 2007, Eataly has grown into a global, high-quality food and beverage chain that combines culinary excellence with tradition — with a special focus on small-scale production, sustainability, and fair trade.

FAO and Eataly offered Tsega and her colleagues support in producing more cactus pear marmalade, which would be then bought and shipped to European tables.

The group rose to the challenge. So far, they’ve produced 4,000 jars of marmalade and are now looking at using the revenues to even expanding their output and the variety of what they produce.

To help them in this effort, trainings were organized to help them improve their performance during harvesting as well as to increase their quality standards. The Ministry of agriculture has been providing technical assistance throughout.

A better future

Over the last few months, Tsega and her colleagues have been working hard to produce over 1,500 kg of jam that meet Ethiopian and European food safety standards. The cooperative has also benefited from Eataly’s knowledge sharing on best practices for packaging and marketing and their 4,000 jars of jam are now ready to travel to Rome, where they will soon reach the shelves.

Read the full article: FAO

Cabo Verde: food crop seeds, animal feed and drip irrigation equipment

Photo credit: FAO

Cape Verde Prime Minister José Maria Pereira Neves meets FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva

FAO provides urgent assistance to drought-stricken Cape Verde

Effort aims to build resilience, make agriculture less dependent on unpredictable rains

FAO will provide food crop seeds, animal feed and drip irrigation equipment to help thousands of people in Cape Verde whose food security and livelihoods are at risk following a sharp fall in crop production due to drought.

An agreement for $500,000 for urgent assistance to the Republic of Cabo Verde has been signed by the country’s Prime Minister, José Maria Pereira Neves, and FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, during a meeting in Rome.

“This is an extremely important agreement that will not only allow us to face the current drought, but also help to create conditions to build a sustainable agriculture in Cabo Verde,” Pereira Neves said.

Photo credit: Willem van Cotthem - WVC 061 1987-04 - Belgian reforestation project
Photo credit: Willem Van Cotthem – WVC 061 1987-04 – Belgian reforestation project on the Island of Santiago

The emergency intervention aims to assist 8,237 rural households which are most vulnerable to the impact of drought – Cabo Verde experienced 65 percent less rain in 2014 compared to the previous year.

Estimates from a FAO assessment mission carried out last month indicated the output from maize crop at some 1,000 tonnes. This represents the lowest level of production ever recorded in the country, and one which follows a steep downward trend over the last few years.

Read the entire message: FAO

Speeding urgently needed seeds of major food crops to communities in West Africa

Photo credit: UN News Centre

Photo: FAO

Ebola: World Bank will provide seeds to farmers in West Africa to ward off hunger


The World Bank Group announced today that it has mobilized some $15 million in emergency financing to provide a record 10,500 tons of maize and rice seed to more than 200,000 farmers in the countries most-affected by the unprecedented Ebola outbreak, in time for the April planting season.

“Agriculture is the lifeline of the economies of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice-President for Africa. “By speeding supplies of urgently needed seeds of major food crops to communities in West Africa, we are jumpstarting recovery in rural areas and preventing the looming specter of hunger in the countries hardest hit by Ebola.”

According to the World Bank, “more than one million people could go hungry unless they have reliable access to food and emergency measures are taken immediately to safeguard crop and livestock production.”

A recent World Bank Group report shows that the Ebola crisis has taken a heavy toll on the economies in all three countries, and the agriculture and food sectors have been particularly hard hit.

“Reports show that desperate farming families have resorted to eating stored seed originally intended for use in the next cropping cycle. Rural flight has caused harvest-ready crops to wither in the fields,” the World Bank said in its announcement.

Read the full article: UN News Centre


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Hunger and global climate change

Photo credit: IPS

A major challenge in the path of putting an end to hunger in Africa is global climate change, which is affecting arable land and destroying the harvest of farmers all over the continent.

Credit: Tinso Mungwe

Ending Hunger in Africa

Droughts, floods and other environmental disasters make it even more difficult for those exposed to sustain their livelihoods or even think about increasing their agricultural productivity.

Addis Ababa — While Africa’s economies are among the world’s fastest growing economies, hundreds of millions of Africans are living on or below the poverty line of 1.25 dollars a day, a principal factor in causing widespread hunger.

One of the key issues discussed at the 24th African Union Summit which ended here on Jan. 31 was food security within the broader of framework of development towards Agenda 2063 – an agenda that touches on many aspects of where Africa should be 50 years from now.

Food security is an important component of Agenda 2063 and with hunger one of the continent’s most pressing concerns, the agenda focuses on social and economic transformations necessary for its elimination, such as providing people with the needed skills and creating jobs to improve incomes and thus the livelihoods of people.

Droughts, floods and other environmental disasters make it even more difficult for those exposed to sustain their livelihoods or even think about increasing their agricultural productivity.

On the agricultural front, the emphasis is being placed on scaling up food production and making it easier for intra-Africa trade to take place so that food imports can be reduced.

The overall objective is to end hunger throughout Africa within the next decade.

Read the full article: IPS

More effective interventions and more lasting results



Africa: FAO Director-General Calls for Global Action to Address Food Insecurity in Conflict Areas

New York — Food insecurity and political instability are interrelated – Graziano da Silva

Agriculture and food security must be treated as essential components of peacebuilding and conflict resolution, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said during a special meeting of the UN Peacebuilding Commission held here today.

“Food security is an important foundation for peace, political stability and sustainable development. In the history of humanity, time and time again we have seen vicious circles linking violence and hunger – and these are conflicts that are not restricted by national borders,” Graziano da Silva told meeting participants.

But the FAO Director-General also emphasized that, at the same time, food security can be used as “a conflict prevention and mitigation tool” for the advancement of peace and security. Policies and actions on food security can not only build resilience and resolve conflicts, but can prevent conflicts, too.

“We cannot just wait for an emergency to react. To achieve food security, we need to act before the crisis. We cannot prevent a drought from happening, but we can prevent it from becoming famine,” added Graziano da Silva.

Impact of conflicts and hunger

Hunger kills far more people than war or terrorism, the FAO chief noted during his speech. For example, between 2004 and 2009, an estimated 55,000 people a year lost their lives as a direct result of conflict or terrorism, while in Somalia alone, between 2010 and 2012 over 250,000 died due to famine caused by severe drought, he said.

Read the full article: allAfrica

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