|AWARD-ICWAE Mentoring Program
The International Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics (ICWAE) is announcing a mentorship program for women agricultural economists from the global South. An ICWAE advisory committee, led by Prof. Cheryl Doss, is working closely with African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) who will be providing the mentoring program. We are currently accepting applications from those who would like to participate as mentees. In addition, the program will provide training and support for mentors and invites expressions of interest from those who would like to serve in this role. Read more
|Could Ethiopia’s ‘false banana’ be a wonder crop in face of the climate crisis?
The enset, also known as the false banana or Ethiopian banana, is a perennial, ten-meter high plant grown in the southwestern Ethiopian Highlands, where it is a staple food for 20 million people. It’s not actually a fruit - in fact, the bit which looks like a banana is inedible - but the starchy stems and roots can be consumed. The pulp is fermented and made into dough for dishes like porridge and kocho - a cheesy-tasting flatbread that is typically eaten for breakfast. The enset isn’t cultivated outside the region although grows wild in river valleys and gorges as far south as South Africa. While the wild plant is bitter and unpalatable, its appearance suggests that there are climates where it could be grown over a much larger region. Read more
|Upcoming funding opportunity: Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CLARE)
The Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CLARE) initiative is pleased to announce that its first public call for concept notes will be launched in April 2022. CLARE supports research to enable socially inclusive and sustainable action to build resilience to climate change and natural hazards across Africa and Asia-Pacific. Announced during the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26), CLARE is a partnership between IDRC and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Read more
|Crop breeders in eastern Africa modernize to end regional hunger
A quiet transformation is underway at the Kenya Agriculture & Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO). New facilities are being developed, flows of digital data are coming online, ways of working and partnerships are being redrawn. All this, as part of a new way of investing in crop breeding research in a bid to finally end hunger in the region.
Over the last two years, the CGIAR Excellence in Breeding Platform (EiB) has made in-kind contributions worth around US $340,000 to the KALRO maize and wheat breeding programs, thanks to funding through the Crops to End Hunger (CtEH) initiative. Just as important as these investments are the changes that enable them, along with the new priorities and cost savings that result. Read more
|What Makes a Good Research Article Title?
Your title is your first opportunity to draw in readers, so you must ensure that it makes an impact. Compared to the work you put in to the full paper, the title may feel like an afterthought, but creating a good title is essential to maximizing the reach of your article. A good research article title offers a brief explanation of the article before you delve into specifics. Before you get to a final title, you can start with a working title that gives you a main idea of what to focus on throughout your piece. Then you can come back to revise the title when you finish the article. Read more
|Climate change: Food systems are key to our collective survival
The recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was not only the bleakest warning to date of the inevitable and catastrophic impact of climate change, but it was also the clearest recognition that “food systems” are key to our collective survival.
With some 240 mentions throughout the report, the world’s top climate scientists made clear that the transformation of global food systems would be instrumental in meeting global goals for human rights, equality and climate change. Read more
|Food Security Monitor: Africa Food Trade And Resilience Initiative
Most African countries namely Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Algeria, Kenya and South Africa depend on food imports (wheat, maize and sunflower oil) from Russia and Ukraine. As of 2020, Russia exported USD 4 billion worth of agricultural products to Africa, with wheat accounting for 90% of total exports. Similarly, during the same year, Ukraine exported USD 2.9 billion worth of agricultural products to Africa, wheat accounting for 48% and maize 31% . Beyond Africa and at the global level, both countries produce 4% of the global maize supplies further demonstrating the important role the two countries play in the global food security market including that of Africa. Closing of ports in Ukraine and farmers neglecting their fields in a bid to stay alive will result in significant shortage of wheat supplies from Ukraine to the rest of the world. In addition, as sanctions against Russia by Western countries increase, grain exports from Russia are also likely to be suspended further worsening the global food supplies. Read more
|COVID-19 and Global Food Security. 2 Years Later
As we mark the second anniversary of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health, economic, and social disruptions caused by this global crisis continue to evolve. The impacts of the pandemic are prolonged and likely to endure for years to come, with poor, marginalized, and vulnerable groups the most affected. COVID-19 & Global Food Security: Two Years Later presents lessons learned on food security and food system resilience over the last 18 months. Bringing together contributions from new IFPRI research, blogs, and the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub, this book illustrates how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected poverty, food security, nutrition, and health around the world. The authors look at how governments’ responses have helped and hindered recovery, and consider how this pandemic experience can inform both recovery and longer-term efforts to build more resilient food systems. Read more
|Rwanda retains top spot in delivering Africa’s agriculture plan
For the third time in a row, Rwanda emerged as the best-performing country in implementing the seven commitments of the June 2014 Malabo Declaration, which seeks to end hunger and halve poverty by 2025 through advancing agriculture. The third Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Biennial Review Report launched on Thursday, March 10, 2022, assessed the performance of 51 countries surveyed in 2021 up from 49 countries in 2019 and 43 in 2017. It is the main mutual accountability tool to track the progress of the African Union (AU) Member States in implementing the Malabo Declaration. Read more
The need to sharply increase food production to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population, however, has remained paramount. Intense research at such centres as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Ibadan, Nigeria, has been directed at developing high-performing varieties of crops and designing more appropriate cropping systems. One product of such research is a genetically improved strain of corn (maize). Corn is not in itself a balanced food, being deficient in some amino acids, but a scientific breakthrough in the mid-1960s resulted in an increase of the amino acids lysine and tryptophan in certain new varieties of corn called opaque, or high-lysine, strains. These varieties initially produced low yields, were more prone to disease and vermin, and had a soft texture that was not desirable. Breeding programs, however, corrected these defects, and the new strains began to improve the nutritional value of diets in Africa (which consist mainly of corn preparations). Read more