AAAE News Brief

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June 2, 2021 | No. 25
Pro-poor dairy policy in East Africa and India

In East Africa, most milk is produced on small family farms, typically with three or fewer cows. In Kenya, 60-70% of the milk is sold unprocessed (or in raw form). Dairying creates regular income for 1.8 million Kenyan farm families as well as providing two full-time jobs along the supply chain for every 100 litres of milk handled daily. Yet Kenya’s vast informal milk sector was for years viewed by policymakers as illegitimate due to its informal nature. READ MORE

source: CGIAR
CIMMYT Releases 12 New Maize Lines

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is pleased to announce the release of a set of 12 new CIMMYT maize lines (CMLs). These lines were developed at various breeding locations of CIMMYT’s Global Maize program by a multi-disciplinary team of scientists in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The lines are adapted to the tropical maize production environments targeted by CIMMYT and partner institutions.  READ MORE

source: CIMMYT
How big companies can help to end hunger

The number of people who go to bed hungry was rising steadily prior to the COVID-19 pandemic due to stresses related to climate, inequality and conflict, and now stands at 690 million. The pandemic has supercharged these trends. The latest UN estimates are sobering, with an additional 130 million projected to be suffering from hunger, even before the devastating pandemic numbers we are currently seeing from India and Brazil. READ MORE

source: IFPRI
Sweet Resilience

In March 2019, Cyclone Idai barreled across central Mozambique, whipping winds at 170 km per hour and unleashing torrential rains that wiped out 700,000 hectares of crops, left more than 1,000 dead and caused $2 billion of damage in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Within weeks of that disaster, the International Potato Center (CIP) partnered with the International Committee of the Red Cross to distribute 40 metric tons of sweetpotato planting material in the Mozambican provinces of Sofala and Manica, to help 7,500 smallholder farmers get back on their feet quickly and increase the availability of a nutritious, fast-growing food crop. READ MORE

source: IOL
A New Chance for Genetically Engineered Crops

German Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner has welcomed the possibility of looser restrictions on genetically engineered crops as an "overdue modernization" of EU policy. She is right – and it is not only Europe that needs to rethink its approach. Many worry that GE crops have adverse environmental and health effects, and that they risk undermining food sovereignty, as the handful of corporations making the seeds, can gain undue power over global agricultural output – and the farmers who produce it. It is because of these fears that the EU and most African countries currently restrict the cultivation of GE crops. READ MORE

Fighting intergenerational malnutrition is possible: Lessons from adolescent girls in Malawi

In Malawi, where stunting is as high as 37%, and 10% of the gross domestic product is lost annually due to malnutrition, girls are becoming part of the solution. Malawians between the ages of 10 and 35 years constitute approximately half of the population, most of them girls. But despite bad nutrition indicators, adolescent girls are routinely missing from malnutrition interventions. READ MORE

source: World Bank

The covid-19 pandemic can be considered as an unprecedented crisis in modern days. To contain the spread of the disease, governments around the world started putting in place stringent measures in early 2020, bringing about unusual challenges for populations and businesses alike. Evidence from four African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) shows that the food and beverage manufacturing sector has proven to be relatively resilient during the pandemic. READ MORE

source: PARI
Four chicken heads a dollar: How one Harare grandmother scratches a living in lockdown

Pammula Chiunya, 68, is sitting under an open-sided shed outside a makeshift beer hall in Hopley settlement, six miles (10km) west of Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. She is not happy. Chiunya serves roasted chicken heads in a twist of old newspaper to a visibly drunk man, then settles to wait for someone else to emerge from the shebeen, which is crammed with animated revellers dancing to loud music. Customers are elusive, even with her prices: four heads for a dollar. “On a very good day, I could make $2.50, but sometimes people do not have money to buy so I end up having chicken heads for dinner before they get bad,” says Chiunya. READ MORE

source: The Guardian
Systemic and concerted action needed to boost seed quality assurance for Ethiopian potato sector

Ethiopia has the largest potential for potato production in sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 70% of its arable land is suitable for potato production. The country relies on the potato for food and nutrition security and more than 3.7 million farmers grow the crop in different agro-ecologies in the country. Potato production in Ethiopia is on the rise and the crop is being recognized as strategic. Private companies have also started investing in potato processing. However, researchers and other actors in the Ethiopian potato innovation system argue that the government and donors have not given due attention that the crop deserves despite the tremendous role it plays in enhancing farmers’ income, food and nutrition security. READ MORE

source: ISSD Africa
AFRICA: Reconciling agriculture and biodiversity is possible

In Africa, demographic challenges and economic issues are causing a rush for agricultural land and intensification of agriculture. In this context, artisanal and industrial actors are very gradually integrating biodiversity protection into their practices. Between agroecology and sustainable agriculture, the preservation of wildlife is becoming just as important as food production. READ MORE

source: AFRIK21
VACANCY: Economist/Policy Analyst, Food Systems


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