Crisis affecting the Lake Chad basin countries, including Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

DESERTIFICATION

Photo credit: UN NEWS CENTRE

Attacks by Boko Haram and counter-insurgency measures in the Lake Chad Basin have displaced more than 2.5 million people in four countries. Credit: OCHA/Ivo Brandau

Seven million people in Lake Chad basin ‘living on the edge’ – UN relief official

Spotlighting the desperate plight of millions in Africa’s Lake Chad basin, the top United Nations humanitarian official for the Sahel region called today for international solidarity with the people in urgent need.

“I wish I had good news, but I don’t,” Toby Lanzer, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, told a news conference at the UN Headquarters, in New York that was largely focused on the crisis affecting Lake Chad basin countries, which include Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.

“11 million people are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, 7.1 million of them are severely food insecure. [They are] living on the edge – surviving…

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Nigeria seeks more international support to tackle humanitarian crisis in Lake Chad Region

DESERTIFICATION

10 Septembre 
http://www.faapa.info/nigeria-seeks-more-international-support-to-tackle-humanitarian-crisis-in-lake-chad-region/

Abuja (India), Sept. 10, 2019 (NAN) Nigeria has again appealed for more international support to confront the humanitarian disasters arising from drought, land degradation and desertification in the Lake Chad Basin Region.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Ibukun Odusote, made the appeal on Tuesday in her presentation at the high level segment of the 14th Session of Conference of Parties (COP 14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) underway in New Delhi, India.

Odusote, who led the Nigerian delegation to COP 14, told the international audience that the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region was one of the world’s largest and most complex humanitarian disasters.

“In the drylands of Nigeria, the livelihoods of over 40 million people are threatened by land degradation and desertification, thus raising the spectre of food insecurity and spurring deadly conflicts between farmers and herders over…

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Researchers call for a gendered approach in strategies for community uptake of livestock vaccines

AgHealth

The design of strategies for uptake of livestock vaccines by communities in East Africa should take into account that male and female farmers face different barriers in the uptake of the vaccines, a new research study says.

These barriers include the cost of the vaccines, distances to vaccination points, access to information on vaccination campaigns and decision-making processes at household level. Some constraints affect both men and women while others affect one gender group only, based on prevailing gender norms and division of labour.

The study, published in the journal Vaccines (8 Aug 2019), was undertaken by a team of scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute, Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and the United States Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.

The work was carried out in purposively selected sites, namely, Kwale and Murang’a counties in Kenya and Arua and Ibanda districts…

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In Burundi, What Do Farmers and Food Waste Have in Common?

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World Food Program USA
July 30, 2019
https://www.wfpusa.org/stories/farmersandfoodwasteinburundi/?fbclid=IwAR1CtJg8uPL7N10FtMRdh1fR0XHw5hs4qxslB_NgPQboLW6KsAmz9T3uYoo

Burundi, February 2009

Sustainable Land Management project in Kayanza, in north Burundi. The project was implemented in 2007 through food-for-work. Nowadays WFP provides only technical assistance to the farmers. The terraced are is approximately 2.5 Ha. WFP and the church worked together to get the land for the community to farm. It was previously very badly degraded. They have planted ~145,000 trees to help with soil stability, some of which are for commercial use such as eucalyptus. They received 72 metric tons of food from WFP plus technical expertise for the project. The association owns the land, there are 115 people participating in it including 45 women (women aren’t allowed to own land according to Burundian law).

Photo: WFP/Laura Melo

In Burundi, 90 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture, but agricultural productivity and access to farmable land are low.

If all the food produced…

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Desertification in Nigeria (African Agriculture)

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 Read at :

 http://africanagriculture.blogspot.com/search/label/desertification

Friday, March 9, 2007

Farmers in northern Nigeria suffer the effects of desertification

“A powerful article by Lanre Oyetade on the human causes and effects of desertification, featured in The Tribune :

In the late 1990s, Alhaji A hmad Idi could count on his land to produce 40 big sacks of sorghum and another 20 full of groundnuts each year. But today, he works twice as hard to squeeze out yields half that size. “There isn’t enough rain and we have to dig deeper and deeper to find water,” said Idi, a farmer in the Makoda region, two hours from Nigeria’s northern border with Niger.

And yet, to look at his land, nothing seems to have changed, he says: a few trees and shrubs, some soil – same as ever. “The effects of desertification are felt long before sand dunes start appearing,” explained Abdul-Azeez Abba, a…

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Nigeria’s grazing crisis threatens the future of the nation

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Financial Times

LAILA JOHNSON-SALAMI

https://www.ft.com/content/a56ccf22-a331-11e9-a282-2df48f366f7d

Ethnic Fulani herdsmen have moved their cattle to Nigeria’s middle belt region because of population growth and desertification in the north © AFP

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https://www.ft.com/content/a56ccf22-a331-11e9-a282-2df48f366f7d

Nigeria’s cattle-grazing crisis has become a national security threat, sparking ethnic tension nationwide. Amnesty International estimates that more than 2,000 deaths in 2018 alone resulted from clashes between herdsmen and farmers over access to water and pasture and the destruction of land and property — particularly belonging to farmers in the country’s middle belt region. Herdsmen from the Fulani…

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PTF: The Forgotten #Livestock Dream by @AliyuTilde1

The Ruga controversy reminded me of Pastoral Development Project (PDP, incidentally) of the defunct Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF). Between 1996 and 1997 the PTF conceived the idea of rehabilitating our grazing reserves and livestock routes. It employed consultants to do the survey of the existing routes and bills were prepared for the execution of the contracts.

Below are, for example, the stock routes billed for rehabilitation.

___________________________
PRIORITISED STOCK ROUTES FOR REHABILITATION

Wase – Makurdi 210.2km
Potiskum – Bauchi 220.2km
Bauchi – Lere 110.0km
Lere – Wase 100.4km
Bauchi – Bukuru 130.7km
Bukuru – Wamba 110.2km
Wamba – Lafia 50.4km
Lafia – Makurdi 90.2km
Makurdi – Otukpo 70.0km
Otukpo – Nsukka 100.6km
Nsukka – Adani 40.5km
Adani – Onitsha 70.6km
Nsukka – Enugu 50.4km
Enugu – Okigwe 70.2km

Birnin Konni – Sokoto 80.2km
Dioundiou – Birnin Kebbi 50.8km
Sokoto – Yelwa 310.1km
Yelwa – New Bussa 150.0km
Bangui – Bena 310.1km
Bena – Kontagora 120.3km
Kontagora – New Bussa 140.4km
New Bussa – Kaiama 70.4km
Kaiama – Iseyin 210.0km
Iseyin – Oyo 40.2km
Oyo – Ibadan 50.3km

Kontagora – Bokani 100.6km
Bokani – Ilorin 150.0km
Ilorin – Osogbo 90.4km
Osogbo – Ibadan 90.0km
Ibadan – Sagamu 90.5km
Sagamu – Ikorodu 30.2km

Bangui – Kaura Namoda 130.2km
Kaura Namoda Gusau 40.9km
Gusau – Birnin Gwari 180.1km
Birnin Gwari – Minna 210.0km
Minna – Abaji 130.5km

Katsina – Dutsin Ma 60.2km
Dutsin Ma – Funtua 110.9km
Funtua – Kaduna 120.4km
Kaduna – Gwada 120.8km
Gwada – Minna 30.5km

Doungas – Kano 130.5km
Kano – Zaria 130.8km
Zaria – Kaduna 90.1km
Kano – Wudil 40.8km
Wudil – Ikara 90.6km
Ikara – Zonkwa 160.4km
Zonkwa – Kagoro 20.4km
Kagoro – Keffi 100.0km
Keffi – Abaji 140.6km
Keffi – Lokoja 170.8km
Abaji – Lokoja 230.3km
Lokoja – Auchi 100.6km
Auchi – Benin City 110.3km
Benin – Warri 90.3km

Ibadan – Ife 80.9km
Ife – Ilesha 20.8km
Ilesha – Ikole 120.4km
Ikole – Akure 110.4km
Akure – Ikare 80.2km
Ikole – Ikare 60.3km
Ikare – Auchi 120.0km

Bosso – Geidam 180.7km
Geidam – Ringim 320.8km
Ringim – Kano 70.3km
Geidam – Damaturu 180.7km
Bosso – Gubio 180.7km
Gubio – Maiduguri 90.6km
Frontier – Dikwa 70.5km
Dikwa – Maiduguri 80.6km
Maiduguri – Damaturu 130.5km
Damaturu – Potiskum 90.9km
Potiskum – Duku 100.8km
Duku – Wase 220.6km

Maiduguri – Biu 170.7km
Damaturu – Biu 130.5km
Biu – Gombe 120.4km
Gombe – Numan 130.8km
Biu – Numan 140.6km
Numan – Jalingo 100.4km
Jalingo – Nuri 90.7km
Nuri – Wase 120.0km

Frontier – Bama 80.3km
Bama – Mubi Junction 160.2km
Bama – Numa 320.7km
Jalingo – Wukari 200.5km
Wukari – Katsina-Ala 90.1km
Katsina-Ala – Otukpo 130.5km
Jalingo – Bali 120.2km
Frontier – Yola 40.3km
Yola – Bali 270.8km
Bali – Mararaba 110.6km
Mararaba – Katsina-Ala 110.9km
Bali – Ngurore 140.2km
Ngurore – Frontier 70.4km
Yola – Ganye 160.7km
Ganye – Frontier 30.3km

Katsina – Mani 40.2km
Mani – Daura 30.4km
Daura – Kazaure 60.3km
Kazaure – Danbarta 20.8km
Danbarta – Kano 60.1km
Sassoumoroun – Daura 50.6km
(Niger)

Total 12,104.80km
_____________________________________

There were components of the project for grazing reserves nationwide too. Already, PTF had supplied veterinary drugs and equipment to all states of the federation. Nigeria was one.

Then Obasanjo happened. 1999.

That was exactly 20 years ago. Buhari, the PTF Chairman left. It was hoped that in spite of the differences between the then two former heads of state and Obasanjo’s promise of scrapping the PTF, the new President as an experienced administrator will burry the hatchet, take time to sort out the various projects PTF was undertaking and arrange for various ministries to continue with the ones that would contribute to his success. What he did instead was to kill PTF and appoint the Haruna Adamu committee to bury it along with whatever good it contained.

The sad thing was that Obasanjo like all politicians in Nigeria had no blueprint to guide him on what to do. They come in empty handed, with minds filled with grudges and spend years doing little. As a result, they achieve far less than Nigerians expect. Obasanjo was not different. Agriculture received a superficial treatment, nothing beyond fertilizer distribution and loans. Livestock infrastructure was not addressed at all.

Then Buhari returned. 2015.

Like Obasanjo, he came in with good intentions and a lucid vision. He came with a dream but without the details of how to actualize it. Four years have gone and the story of livestock infrastructure is still on page one even as the country starts to pay dearly for the negligence of the past forty years. Farmers and herders are clashing over land, each encroaching into the space of the other. Farmers, miners and land grabbers are seizing forests and grazing reserves. Stock routes are blocked by farms and buildings. Animals are straying as they move or graze close to farms. Blood is spilled. Nigeria is bleeding. And President Buhari, the one time Chairman of the PTF is still on page one – the drawing board!

He is sold different programs. Ranching. Colonies. NLTP. Ruga. Etc. From the characters inventing these tales, I am beginning to believe that the President may finish his tenure achieving just as little as Obasanjo in the area of livestock development. His first Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, has left office without a single meter of stock route repaired or a meter square of grazing reserve rehabilitated. In 2016, he promised us that in 8 months, not a single cow will be roaming in Nigeria. 36 months later, not a cow is restricted. He is clearly anti-grazing. And watch out. He may return.

Will it be a crime for Buhari to revisit his pastoral dream in PTF that will go a long way in solving the problems of grazing and livestock movement? I do not think so. What is more interesting is that he only needs to ask the project consultants to re-open their spreadsheets and, behold, everything will be there, including bill of quantities, which will only need to be updated in pricing.

And work can start of course with the expedited completion of due process. He has partners in the willing governors and their states, who are so many to give him the sufficient company he needs in his journey. This is better than an NLTP that is subject to sabortage at every stage of its implementation, embodied with many explosives and which may just be another Kano Film Village, Second Niger Bridge, Baro Port, Kano-Maradi Railway Line, Mambila Dam, Refineries, Electricity, etc.

Obasanjo could stop Buhari’s dream in 1999 and kill the PTF – and he did – but he cannot kill the dream entirely. Buhari can revisit that dream and actualize it with the opportunity that he has now as the President. That dream can be in addition to the NLTP, a fall back position, just in case the latter turns out to suffer another ill-fate of ranching, colony or Ruga. In any case, the elitist NLTP, if ever implemented over the next ten years, will cater for only a small fraction of our cattle population. His 1996 dream, which can be modernized too, is more realistic and more encompassing.

Most northerners are concerned about livestock for a reason. It is the second largest contributor to our GDP and, you can say, the major ‘foreign exchange’ earner for the region. While the south exports to the North almost every industrial product it needs, cattle and grains are the only things the North exports to the south, with cattle earning most. The southwest consumes 10,000 cattle daily – 5,000 in Lagos State alone. A similar number may be consumed daily in the southeast and south south combined.

The much villified herdsman is just the custodian of the cattle, living in sub-human conditions of the forest. The butchers and other sedentary Nigerians in the value chain – like transporters, restaurants, dairy companies, tanners, exporters, etc. – gain much more than the herdsman, the butcher alone earning between 25% and 35% of the price of a cow. He saves the governments over billion of dollars in foreign exchange annually.

Yet, the poor herdsman cannot use up to N2,000 of the price of a cow he sold. He will buy another in the market to replace it. What a good custodian! His penury and ascetic life is helping to keep the bovine population steady for Nigerians. Livestock contributes 6% of our GDP. Northerners – and indeed Nigerians – can only be foolish to let this priceless commodity go. The investment of government in livestock services, as in other sectors of the economy, cannot be overemphasized.

So let the President’s old pastoral dream start to take shape in willing states – the home states of our cattle – rehabilitating our grazing reserves with facilities like dams, vet clinics, artificial insemination services, etc. and our stock routes with beacons, resting points and wells. If the benefit becomes manifest, other states can key in.

That dream is the property of Mr. President. He should not allow anyone to destroy it.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
13 July 2019

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PRESS RELEASE: @NAFDACAgency RESPONDS TO THE ABUSE AND MISUSE OF SNIPER (100 ml) PACK SIZE AND OTHER BRANDS OF AGRICULTURAL FORMULATIONS OF DICHLORVOS PRODUCTS

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is gravely concerned about the recent trend in the abuse and misuse of 100ml of Sniper insecticide and other brands of Agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos to commit suicide. The other brands of the agricultural formulations of 100 ml pack size of dichlovos include: (Tankill, Gladiator Liquid, Executor Liquid, Smash Super Liquid, DD Force, Glovan, Philopest, Wonder Liquid, Rid-Off, NOPEST and SUMODDVP). These products are misused as household insecticide and direct misapplication on agricultural produce. The abuse and misuse of the 100ml of these products is associated with serious Public Health hazards such as cancer and respiratory disorder.

Sniper and other brands of Dichlorvos formulations are agricultural insecticides, registered for use as Crop Protection Product (CPP) only. The availability of this product in small retail pack sizes of 100ml and their sales in open-markets and supermarkets have made the product readily available for abuse and misuse as a household insect repellant, as an agent to control insect infestation in agricultural food and a tool for suicide in the Country.

NAFDAC Act Cap N1 LFN 2004 has mandated the Agency to regulate and control the importation, exportation, distribution, manufacture, advertisement, sales and use of drugs, cosmetics, medical devices, bottled water and chemicals, which includes Agrochemicals. In view of this, the Agency wishes to draw the attention of the general public to the regulatory measures and control put in place to arrest/mitigate this abuse and misuse of Sniper and other brands of Dichlorvos formulations meant for agricultural use as follows:

1. NAFDAC bans the importation and manufacture of 100ml pack size of Agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos with immediate effect.

2. NAFDAC bans with immediate effect hawking of all agrochemical formulations

3. NAFDAC is giving a two-month (up to 31st August 2019) notice to brand owners/distributors to withdraw their products from open markets and supermarkets that do not have garden corner/shelves to the agro dealer outlets. The sales of Sniper insecticide and other Dichlorvos brands in open markets and supermarkets nationwide are prohibited with effect from 1ST September 2019.

4. NAFDAC is giving a six-month moratorium up to 1st January 2020 for brand owners to exhaust the products that are in various accredited agro-input dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) outlets.

5. Mandatory listing of Dealers (distributors/marketers/retailers) of agrochemicals. All NAFDAC formations are to collect the list to ensure continual monitoring of all agro dealers in their States.

6. The Agency has introduced permit to clear all bulk pesticides and agrochemicals. Importers/Manufacturers/marketers are advised to liaise with Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products Directorate or closest NAFDAC offices or visit the Agency website at https//www.nafdac.gov.ng for more information and guidance.

7. All NAFDAC formations are to commence enforcement on restriction of sales of crop protection products to NAFDAC listed and accredited agro-inputs dealers/distributors/marketers nationwide by 1ST April 2020.

8. NAFDAC advises the General Public to desist from the misuse of agricultural formulations of Dichlorvos as household insecticides, as such malpractice is associated with public health hazards.

9. The General public may wish to note that CropLife Nigeria in collaboration with NAFDAC has agreed to undertake the following: –

i. Mop-up of 100ml agrochemical formulation of Dichlorvos from open markets and supermarkets by importers, manufacturers and distributors and to be monitored by NAFDAC nationwide from 1st September 2019.

ii. intensify the continual evidence-based sensitization workshop on proper use and handling of pesticides and agrochemicals across the country.

iii. Provide antidotes against Dichlorvos poisoning in tertiary and secondary medical centers across Nigeria.

iv. The reformulation of all Dichlorvos preparation to include bitter agent and vomiting induce agent.

v. Training process of all agro dealers will commence from 1st September 2019

vi. Improved labeling, sealing and packaging to include amongst others the use of color band to differentiate World Health Organization (WHO) toxicity classification on all agrochemical and removal of pictorials of household pests from labels of agrochemicals/crop production products.

May I at this point call on all good citizens of our dear country to always adhere to all regulatory measures when handling or using NAFDAC regulated products. It is important to read carefully the label on the regulated products before using. The Agency is committed to safeguarding the health of Nigerians. The Agency seeks the cooperation of Nigerians in achieving the mandate of Safeguarding the health of the Nation.

NAFDAC…Customer-focused, Agency-minded

DG NAFDAC

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Celebrating World Zoonoses Day with a focus on ILRI’s research on zoonotic diseases

AgHealth

Taking sheep for disease testing in Bako, Ethiopia
Taking sheep for disease testing in Bako, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Barbara Wieland).

World Zoonoses Day is
marked annually on 6 July to commemorate the day in 1885 when Louis Pasteur
successfully administered the first vaccine against a zoonotic disease when he
treated a young boy who had been mauled by a rabid dog. The day is also an opportunity
to raise awareness of the risk of zoonoses, infectious diseases that are spread
between animals and people.

Scientists estimate
that 60% of known infectious diseases in people and 75% of new or emerging
infectious diseases in people are transmitted from animals. Neglected zoonoses
associated with livestock, such as brucellosis and cysticercosis, impose a huge
health burden on poor people and reduce the value of their livestock assets.

Through its Animal and Human Health program, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) carries out research with national and international partners towards…

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CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health publishes 2018 annual report

AgHealth

CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health 2018 annual report cover

The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) has published its 2018 annual report, highlighting program activities and research results from across A4NH’s five research flagships and five focus countries. These include:

  • research into consumer choices, motives and barriers through the lens of vegetable consumption in urban Nigeria;
  • building the evidence base with newly-published research that shows biofortified high-iron pearl millet can significantly improve nutrition and cognitive performance;
  • significant research contributions to help policymakers and consumers understand food safety issues and risks;
  • how agriculture and nutrition interventions delivered through community-based childcare centres can impact nutrient intake, dietary diversity and nutritional status;
  • improving hospital diagnostics for human brucellosis; and
  • an exploration of gender research projects being conducted under A4NH.

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Development policy and practice – a case study in disruptive innovations

ILRI news

By Eva Ohlsson and Boleslaw Stawicki 

A disease that was supposed to have been preventable by vaccine recently reemerged as a major killer of chicks in Kenya, seriously damaging the livelihoods of countless smallholder farmers and driving thousands of them out of the poultry business altogether. It wasn’t supposed to be this way: A vaccine for infectious bursal disease, an acute, highly contagious viral disease of young chickens, had been developed in the previous decade and raised hopes of someday eliminating the disease. Yet by the 2010s, it was becoming clear that the vaccine wasn’t nearly as effective as anticipated. In Kenya and elsewhere, whole flocks of vaccinated chicks were coming down with the disease; in some cases, mortality rates neared 100 percent.

Chickens require little in the way of space and start-up capital. Most poultry growers in Kenya are smallholder mixed livestock and crop farmers—and a majority of these…

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On a frugal continent of ‘economic vegetarians’, consuming more meat means longer, healthier lives—The Economist

ILRI Clippings

A slaughterhouse in Maputo, Mozambique (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

The Economist reports that the future of food lies in Africa. And why that’s a good thing. Read on to find out why.

As Africans get richer, they will eat more meat and live longer, healthier lives

‘. . . Between 1961 and 2013 the average Chinese person went from eating 4kg of meat a year to 62kg. Half of the world’s pork is eaten in the country. More liberal agricultural policies have allowed farms to produce more—in 1961 China was suffering under the awful experiment in collectivisation known as the “great leap forward”. But the main reason the Chinese are eating more meat is simply that they are wealthier.

In rich countries people go vegan for January and pour oat milk over their breakfast cereal. In the world as a whole, the trend is the other way.

‘In the decade…

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New report says investments in food safety in sub-Saharan Africa should prioritize the needs of local consumers

AgHealth

Locally made beef stew sold in Bagnon market at Yopougon, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (photo credit: ILRI/Valentin Bognan Koné).
Locally made beef stew sold in Bagnon market at Yopougon, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (photo credit: ILRI/Valentin Bognan Koné).

Donor investment in food safety in sub-Saharan Africa should have greater focus on the needs of consumers in Africa, according to a new report by the Global Food Safety Partnership.

The report, Food safety in Africa: Past endeavors and future directions, analysed donor investment in over 500 food safety projects undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa since 2010. It found that more than half of these projects were focused on overseas markets and less than half on consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, most of whom rely on informal food markets and bear the greatest health burden of unsafe food.

According to estimates from the World Health Organization, foodborne disease in Africa results in 137,000 deaths and 91 million cases of illness a year. Globally, foodborne disease has a public health burden similar to…

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New case study presents nine-year follow-up of pilot project to improve food safety in Bodija market, Nigeria

AgHealth

Goat in a market in Nigeria (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).
Goat in a market in Nigeria (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).

Foodborne disease is a major public health problem in poor countries, but we lack effective, sustainable and scalable approaches that work in the traditional, informal markets where most fresh, risky food is sold.

A promising intervention is working with informal sector vendors to provide training and technologies, an enabling environment, and motivation for behaviour change.

A case study published in the March 2019 issue of the journal Infection Ecology & Epidemiology presents a long-term follow-up of a pilot project to improve food safety in Bodija abattoir and meat market, one of the largest markets in Nigeria.

An evaluation shortly after implementation found the intervention was acceptable, cost-effective and resulted in safer meat. The follow-up nine years later used qualitative surveys and microbiological tests.

The policy environment had become disabling, partly because of attempts by the authorities to move butchers to…

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Tanzania launches USD596 million livestock master plan

ILRI news

Tanzania livestock master plan launchTanzania minister for livestock and fisheries, Luhaga Mpina (right), receives a copy of the Tanzania livestock master plan from Barry Shapiro, senior livestock development advisor at ILRI (photo credit: Eveline Massam/IITA).

Tanzania’s livestock sector is set for a major boost following the official launch of a TZS1.4 trillion (USD596 million) Tanzania livestock master plan (TLMP). The TLMP is a five-year plan geared towards addressing major challenges facing the sector and transforming it by guiding investments in major subsectors. To realize the TLMP, at the request of the Government of Tanzania, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) provided technical assistance and training to the Tanzania Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

A livestock master plan is a vision-driven, evidence-based road map with investment plans that seeks to improve animal productivity and production, as well as increase the value addition of key…

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WHY ARE PEOPLE AFRAID OF INTRODUCING NEW VEGETABLES AND FRUIT TREES ?

DESERTIFICATION

Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM

Ghent University (Belgium)

Since August 2007, the time that I launched our action ‘SEEDS FOR FOOD’, a number of people came up with questions about the danger of introducing new vegetables and fruits in developing countries, where they can easily be grown in containers.

I have already replied to these ‘interrogations’ in a couple of messages:

(1) Invasive vegetables?  Could they create problems? (Adam STUART / Patrick HARRY / Willem VAN COTTHEM)

Permalink:http://desertification.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/invasive-veget…em-van-cotthem/

(2) A convenient truth for combating hunger and desertification (Willem Van Cotthem)

Permalink:http://desertification.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/a-convenient-t…em-van-cotthem/

Today, I like to bring to your special attention an article published by African Agriculture: http://www.africanagricultureblog.com/2010/07/us-farmers-find-opportunity-in.html

Title: US farmers find opportunity in vegetables newly introduced by immigrants

Let me highlight some paragraphs:

    • Maxixe, a Brazilian relative of the cucumber, is relatively unknown in the U.S., but it may one day be as common as cilantro as farmers…

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Overuse and misuse of antibiotics – a problem driven by the world’s poor and rich alike

ILRI Clippings

Kibera alley way Kibera slum alley (photo via Flickr/Ninara)

As reported this week by Andrew Jacobs and Matt Richtel in the New York Times, ‘Kibera residents are prodigious consumers of antibiotics’.

Kibera area, one of Africa’s largest urban slums, is located in Nairobi, Kenya, with a population of around one million. Most people in the sl

um lack access to running water, electricity and medical care. Diseases caused by poor hygiene are prevalent.

Antibiotic resistance isn’t just a rich-country problem; it’s a global threat to us all. And the overuse and misuse of antibiotics that is helping to fuel resistance to antibiotic treatments is also not just a rich-country problem.

Consider Sharon Mbone, the Kibera resident described in the New York Times article. With no money to see a doctor to help her 22-month-old son recover from a fever, diarrhea and vomiting, she did what most mothers would do in her circumstance—she…

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Why livestock matter – share your project change story

ILRI news

People in developing countries know that livestock are critical for sustainable development. The world’s cows, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and other farm animals are the mainstay of livelihoods across the developing world. And the energy and nutrient-dense milk, meat and eggs these animals produce provide peopl with basic livelihoods, incomes, food and nutrition.

Yet, it is difficult to successfully make the case for greater investment in sustainable livestock. People worry that livestock are bad for our health and environment. Investors say they don’t see enough convincing evidence and data that demonstrates the returns livestock interventions offer. Hard evidence is scattered and recommendations are complex due to the multiple roles livestock play in development.

The whylivestockmatter web site brings together evidence showing why increased and improved investments in sustainable livestock development are necessary. As we compiled this evidence, we observed that  many rich experiences and lessons from practice are not captured…

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Drug resistance could make millions of people poorer

ILRI Clippings

46440786294_da20e92d42_o.jpg Jimmy Smith (right) and Ochieng’ Ogodo (SciDev.net). A CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub to help integrate and channel research and development efforts in tackling antimicrobial resistance was launched at ILRI Nairobi, Kenya, 21-22 February 2019 [photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu]. As reported this week by Jacqueline Ogada, a journalist at SciDevNet, the director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) said recently that ‘reducing the use of antimicrobials in agriculture as well as medicine . . . can make a huge difference’ in protecting public health.

ILRI Director General Jimmy Smith said this at a recent launch of a CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Hub, which is based in ILRI’s Nairobi advanced biosciences laboratories. The new CGIAR AMR Hub, Smith said, will help accelerate the changes required to reduce antimicrobial use in the agriculture sectors of developing countries. The new hub will do this, he said, by creating productive stakeholder partnerships and…

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Livestock’s future: An opportunity not a threat

“A few highlights from the paper:

* Aggregate demand for livestock-derived foods is rising fast across Africa and Asia, driven largely by population growth in Africa and rising incomes in Asia, but remains low by western standards. For example, the average per capita consumption of meat in Africa is less than one-sixth that of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries (other estimates place it as low as one-tenth).
In the developing world, livestock are much more than just food: They are central to local economies, contribute significantly to agricultural GDP, provide critical protein and nutrients otherwise unavailable, and support viable livelihoods for nearly a billion people, allowing them to make better dietary and health choices.
* Livestock are raised in widely different ways around the world. This diversity can be a source of strength, enabling farmers to develop livestock/animal production, processing and marketing systems that are safer and more sustainable, responsible and efficient. * For emerging and developing nations, where farms of less than 20 hectares supply most of the livestock-derived foods as well as the cereals consumed in these countries, four main options are available for increasing production: Intensification of existing systems; development of western-style, industrial farms; importation of more livestock-derived foods; and possibly in the longer-term future, use of alternate forms of protein, such as lab-based meat.
* As the access to and availability of milk, meat and eggs increases for poorer populations, policymakers will need to promote sensible, balanced consumption as well as messaging that incorporates dietary, environmental, public health and animal welfare dimensions. Governments will face a plethora of trade-offs in implementing policies that support a vibrant transformation of the livestock sector.“ – David Aronson

ILRI news

Screenshot 2019-02-26 12.52.24 Some of the livestock sector’s numerous roles (credit: ILRI).

The World Economic Forum’s Shaping the Future initiative published a white paper prepared by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on livestock’s role in the developing world

The World Economic Forum (WEF) invited ILRI to prepare a white paper on the future of livestock. Published under the auspices of the WEF’s Shaping the Future of Food initiative, which focuses on how to develop inclusive, sustainable and nutritious food systems, ILRI’s paper addresses opportunities for the livestock sector to sustainably meet the growing demand for animal source foods in developing and emerging economies to 2030 and beyond.

The paper focuses on four critical issues related to livestock in the developing world: First, the continuing rapid growth of demand for animal-sourced foods, especially in Africa and Asia; second, the multiple roles that livestock play, not just as food but as ‘living animal assets,’…

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Launching today—CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub

“The aim is to help countries reduce and refine their antimicrobial use in crop, livestock and fish farming so as to help stem the rise of drug resistance
in disease-causing organisms and thus protect public health.” – ILRI

ILRI news

Launching today in Kenya is a

CGIAR AMR Hub

for powering global, national and local partnerships

to help stem the global rise of drug-resistant pathogens

that is increasingly putting public health at risk.

This morning on the Nairobi campus of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the first partners meeting of a new CGIAR Antimicrobial Resistance Hub will be opened. Scientists working at this hub aim to help reduce agriculture-associated antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries. Working in a wealth of partnerships with national governments and agencies, the hub will apply one-health approaches to managing agriculture-associated antimicrobial risks.

Antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs are among the most important tools available to medical and veterinary professionals for curing human and animal diseases and improving their welfare, yet these drugs are increasingly failing. Development of resistance to these drugs in disease-causing bacteria and other microbes poses a major threat…

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New research partnership to tackle the global problem of #antimicrobialresistance

AgHealth

Sheep market in Doyogena, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Zerihun Sewunet).

To tackle a growing problem of rising antimicrobial resistance in low- and middle-income countries, CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future, is forming an international hub to help integrate and channel research and development efforts.

The hub, launched on 21–22 February 2019, in Nairobi, Kenya, will be led and hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs are among the most important tools available to medical and veterinary professionals for curing human and animal diseases and improving their welfare, yet these drugs are increasingly failing. Development of resistance to these drugs in disease-causing bacteria and other microbes poses a major threat to global development; the World Bank estimates that annual global gross domestic product could fall by more than 1 trillion United States dollars (USD) by 2030 because of it.

While the…

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Diversified Agri-food Systems: Bastions of biodiversity, nutrition and resilience

THE GFAR BLOG

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According to The State of the Food Security and Nutrition in the World released last year (SOFI 2018), global hunger and malnutrition has increased considerably since 2016, reaching 821 million undernourished people – approximately one person out of every nine in the world. This means that the number of people suffering from hunger has returned to levels from almost a decade ago.

The increased number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition has been the result of climate variability and exposure to complex, frequent and intense climate extremes. Climate variability and extreme climatic conditions have repercussions for food utilization as they harm agricultural productivity and food production and cropping patterns. This leads to food availability shortfalls and negative repercussions on nutrient quality and safety of food.

SOFI 2018SOFI 2018 noted that hunger is worse in those countries facing excessive rainfall and drought, and where the livelihood of the majority of the…

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FAO sets the record straight–86% of livestock feed is inedible by humans

“If not consumed by livestock, crop residues and by-products could quickly become an environmental burden as the human population grows and consumes more and more processed food. Animals also consume food that could potentially be eaten by people. Grains account for 13% of the global livestock dry matter intake.” – Susan

ILRI Clippings

Cow Jar, by Jean Dubuffet, 1943.

As the media frenzy caused by a ‘planetary health diet’ proposed in a new report from an EAT-Lancet commission this month continues, it is perhaps timely to recall that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has set the record straight regarding not just the level of greenhouse gases that livestock emit (see yesterday’s posting on this blog) but also incorrect information about how much food (crops eatable by humans) is consumed by livestock. It’s not a lot.

The EAT-Lancet report summarizes scientific evidence for a global food system transition towards healthy diets from sustainable agriculture. The report concludes that a global shift towards a diet made up of high quantities of fruits, vegetables and plant-based protein and low quantities of animal protein could catalyze the achievement of both the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement to…

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Are we eating less meat?—Oxford Martin School fellow Hannah Ritchie confirms ‘No’

ILRI Clippings

Broken Record Alert:

People WILL NOT change their diets for environmental reasons.

No matter how often we hear “EAT LESS MEAT”

we eat more meat when we can afford it, because we like it.

@HannahRitchie02 reports.

—@TamarHaspel on Twitter, 4 Feb 2019

The following excerpts are taken from a BBC analysis piece published yesterday that was commissioned by the BBC from Hannah Ritchie, an expert from the Oxford Martin School and the non-profit organization Global Change Data Lab.

‘Rising incomes
‘. . . [G]lobal meat consumption has increased rapidly over the past 50 years. Meat production today is nearly five times higher than in the early 1960s—from 70 million tonnes to more than 330 million tonnes in 2017.

‘A big reason for this is that there are many more people to feed. Over that period the world population more than doubled. In the early 1960s there were around three billion of…

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Where nutrients and protein sourced from livestock remain vital—Crawford Fund

“To a considerable extent the report ignores the significant role that income and protein from livestock plays for hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers.“ – SUSAN

ILRI Clippings

Standing Child (Stehendes Kind) by Erich Heckel, 1910.

‘Coinciding with the launch of the EAT-Lancet “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems” report, Dr Colin Chartres, the [Crawford] Fund’s CEO, . . . discusses the importance of ‘smart foods’ and smart people for a healthy population and planet.

‘In late January the Eat-Lancet Foundation released its Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems report. Its headline message is:

“Transformation to healthy diets by 2050 will require substantial dietary shifts. Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50%. A diet rich in plant-based foods and with fewer animal source foods confers both improved health and environmental benefits.”

‘Whilst this message is not exactly new—the late Professor Tony McMichael from ANU [Australian National University] had been a long-time advocate of the…

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119 Organizations Shaking Up the Food System in 2019

THE GFAR BLOG

ft19orgs-1

2018 was a great year for Food Tank. We hosted ground-breaking Summits, innovative events, and global discussions about the food system in Senegal, Italy, Russia, and across the United States. We published the book Nourished Planet, and met many of our members and readers in person! And we started the Food Talk podcast.

We’re excited about 2019! Our plans are amazing, starting our greatest expansion ever—including new Summits, more podcasts, special events, and an off-Broadway play. If you are not already, it’s not too late to become a member this year and support our mission of bringing all sides to the table.

To start off the year, we’ve compiled a list of 119 organizations to keep an eye on in 2019 that are working towards a more sustainable food system. Happy New Year!

1. Acre Venture Partners

Acre Venture Partners is a venture capital fund investing in the future…

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Livestock and trees: A more perfect union

ILRI Clippings

Illustration by Remy Charlip via Pinterest: Cover of Four Fur Feet, written by Margaret Wise Brown.

Livestock provide ecological services too great to warrant their complete removal from the landscape.

‘. . . Sequestering carbon has become a topic essential to the broader conversation about how our planet might survive the escalating effects of climate change. Livestock are frequently demonized as the enemy of this process. That’s partly because raising animals for meat and dairy accounts for 5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions; unsurprisingly, study after study—including the United Nations’ most recent, bleak climate report—affirms that humans need to reduce consumption of animal-based products in order to fend off planetary disaster. This has led to the advent of a booming industry centered on plant-based “meats” and “milks,” buoyed by a rallying cry from some quarters to abolish meat and cheese and butter and eggs from our diets wholesale. …

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Thesis Opportunities: Social Economies of food, agriculture, and nature in Gelderland.

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

Social economy is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of third sector, cooperative, voluntary, non-profit, and social enterprise initiatives that put social and environmental well-being before profit.  They operate in different sectors of the economy, and provide a number of important goods and services – that range from food to social services and care. The social economy is also an important part of the solidarity economy, a term used to describe diverse economic practices that seek to strengthen local economies and communities and create alternatives as a form of resistance to the social, economic, and environmental injustices associated with capitalism, colonialism, racism, and neoliberalism. The cities of Ede, Arnhem, and Nijmegen are home to a growing number of social economy initiatives, especially in the areas of agriculture, food, and nature (e.g. ecosystems services, green infrastructure). Here they play a vital, yet often unrecognized role. With these three thesis…

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Global Exploration and Practical Research Meet in Nuffield International Farming Scholars Program

THE GFAR BLOG

20170314_171549_compressed.jpg

A robust, sustainable global agriculture and food production sector is critical to the future of a growing world population. It will take farms of varying types and sizes to address food insecurity and hunger, and to stabilize local communities and big cities alike. With a history that dates back to 1947, Nuffield International Farming Scholars is a global scheme that is focused on growing the most critical resources the agriculture industry has: people.

We at Nuffield International Farming Scholars are pleased to have recently entered into partnership with the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR). Like the Partners in GFAR, we strive to inspire people to make a difference in the world of agriculture, and this can only happen when people, especially youth, are empowered to turn their knowledge into opportunity and enterprise.

Through the Nuffield experience, individual farmers, ranchers, fishers, and agri-professionals expand their own capacity…

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Call for papers: Analytical Approaches to Post-Exceptionalism in Food and Agricultural Governance

Food Governance

Join us at the 2019 General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research in Wrocław, Poland. 

Due to the sensitive nature of the associated public goods (food safety, health, environmental concerns), policy makers have tended to treat the food and agriculture sector with care. But does this sensitivity hinder policy reform, or does it stimulate policy innovation to address novel challenges and concerns? The section uses the concept of post-exceptionalism as a lens to analyse recent developments and trends in food policy and governance.

In the past, agriculture was considered a special economic domain in need of special care. Public policies were aimed to provide affordable food for all while farmers could obtain a steady and sufficient income. The strategic meaning of food, weather conditions and the in-elasticity of demand for agricultural products meant that farming was considered as an exceptional economic sector with exceptionalist industry support and trade…

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Livestock and agroecology — Small Scaled Farmers and the pastoralists are the backbones of animal agriculture. They play a pivotal role not only in producing quality food item but also conserving the genetic resources as well as nature for the next generations. Contrast to the factory farming small scaled farming and pastoralism do not use (up to their level best) pesticides and chemical fertilizers etc. They do not harm nature by the blind use of inputs like energy and water. They are the custodians of the genes and nature.

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RESILIENCE OF NATIVE LIVESTOCK BREEDS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

SUSTAINABLE FARMING FOR FOOD AND HEALTH

The globe is under stressful pressure of climate change. Droughts, erratic and unseasonal rains, floods, and rise in mercury are the salient features of climate change. Some regions are under the severe affects of climate change, i.e. Saharan & and horn Africa and South-east Asia. Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are under severe floods since last few decades and each year the intensity is even higher than the earlier. In 2010, Pakistan was adversely affected with the floods and this year again, the intensity of flood is severe and havoc losses are reported from different parts of the Indus delta. The crops, villages and settlements came under the flood water and heavy losses to livestock farms.

CIMG0560 Author with the camel keepers in Cholistan desert of Pakistan

Being involve and active in the livestock breeds, conservation and policies, I learnt great lesson for the floods and the climate change. Small-scaled farming, pastoral people and landless farmers with the native livestock breeds…

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Camel Milk: Why Do You Need This In Your Home?

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A move away from ‘grain fundamentalism’ to higher quality milk, meat and egg calories to fight malnutrition

ILRI Clippings

Derek Headey, a senior research fellow at the CGIAR’s International Food Policy Research Institute, yesterday published an opinion piece in The Telegraph on the importance of using milk, meat and eggs to fight malnutrition and stunting in the developing world. But, Headey warns, these ‘animal-sourced foods’, particularly fresh milk and eggs, are prohibitively expensive for poor households.

When poorly nourished children in developing countries fall behind in their physical growth and become stunted relative to their healthier peers, they tend to fall behind in a lot of other things too: their health, cognitive development, schooling, and eventually, their productivity and income as adults.

The high social and economic costs mean that there are high returns to preventing stunting, provided these actions happen early.

‘In poor countries most growth faltering takes place from six months of age until a child’s second birthday. . . .

‘When children are fed…

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Next Brussels Briefing n. 53: ”The next generation of farmers: successes and new opportunities”

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How to Integrate New Chickens to a Flock

The Garden Smallholder

integrating chickens

There’s no going back once you’ve caught the chicken keeping bug. Apart from the obvious reason why people decide to keep them, chickens are great company in the garden, fun to watch and seriously addictive. With so many breeds and pretty colours to choose from (don’t forget the many rescue hens needing homes too), it’s so tempting to bring home a couple more. However, adding new chickens to a flock isn’t easy, if it were I’d probably have way too many. If that’s even possible.

garden,hens A harmonious group of hens in our garden smallholding, pecking order established. Each hen knows, understands and accepts her position within the flock.

You see, chickens operate a strict hierarchy known as the ‘pecking order’, at least one hen will be in charge and she’ll be the most dominant hen in the flock. I call this position ‘top hen’. As lovely as chickens are they can appear to be cruel to each other at times and this behaviour is…

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Back In The Allotment Saddle

The Garden Smallholder

The long hot summer has been and gone and I’m reaping the rewards in the kitchen garden. The autumn tidy up has begun and having chickens roaming around the garden smallholding means I’m never alone, the hens readily help themselves to crops and scratch the soil to a fine tilth. I’m happy to let them ‘help’ of course and I adore their company. I have a new flock of young hens that I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet on the blog, they join my gang of fluffy (currently moulting) Brahmas and my old girls who are still kicking about the place, getting up to all sorts.

autumn fruiting raspberriesrhode rock chicken

I realise it’s been a long while since my last blog here and the reason for that is being busy with my allotment. I have put in a lot of work at my plot to get it ready for spring and I’m so pleased…

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Collaboration is key to achieving the long-term benefits of data sharing

THE GFAR BLOG

ecosystem mapMany conversations about open data for agriculture and nutrition promote the win-win scenario of improved livelihoods for farmers, as well as more nutritious, environmentally conscious food. However, examples of open data benefiting farmers often only span one growing season, or include small groups of farmers. This begs the question, does open data truly have the capacity to trigger transformative change in agriculture?

Data exists on a spectrum, which ranges from closed, to shared, to open. Shared data can only legally be shared with certain individuals or groups, due to data ethics recommendations. Just as the food system is comprised of several actors, such as input providers, farmers, retailers and policymakers, who make decisions that affect both others and themselves, the data ecosystem comprises of data collectors, data re-users, data subjects and others. Most actors in the food system fulfil multiple roles within the data ecosystem. For example, a…

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One-size-fits-all ‘livestock less’ measures will not serve some one billion smallholder livestock farmers and herders

ILRI Clippings

Smallholder dairying in Kenya (photo credit: Accelerated Value Chain Development/Sophie Mbugua).

‘Once again, the debate on sustainable diets and in particular on (not) eating animal-derived products is resurfacing in the media, as illustrated most recently by an article in The Guardian. The paper reported on a study by J. Poore and T. Nemecek entitled ‘Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers’, published in the latest edition of Science magazine. The article concludes that ‘avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet’. Both the study and the article recognize the ‘large variability in environmental impact from different farms’ and the need to deal with the most harmful ones. Still, they seem to overlook the evidence from the 1.3 billion smallholder farmers and livestock keepers for whom livestock is an important source of income and food security.

Family goat keeping in…

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Women are the (invisible) guardians of livestock diversity–New FAO study

ILRI Clippings

Ethiopia woman churning butter

Ethiopian woman churning butter the traditional way (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

A new study by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations argues that to succeed, livestock breed conservation efforts must empower women.

‘Women livestock keepers worldwide must be recognized as the major actors in efforts to arrest the decline of indigenous breeds, crucial for rural food security and animal genetics, [the] new FAO study argues.

‘Yet women’s contribution to indigenous livestock breeding and conservation is poorly documented and undervalued, the study Invisible Guardians: Women Manage Livestock Diversity says.

‘Of the 600 million poor livestock keepers in the world, around two-thirds are women, whose men often have migrated to the cities. Women stay at home with the children and live by cultivating crops and keeping indigenous small stock such as chickens or goats, and perhaps a cow.

‘Indigenous breeds are adapted to often harsh local conditions, are disease…

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Why cows are getting a bad rap in lab-grown meat debate

“Cattle produce more than just hamburgers for well-off consumers, and they typically do so by utilizing rain-fed forage growing on non-arable land.” – Susan MacMillan

ILRI Clippings

A small-scale production line of the leghemoglobin for a plant-based hamburger is displayed during a media tour of Impossible Foods labs and processing plant in Redwood City, California, US 6 Oct 2016 (photo credit: /Beck Diefenbach—S1BEUGSRCGAA).

By Alison Van Eenennaam, University of California, Davis

A battle royal is brewing over what to call animal cells grown in cell culture for food. Should it be in-vitro meat, cellular meat, cultured meat or fermented meat? What about animal-free meat, slaughter-free meat, artificial meat, synthetic meat, zombie meat, lab-grown meat, non-meat or artificial muscle proteins?

Then there is the polarizing ‘fake’ versus ‘clean’ meat framing that boils this complex topic down to a simple good versus bad dichotomy. The opposite of fake is of course the ambiguous but desirous ‘natural’. And modeled after ‘clean’ energy, ‘clean’ meat is by inference superior to its alternative, which must logically be ‘dirty’ meat.

The narrative…

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New World Bank report says food-borne illnesses cost US$ 110 billion per year in low- and middle-income countries

AgHealth

Rinsing fresh fish, Accra, Ghana Rinsing fresh fish in Accra, Ghana (photo credit: ILRI/Kennedy Bomfeh).

A new World Bank study finds that the impact of unsafe food costs low- and middle-income economies about US$ 110 billion in lost productivity and medical expenses each year. Yet a large proportion of these costs could be avoided by adopting preventative measures that improve how food is handled from farm to fork. Better managing the safety of food would also significantly contribute to achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals, especially those relating to poverty, hunger and well-being.

Foodborne diseases caused an estimated 600 million illnesses and 420,000 premature deaths in 2010 according to the World Health Organization. This global burden of foodborne disease is unequally distributed. Relative to their population, low- and middle-income countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa bear a proportionately high burden. They account for 41% of the global population yet 53% of all foodborne…

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On World Food Day, Take a Holistic Approach to Food Production

THE GFAR BLOG

FTTEEBWorldFoodDay-1-770x463

October 16 is World Food Day. It can be a day of action, dedicated to tackling hunger and ensuring food security and nutrient-dense diets for everyone. Food should nourish and nurture people, society, and the planet, but in so many ways, the food system is broken.

“Not only have habits changed, but also foods. When was the last time you consumed a potato with the flavor, color, and smell of potatoes? We are not just losing food, we are losing food quality,” says agricultural engineer Dr. Walter Pengue.

Across the world, decreasing soil quality is stripping food of its nutrients: 33 percent of the Earth’s land surface is moderately to highly affected by some type of soil degradation. Food has also become the main driver of human health costs—while almost one-third of all people are undernourished and 815 million people still go to bed hungry, close to 30 percent of all…

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Book Launch – Flourishing Foodscapes: Designing City Region Food Systems

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

On Thursday 27 September 2018 Valiz and the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture will host a programme dedicated to the launch of the book entitled ‘Flourishing Foodscapes – Designing City Region Food Systems’.

About Flourishing Foodscapes

Flourishing Foodscapes is a book about the the social and spatial organization of networks and systems of food provisioning. It explores, highlights and discusses strategies and designs for creating future-proof city region food systems by addressing the social, economic, and ecological vulnerabilities and sustainabilities of current and future foodscapes, as well as how the spatial qualities of the rural and urban landscape and its use need to adapt and change. A key argument in the book is that food not only has to do with nutrition, but that it links up with and influences a multitude of domains; from health to (eating) culture and from employment to climate change. It has a major impact on the city…

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Enhancing global livestock advocacy for sustainable development

ILRI news

Some of the work going on at an end-of-project GLAD workshop held last week at ILRI, in Nairobi (photo credit: ILRI/Judy Kimani).

This article was written by Judy Kimani, communications and knowledge management specialist for ILRI’s Policies, Institutions and Livelihoods program.

Global Livestock Advocacy for Development (GLAD) has been a two-year project whose main objective has been to raise investor interest in livestock-related research-for-development issues. It has done this largely by distilling and presenting evidence and creative content about smallholder livestock systems and their critical roles in sustainable food systems and development. GLAD has also undertaken strategic engagement around sustainable livestock issues at targeted high-profile events and has strengthened capacity in livestock advocacy communications.

Members of the GLAD project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, believe that underfunding of the livestock sector in developing countries is partly due to a global lack of awareness and understanding…

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CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health publishes 2017 annual report

AgHealth

A4NH 2017 annual report cover

The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) has published its 2017 annual report which highlights the program’s accomplishments and activities during the first year of its second phase.

Detailed in the report are research, events and results from across A4NH’s five research flagships and four focus countries, including:

  • in-depth analyses of food systems in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Vietnam, with a recently released report on findings in Ethiopia;
  • details on the release of 29 new biofortified crop varieties, extending reach to 3.6 million farming households;
  • the first licence for Aflasafe to be granted to a private company in Africa, for production, sale, and distribution in the Gambia and Senegal to protect crops from aflatoxin;
  • a special issue of the journal Global Food Security dedicated to stories of change, an innovative initiative building a resource base of experiential knowledge that explores drivers of change in…

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Meat, milk, eggs can make a big difference in the first 1,000 days of life in low-income countries—New report

ILRI news

Cover of a new report,The influence of livestock-derived foods on nutrition during the first 1,000 days of life, by Delia Grace, Paula Dominguez-Salas, Silvia Alonso, Mats Lannerstad, Emmanuel Muunda and Nicholas Ngwili, all of ILRI, and Abbas Omar, Mishal Khan and Eloghene Otobo of Chatham House, 2018, ILRI Research Report 44. Nairobi, Kenya: ILRI.

There is great potential for

food produced from livestock

to contribute to better health

in low-income populations.

—Review by the International Livestock Research Institute
and the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security

Global efforts to limit or reduce

the consumption of meat, milk and eggs

over environmental concerns

should exclude pregnant and breastfeeding women

and babies under the age of two,

especially in low-income settings

where other sources of protein and micronutrients

are not available or not customarily used.

An extensive review of research found demonstrable nutritional benefits of providing children, particularly in…

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Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) Tuberculosis (TB) Research Network to accelerate research and innovation through collaboration across the BRICS countries

Database of Press Releases related to Africa - APO-Source

The National Department of Health is hosting the third BRICS TB Research Network Meeting, over 28 – 29 June 2018, in Johannesburg with delegates from the World Health Organization, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa. The meeting is part of the multi-country vision to accelerate research and innovation in TB through the BRICS cooperation mechanisms. This is a preparatory meeting in advance of… Read more on https://africa-newsroom.com/press/brazil-russia-india-china-and-south-africa-brics-tuberculosis-tb-research-network-to-accelerate-research-and-innovation-through-collaboration-across-the-brics-countries?lang=en

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Egypt: The Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) and Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) Hold a Workshop on “Transforming Food and Agriculture to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”

Database of Press Releases related to Africa - APO-Source

The Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Egypt and the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), with the participation of the relevant ministries, held yesterday an awareness-raising workshop on Transforming Food and Agriculture to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 24 to 26 June 2018. The workshop was conducted by experts from… Read more on https://africa-newsroom.com/press/the-food-and-agriculture-organization-fao-and-central-agency-for-public-mobilization-and-statistics-capmas-hold-a-workshop-on-transforming-food-and-agriculture-to-achieve-the-sustainable-development-goals-sdgs?lang=en

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Foods available to African farm households increase with market access and off-farm work

ILRI news

Foods of Khulungira: Fish stew, boiled maize, mixed beans, dried mushrooms, pumpkin leaves and egg stew

Common foods of Khulungira village, in central Malawi: Nsomba zophika (fish stew), chimanga chophika (boiled maize), nyemba zophika (mixed beans with salt and oil), bowa wofutsa (dried mushrooms with ground groundnuts), nkhwani wophatikiza ndi maungu anthete ndi kachewere wophika (pumpkin leaves, pumpkin blossoms and potatoes) and mazira ophika ndi phwetekere, anyezi, mafuta ndi mchere (boiled eggs with tomato, onions, oil and salt) (photo credit: CGIAR/Mann).

A unique dataset covering land use and production data by more than 13,000 smallholder farm households in 93 sites in 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa is described in a paper recently published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).Mark van Wijk, a scientist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), led the study with other colleagues from ILRI and partner institutions. Excerpts from the paper, and its key messages, follow.

‘We calculated a simple indicator of food…

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Latest Brussels Briefing n. 50: “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities”

Brussels Development Briefings

The latest Brussels Development Briefing no. 50 on “Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities” took place on 10 April 2018 from 09h00 to 13h00, ACP Secretariat, Brussels 451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels. This Briefing was organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD.

TWITTER:Follow @brubriefings  and use hashtag #BBUrbanAg

This Briefing discussed the development of urban agriculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, looking at successful urban agribusinesses and the innovations, partnerships and policy developments that are creating new opportunities in this field.

In particular, the Briefing featured an exchange of views and experiences around agriculture in urban and peri-urban areas, and the main drivers for its growth and uptake by youth and women. It shared best practices and achievements across ACP countries from the…

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Next Brussels Briefing no.51: «Agriculture as an engine of economic reconstruction and development in fragile countries»

Brussels Development Briefings

The next Brussels Development Briefing no. 51 on ”Agriculture as an engine of economic reconstruction and development in fragile countries ” will take place on 27 June 2018 from 09h00 to 13h00, ACP Secretariat, Brussels 451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels. This Briefing will be organised by the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the European Commission / DEVCO, the ACP Secretariat, and CONCORD.

To participate in the next Briefing please register online

Background Note

Programme 

Reader (coming soon)

Photos (coming soon)

Biodata of the speakers (coming soon)

Resources

Brussels Briefing 50: ”Growing food in the cities: Successes and new opportunities”


PROGRAMME

08h00-09h00     Registration

09h00-09h15      Introduction to the Briefing

Introductory remarks: Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary-General, ACP Secretariat; Leonard Mizzi, Acting Director Devco C, Planet and Prosperity and Head of Unit Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, Europeaid, European Commission; Michael Hailu…

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Animal health scientists promote One Health approach in tackling infectious diseases in Africa

AgHealth

Pipetting in ILRI's biosciences laboratories Pipetting in ILRI’s biosciences laboratories (photo credit: ILRI/David White).

The scourge of infectious diseases in Africa was the subject of a recent symposium co-hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa, the Uganda National Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina) in Durban, South Africa on 12–13 April 2018.

The symposium titled Surveillance and response to infectious diseases and co-morbidities: An African and German perspective was attended by about 100 participants from Africa and Germany including senior researchers, policymakers and representatives from the private sector. Presentations and discussions revolved around antimicrobial resistance, One Health, co-morbidities of infectious diseases and the ‘Big Four’ infectious diseases in humans (HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and hepatitis C).

Scientists from the human medical field dominated the symposium but in a panel discussion, the few animal health scientists present, including Kristina Roesel from the Animal and Human Health program…

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GFAR Talks: Empowering Farmers at the Center of Innovation through Participation in Research

THE GFAR BLOG

In this episode of GFAR Talks, we will examine how agricultural research can and must become a participatory process in which everyone is involved—from the perspectives of farmers, researchers and donors themselves.

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The rise of Community Supported Agriculture in China

Rural Sociology Wageningen University

30530930_212119566048787_3172312791000285184_n Image from Cultivate https://www.facebook.com/collectivecultivate/

On April 16th, Shi Yan, pioneer of the Community Supported Agriculture movement in China will visit Wageningen after participating in FAO’s International Symposium on Agroecology. During the day she will visit a selection of CSAs and in the evening she will give a presentation at Wageningen University.

Where: Room C013/VIP Room Forum Building

When: 19:00-21:30

In 2008 Shi Yan started the first CSA of China in the area of Bejing as a joint project with her university, the district government, and the Renmin Rural Reconstruction Centre. By now some 800 CSA’s are operating around China.

Shi Yan had been inspired by her experience of working with Earthrise Farm, a small CSA in Minnesota, USA. “It changed my life,” says Shi Yan. She arrived there thinking that she would study its business model, “but when living there, I realised that farming is not just a model, it’s a…

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Empowering ruminant livestock enterprises in Mali—A Feed the Future-ILRI project

ILRI news

A woman milks one of her goats in Ségou District, Mali

A woman milks one of her goats in Mali (photo credit: ILRI/Valentin Bognan Koné).

The Feed the Future Mali Livestock Technology Scaling Program is a three-year initiative (2016–2019) promoting inclusive growth of all actors adding value to the production and marketing of ruminant livestock in this large, and largely livestock-dependent, West African country. The program, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) aims to increase the incomes and food and nutritional security of 266,000 people who keep cattle, sheep and goats, as well as  other actors in this value chain in three regions of southern and central Mali: Sikasso, Mopti and Timbuktu. Supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the US government’s Feed the Future initiative, this livestock program is helping to close productivity gaps in Mali’s ruminant production systems, enhancing both the volume and the value of these animals…

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Livestock research addresses issues underlying the pastoral crisis in the Horn of Africa

ILRI Clippings

Things Fall Apart

Things have quickly fallen apart in this particular drought in the Horn’s vast drylands because of a toxic mix of underlying factors.

Land Use

Among the things not being redressed are land-use policies and practices that fail to account for population increases and thus are restricting herders to ever smaller, drier and more fragmented rangelands. Increasing numbers of mixed crop-and-livestock farmers are moving onto former rangelands and cropping them unsustainably. We are in urgent need of sustainable land-use policies in this region, which comprises many of the world’s oldest and most renowned pastoral cultures. These societies have endured here precisely because they have evolved lifestyles that suit the region’s highly variable environments that are largely inhospitable to cropping. Pastoral communities need land-use policies that help them enhance their uncommon resilience to climate and other shocks.

Climate Change

If climate change shows us anything, it is that we…

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Mobile pastoralism—A 10,000-year-old practice still robust, if threatened, in the Mediterranean today

ILRI Clippings

Spanish Shepherd and His Flock

A Spanish shepherd and his flock (photo via Flickr/Jeromy Johnson).

From the Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture
‘Mobile pastoralism is the movement of people and livestock through the landscape in search of water and pasture, and includes different practices such as transhumance, semi-nomadic and nomadic pastoralism and certain practices of extensive grazing—all involving people, herds and movement, and all having a positive impact on biodiversity.

‘This 10,000 year old cultural practice which still occurs in a wide variety of forms across the Mediterranean Basin, and is important in all the Mediterranean Consortium for Nature and Culture countries, is today threatened. Below are the activities the MCNC is involved in, to help ensure this vital way of life remains robust enough to stand it’s ground in today’s world.

‘For the last 5 years we have been studying the practice of Mobile Pastoralism in the Mediterranean Basin, and the innumerable ways in which it helps protect the…

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Cleaning up assessments of livestock-environment systems in developing countries with CLEANED

ILRI Clippings

Dairy cow in Tanga, Tanzania

Dairy cow in Tanga, Tanzania (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

As a vegetarian, my occupation as a livestock scientist might come as an odd choice. But here’s the thing: Livestock science isn’t about promoting meat eating; it’s about investigating better ways of farming meat so we don’t harm the environment in the process.

‘Global projections show that rising incomes are only expected to increase the demand for meat. I don’t think that has to be a bad thing.

‘The question for me is not whether we produce or eat meat — but how we do it. And lab-grown meat, which has recently grabbed global headlines, is not the only way.

‘Some key reasons farmers keep animals, especially in developing countries, are so they can earn better incomes, have better prospects for their families, and produce manure to fertilize their farms. Eating meat regularly is often not an option. Milk, eggs and other dairy products, however, contribute…

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