How planting a garden can boost bees, local food and resilience during the coronavirus crisis… #Covid19 #nutritionalsecurity

With the arrival of spring, many people have been starting to think about how COVID-19 will impact the affordability and availability of fruits and vegetables in coming months, as shortages of both honeybees and migrant workers threaten crop pollination and the food that comes with it. The current global pandemic has highlighted the many ways our agricultural systems are […]

How planting a garden can boost bees, local food and resilience during the coronavirus crisis
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EU Proposes 2030 Goal to Reduce Pesticide Use by 50% and Increase Arable Land in Organic Production by At Least 17%

(Beyond Pesticides, May 26, 2020) Across the pond, the European Commission (EC) has announced plans to protect biodiversity and build a more sustainable food system, and identified the reduction of pesticide use  and the expansion of organic agriculture as pillars of the scheme. The EC expects that the initiative, which will require EU member states’ endorsement, will advance […]

EU Proposes 2030 Goal to Reduce Pesticide Use by 50% and Increase Arable Land in Organic Production by At Least 17%
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#Covid19: Deaths and Infections by Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) will continue to be LOW in Africa by Prof Marte

Professor Isa Marte Hussaini, FAAS, FAS, FNAPharm, FPSN

Contrary to the projections of World Health Organization (WHO) and Western Countries, Africa will not be devastated by COVID-19. The testing levels in Africa are far below those in Europe and USA which may be responsible for the low incidences. However, the percent fatality rates are maintained between 1-3% even after 3 months of the pandemic. In Nigeria, the fatality rate was highest (3.57%) on 02/05/2020 and is now below 2.9% after 3 months (March- May). The following reasons may be responsible for the low incidence and fatality in Africa:

  1. The African population is very young based on our lower average life expectancy (61 years for males and 65 for females) compared with Asia, Europe or North America. In West Africa, it is 56 years (2019). The ages below these averages of life expectancy have relatively good immune systems and low numbers of patients with co-morbidities such as diabetes mellitus, asthma and heart diseases compared with those over 70 years. This strongly suggests that the African Governments should focus and protect the few elderly citizens (above 60 years) and those with co-morbidities who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
  2. Africans have more Vitamin D3 than Caucasians and Asians because of abundance of sun light in the continent. Vitamin D3 is an immune booster which protects Africans from coronavirus disease. Few Africans with low Vitamin D, require additional intake of D3.
  3. In Africa, the frequency of exposures to bacteria and viruses is very high because of the poor hygiene conditions. This may lead to generation of specific antibodies (IgG) in Africans to different diseases, including coronaviruses (SARS CoV-1 &2) which may make the African immune system much stronger than that of a Caucasian or Asian. This is an excellent research area for African Scientists to find out whether there is antibody cross- reactivity between SARS-CoV 1 and 2. Can antibody against SARS-CoV-1 protect patients from COVID-19 caused by SARS CoV-2? There is information in the literature that antibody against Mitogen-activated kinase (MAPK1/2; erk1/erk2) cross-react with both proteins.

One, two or all three of the stated facts may make the African continent hostile to SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19. As a precaution, the African Governments should not be complacent in taking proactive and preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus. The use of face masks, sanitizers, washing of hands as well as social distancing should be encouraged during this pandemic. In addition, Governments must also strengthen contact-tracing committees in various states to act immediately and quarantine all contacts once a COVID-19 case is confirmed. This will put a break to community transmission of COVID-19.

Research and Development (R&D) in Africa.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the poor state and unpreparedness of most of African Healthcare Systems. The lack of capacity of R&D in most African countries is also apparent except for Senegal and South Africa. The African Governments should now think outside the box and build the continent’s R&D capacity instead of relying on foreign vaccine development and treatments for diseases. The continent has smart and intelligent people who are well-trained and positioned to develop vaccines and drugs for diseases. All the African Researchers need is the enabling environment and funding.

We have successfully used the following combination to prevent and treat COVID-19 patients. Some of the patients tested positive and were in the isolation center when the preparations were given to them. The quarantined patients were all discharged and did not develop any symptoms of COVID-19. The prophylactic use of the preparations was also successful. The dosage and usage are:

  • Black Caraway (Nigella sativa) Seed Oil 1 teaspoonful 3 times daily (immunity booster, Anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-bacterial and anti-viral activities). We have determined the safety level of Black seed oil at this dose level and is very safe.
  • Vitamin D3 1000 IU daily (Immunity booster, anti-inflammatory and prevents clot formation).
  • Aspirin 75 (UK brand) or 81 (US brand) mg daily (prevents clot formation). Aspirin at this dose level selectively blocks the formation of thromboxane A2 in platelets without affecting the production of prostacyclin by the endothelium. This selective inhibitory property of low dose aspirin prevents platelets from aggregation and sticking together to form thrombus, which is recently found in COVID-19 Patient’s.

The three preparations were given for 10-14 days for treatment of COVID-19. On a personal note, I have been taking Vitamin D3 and aspirin 81 mg for the past 10 years to boost my immune system and prevent thrombus formation.

The study we have carried out involved in both prevention and treatment has a sample size of 30. There is the need to increase the sample size. It is now up to the Ministry of Health and NAFDAC to finance and carry out multi-centre Clinical Trials involving thousands of COVID-19 patients for this treatment regimen.

May mankind be saved from this terrible pandemic. Ameen

Professor Isa Marte Hussaini, FAAS, FAS, FNAPharm, FPSN

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The FG €995m Agric MECHANISATION Facility To Help Nigeria Attained Food Security And Diversify Economy

Reduction of #PostHarvestLoss and Farmer education should take center stage of any form of sustainable investment in Agriculture

“This is meant to tackle the primary issues of post-harvest losses commonly suffered by smallholder farmers as well as to domesticate efficient supply chain operations where factories or aggregation hubs are closer to sources of raw material.”

Mr. Kwasari, also disclosed that three years from now, Nigeria would be food secured for the various plant and livestock-related commodities identified to be supported by the programme across the states. –

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The relevance of agroecology, territorial solidarity and the right to food for the EU Farm to Fork Strategy

Below is the highlighted under the sub-heading ‘Vulnerable Food System· Certainly there are lessons for Nigeria 🇳🇬 to draw from this.
19 has exposed even more limits and dysfunctions in our globalized food systems: from our reliance on under-paid farm and food sector workers operating in poor working conditions (most often women and migrants), the risks associated with intensive animal farming, including zoonoses, to barriers facing small-scale producers when trying to access local markets, to gender inequalities and the additional risks faced by people with pre-existing diet-related health conditions.

Covid-19 is also set to aggravate other shocks (e.g. crop failures or abrupt changes in food prices due to climate change and other extreme events), and threats (e.g. biocultural erosion, degrading soil fertility, ageing farm population, land concentration, lack of farm renewal). These shocks and threats reveal the fragility of the European food systems, which the SAPEA report makes clear is even more vulnerable due to its interdependent nature and the fact that the EU imports large quantities of food and feed from third countries, while also being a major exporter of food”

Food Governance

On 14 May, the Nyéléni Food Sovereignty Movement in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) sent a letter to the Executive vice president of the European Commission (EC), Franz Timmermans, who is leading the European Green Deal.

A week before the release of the new Farm to Fork Strategy and EU Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, the letter called on the EC to address the need to transform the food system. Sent with the letter was an Academic Brief written by Jessica Duncan, Marta Rivera-Ferre and Priscilla Claeys. The Brief reflects on insights from the recently published Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) and Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) reports on sustainable food system with a view towards key objectives of the Nyeleni ECA movement.

Academic Brief                                                 May 13, 2020

The importance of Food Sovereignty for the Farm to Fork strategyand the New Green Deal. Insights and limits…

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How unintended consequences unraveled a legendary agricultural achievement

DESERTIFICATION

THE WASHINGTON POST –

By Erin Blakemore – April 18, 2020 – https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/how-unintended-consequences-unraveled-a-legendary-agricultural-achievement/2020/04/17/b62f0f04-7ff0-11ea-8013-1b6da0e4a2b7_story.html

In the 1960s and 1970s, a single farm scientist became a public hero, credited with ending famine in much of the developing world. Norman Borlaug’s Green Revolution, an agricultural method born of the high-yield crops he pioneered, was almost universally lauded.

But were his well-intentioned methods a good deed — or a dangerous trap? “The Man Who Tried to Feed the World,” on PBS’s American Experience series on Tuesday, tells the story of how unintended consequences unraveled a legendary achievement.

It’s easy to understand why Borlaug’s ideas held so much promise: The variety of wheat the scientist created resisted rust, a fungal disease that was responsible for devastating crop epidemics in the developing world. With the help of Borlaug’s hybrid wheat and plentiful water, pesticides and chemical fertilizer, farmers could produce enormous yields in places…

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Comparisons of organic and conventional agriculture need improvement, say researchers

DESERTIFICATION

Phys.org
Phys. Org. – MARCH 18, 2020 – by Chalmers University of Technology
https://phys.org/news/2020-03-comparisons-conventional-agriculture.html

The environmental effects of agriculture and food are hotly debated. But the most widely used method of analysis often tends to overlook vital factors such as biodiversity, soil quality, pesticide impacts and societal shifts, and these oversights can lead to incorrect conclusions on the merits of intensive and organic agriculture. This is according to a trio of researchers writing in the journalNature Sustainability.

The most common method for assessing the environmental impacts ofagricultureand food is the life cycle assessment (LCA). Studies using this method sometimes claim that organic agriculture is actually worse for the climate because it has lower yields, and therefore uses more land to compensate. For example,a recent study inNature Communicationsthat made this claimwas widely reported by many publications.

However, three researchers from France, Denmark and…

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