Should we stop irrigating the drylands ?

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Robin Hammond / Panos

Irrigation risks spreading invasive pests across Africa

“Irrigation could trigger changing pest distributions by allowing a host plant to grow where it would not otherwise grow and by producing conditions for the pest or pathogen to grow.” -Dan Bebber, University of Exeter

by Ines Nastali

Speed read

  • Africa’s warm and wet future climate will support foreign crop pests
  • Irrigation will also increase habitat for insects such as tomato leaf miners
  • This moth destroyed thousands of hectares of fruit in Sudan

The use of irrigation across Sub-Saharan Africa creates conditions that attract devastating foreign plant pests, such as the tomato leaf miner, a Kenyan study has found.

East Africa is at particular risk of infestations from the moth, as temperatures and seasonal rainfall in the region increase due to climate change, the researchers warn. They discovered that the increasingly frequent watering of fields turns more areas into suitable habitats for the destructive insect.

As well as tomatoes, the tomato leaf miner attacks crops such as potatoes, peppers, eggplants (brinjal) and tobacco. Although native to South America, the pest reached Europe in 2006 and has since spread across the Middle East into Africa.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

UN and agriculture in Sudan

Photo credit: Google

Agriculutre in Sudan

Agriculture Minister Reviews Ways to Cooperate with UN in Agriculture

The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Eng. Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid has reviewed ways of bolstering joint cooperation in the field of agriculture and sustainable development with the United Nations (UN).

Eng. Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid -
Eng. Ibrahim Mahmud Hamid –

This came when he met Tuesday at his office with the Chairman of the United Nations’ Socio-economic Affairs Sami Erekat. The meeting discussed ways of developing agricultural activities, sustainable development, water management and combating desertification. The meeting touched on ways of developing integrated plan for making Sudan to be a leading and pioneer state in realising the Millennium Development Goals as well as training and capacity building.

The Minister of Agriculture underlined that the state general policy targeted development of agricultural operations, achievement of food security and improvement of standard of living of the population by using technological packages to increase production and productivity.

Erekat said that it was highly important to work for the success of the Millennium Development Goals, to achieve sustainable development for all through creation of strategies for benefiting of the resources and to work for capacity building on water and drought management.

Read the full article: Sudan Vision

Renaissance Dam

Photo credit: Google

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Ethiopian Diaspora

Renaissance Dam Historic Accord to be Signed in Khartoum Tomorrow


President Abdul Fatah Al- Sisi of Egypt and Prime Minister Haile Desalgn of Ethiopia are set to arrive in Khartoum tomorrow “Monday” for the signing of the Renaissance Dam historic accord between the Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, slated for March 23.

Water Resources Minister Mutaz Musa -
Water Resources Minister Mutaz Musa –

Mutaz Musa, Chairman of the Ministerial Board for the Nile Basin States Initiative-cum-Minister of Water Resources and Electricity, has described the document of the declaration of principles on cooperation between the three countries on the Renaissance Dam as a prelude for cooperation and the implementation of the joint sustainable development projects between the three of them.

Minister, Mutaz, has pointed out that the document was the result of industrious work, based on dialogue and consultation.

According to water experts the signing of the document by the three heads of state, will result in cooperation and coordination in the first phase of the filling of the Dam Lake and exchange of information among the three countries.

They also added that the completion of the two remaining studies, as recommended by international experts, will put in place solutions for any negative impacts that could be produced by the dam.

Read the full article: Sudanow

Food shortages in South Sudan

Photo credit: UN News Centre

A child sips on therapeutic milk at a hospital in Juba, South Sudan, where nearly one million children are suffering from acute malnutrition.

Photo: UNICEF/Christine Nesbitt

South Sudan: UN agency warns of catastrophic food shortages if conflict continues

The ongoing conflict in South Sudan is sharply reducing food supplies and slowing humanitarian access to people in need, the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) said today, urging warring groups in the country to follow up quickly on the ceasefire deal agreed on Monday.

Without such commitment, the country’s conflict areas face potentially catastrophic food shortages, UNICEF warned, pointing to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) group of experts’ report, which is released this week, and to its own latest nutrition survey, which supports the IPC’s findings.

“UNICEF needs access to remote areas made inaccessible because of the fighting,” the agency’s Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch, said. “This is where the crisis is forming. Both parties to the ceasefire need to reach a long-term settlement or face a growing food crisis by the end of the dry and lean season.”

Mr. Veitch said UNICEF and its partners are starting to see large numbers of people on the move in conflict areas because of food shortages. At least 229,000 children are estimated to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition in South Sudan – a number that has doubled since the start of the conflict just over a year ago.

“We remain on edge, and any increase in violence will see supply routes cut, markets disrupted and humanitarian access denied. This would be catastrophic for acutely malnourished children and could quickly lead to high levels of mortality.”

Read the full article: UN News Centre

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