Africa and Beyond
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Africa and Beyond
Africa, the Middle East, Food, Agriculture, History and Culture
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African Agriculture: Cassava's climate change benefits provide an opportunity to reduce African maize dependence

"The predictions of the likely effects of climate change on agriculture in Africa have been negative, with already yearly increasing evidence that maize cultivation is becoming more difficult.

 

Given the importance of maize as the maize staple food of many Africans, the implications for an already precarious food security may be dire.

But now comes the news that another important but neglected staple starch food, cassava, may actually thrive in the climatic conditions that are predicted for the Africa of the future."

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African Agriculture: Zambia, Zimbabwe drastically revise maize harvest forecasts downwards

"Zambia's production of maize from commercial farmers is this year expected to be as much as 80% less than that of the 2011 harvest, while neighboring Zimbabwe has 'written off' a third of its current maize crop.

Maize is the staple crop of both countries, and its cultivation in both mainly depends on rainfall. The current cropping season's (October-May) rains began late and have been characterized by long dry spells.

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Food security in a hungry world

Food security in a hungry world | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

International community's biggest challenge is producing enough nutritional food, delivering it to the hungry....

Climate change, water shortages, higher energy prices, crop diseases and a rapidly expanding population. These are all factors that are making it increasingly difficult and risky for farmers and governments to ensure the world has enough to eat.

World agriculture production is not keeping up with population growth. It is estimated that by the year 2030 there will be an extra 1.8 billion people on the planet- that’s a lot of new mouths to feed.

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allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Food Crisis Looms

allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Food Crisis Looms | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
allAfrica: African news and information for a global audience...

ZIMBABWE is facing a food deficit after a third of the current maize crop was declared a write-off following a dry spell in some parts of the country.

Government says out of the 1 689 609 hectares put under maize during the 2011/12 cropping season, about 498 144 ha or 30 percent is now a write-off.

This has prompted the Government to suspend the sale of grain in the Strategic Grain Reserve.

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France Restores Ban On GMO Maize Crops - Planet Ark

France Restores Ban On GMO Maize Crops - Planet Ark | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
France set a temporary new ban on the cultivation of Monsanto's MON810 genetically modified maize on Friday, after a previous moratorium was annulled by the country's top court in November.

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DFID - Climate change: DFID wins award for maize project

DFID - Climate change: DFID wins award for maize project | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

RT @CGIAR: BREAKING: #CGIAR @CIMMYT drought tolerant maize research wins UK Government award http://t.co/DHdgfaT1 #Ag4Dev...


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BERNAMA - FAO To Roll Out US$10 Million Early Drought Warning System In Kenya

"FAO to roll out US$10 million earlay drought warning system in Kenya...

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First Person: Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty » Blog Archive » Food crisis in Senegal: Lack of rain triggers bad harvests

First Person: Voices, video, and photos from Oxfam's fight against poverty » Blog Archive » Food crisis in Senegal: Lack of rain triggers bad harvests | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"This year there is another food crisis knocking at the door of the Sahel, and it is threatening about 850,000 people in Senegal. Many of them live in Kolda, southern Senegal, and in Kedougou in the east, about 12 hours from Dakar by car.

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Hao Yu Li's curator insight, February 1, 2013 1:47 AM

The course of the poverty in this article is the extreme weather. The people who are farming are not rich thenmselves. The weather made their lives even worse. They didn't harvest a lot. Some even didn't harvest anything. It's hard to think how they can live their lives with no food. The unpridictable disasters made the poor people poorer, made their lives harder. If no one is going to help, they can hardly get out of poverty.

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Foreign Investors Bullish on Africa

A prudent investor learns to look at the trees, not the forest.  This is particularly sound advice when it comes to today’s Africa. Lurking behind the forest of sensational headlines descr...
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Sudan says it welcomes Saudi King's initiative on Arab food security - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

Sudan says it welcomes Saudi King's initiative on Arab food security - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
March 11, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese finance and national economy minister Ali Mahmood Abdel-Rasool said that his government welcomes an (...) (RT @scottmckenzie80: #SaudiArabia investing in #Sudan #food production.
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'Land is becoming a scarce commodity' | Africa

'Land is becoming a scarce commodity' | Africa | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
The UN Committee on World Food Security on Friday adopted draft guidelines against land grabbing to better protect rural communities. DW spoke to the UN's Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter.

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FAO says additional $69.8m needed to address imminent food ...

FAO says additional $69.8m needed to address imminent food ... | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) is calling for additional funds to head-off an imminent food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa. The FAO made the call yesterday ...
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Banking against Doomsday: The DoubleSpeak of BioTech and GMO Industries

Banking against Doomsday: The DoubleSpeak of BioTech and GMO Industries | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

(Why is this even necessary?  The Biotech and GMO industry has decimated our biodiversity meddling with original seed genes that require heavy use of pesticides and chemicals with these crops.  Preserving seeds so these industries can further alter nature's natural systems is unforgivable.  We should be focusing and studying nature's knowledge of adjustment and needs for environmental changes, not trying to manipulate Her to suit our needs.  We have insufficient knowledge to understand the chain reaction of these biotech meddlings) Gene banks represent an overdue push to preserve crop biodiversity. It also needs conserving on farms.

WITH a heavy clunk, the steel outer doors of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault closed on February 28th, shutting out a howling Arctic gale and entombing a tonne of new arrivals: 25,000 seed samples from Amer (RT @WeigelWorld: The Economist | Agricultural...

 


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African Agriculture: Uganda: trials of nematode-resistant GM banana to begin in 2012

"The nematode-fighting GM strategy is two fold:

The first line of defense against the nematode is to incorporate a small piece of synthetic DNA into the genetic makeup of the banana plant. The plant's thus modified DNA is then able to produce a small protein that will prevent the nematodes from detecting the banana's roots.

 

The second line of the plant's defense is via the incorporation of a piece of DNA into the genome of a bacterium which is capable of harmlessly infecting the banana plant.

 

The modified bacterial DNA then produces, in the banana plant, a protein which stops the nematode from digesting the banana plant's root flesh.

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allAfrica.com: Kenya: FAO Sets Up System to Fight Drought

allAfrica.com: Kenya: FAO Sets Up System to Fight Drought | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"For a long time we have lost hundreds of livestock but through this early warning system such calamities will be avoided,"

 

Under the project that is been carried out by FAO, University of Nairobi and Texas A&M University smart mobile phones are used to collect information from the ground and instantly posted to a website on the touch of the button.

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Aid Agencies Warn on West Africa Food Crisis | Pro Bono Australia

Aid Agencies Warn on West Africa Food Crisis | Pro Bono Australia | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Senegal are among the worst affected countries in the region, with malnutrition rates at 10 and 15 per cent, while in some areas rates have risen beyond the emergency threshold level of 15 per cent.

World Vision says that approximately 1.3 million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition, with 400,000 children suffering from the most severe form.

The aid agencies are calling on the international community to respond quickly to mitigate the worst effects of the crisis.

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INSIGHT:Egypt's rice export ban only benefits smugglers | Agricultural Commodities | Reuters

* Egypt rice export ban leads to new class of smuggler * USDA estimates 600,000 T will be smuggled in 2011/2012 *

Shoppers across the Gulf, mostly unaware of the smuggling, depend on Egyptian rice to make popular Middle Eastern recipes such as Mahshi, a stuffed vegetable dish, since Cairo refused to lift a ban on exports.

Contraband Egyptian rice is displayed in shops across the Gulf including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, filling demand from shoppers like Ghada in Abu Dhabi who argue there is no replacement for the high quality medium grain rice.

"How can you make Mahshi with basmati rice?" asked Ghada, doing her weekly supermarket shop in Abu Dhabi where she and her family have been living for eight years.

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Europe's Chief Scientist Warns Against Using Economic Slowdown to Delay Action for Climate Changes

Europe's Chief Scientist Warns Against Using Economic Slowdown to  Delay Action for Climate Changes | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
The European Union cannot use the economic slowdown as an excuse to delay action on fighting climate change, the bloc's first-ever chief scientific adviser has warned.

The simplest way to think about increasing jobs is to make more stuff and get people to buy more stuff. But my point is that we can't do that, because we're running out of resources," Glover said.

As Europe's leaders begin to switch their focus from spending cuts to boosting growth and jobs, constraints on natural resources also mean that the EU cannot just spend its way out of recession as it has in the past.

"Make no mistake, if we had unabated man-made climate change, we would go through an absolutely horrible period of conflict and migration, until the world's population started diminishing very rapidly."

 


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U.S. Steps Up Funding for Agriculture Research | IIP Digital

U.S. Steps Up Funding for Agriculture Research | IIP Digital | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

The United States has stepped up funding for research to develop new climate-resilient cereals, high-producing legumes and disease-resistant crops and livestock.


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India Promises More Funds To Farm Sector Ahead Of Food Security Law

India Promises More Funds To Farm Sector Ahead Of Food Security Law | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
The Indian government Friday promised to boost its financial support to the farm sector by raising direct assistance and budgeting for a steep increase in loans, ahead of the rollout a food security program that will require a steady supply of food...
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Chad: a closer look at the food crisis

Chad: a closer look at the food crisis | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

 "The looming crisis is due to a combination of factors, including drought; sharp declines in cereal production and high grain prices; a shortage of fodder for livestock; a reduction in remittances from migrant workers in several countries; environmental degradation; displacement; and chronic poverty deepened by chronic crisis...

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Farmers Battle Water Scarcity as Food Demand Grows, UN Says - BusinessWeek

Farmers Battle Water Scarcity as Food Demand Grows, UN Says - BusinessWeek | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
Farmers Battle Water Scarcity as Food Demand Grows, UN SaysBusinessWeekBy Tara Patel on March 12, 2012 Farmers will need 19 percent more water by 2050 to meet increasing demands for food, much of it in regions already suffering from water scarcity,...
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Farming & Agriculture: Spotlight on sugarbeet's rich history

Farming & Agriculture: Spotlight on sugarbeet's rich history | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"Alcohol made from sugar helped fuel explosives used in the war, and German POWs sent to Minnesota helped cultivate that very sugar.The program was presented by ...

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What Does 'Sustainable Development' Really Mean?

What Does 'Sustainable Development' Really Mean? | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

The model for 'sustainable development' as espoused in official UN documents cannot withstand a serious critique. A real sustainability requires a change of economic paradigm, not a continuation of the industrialist/capitalist/consumerist economic model that is dependent on unimpaired profits, writes Leonardo Boff.


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Insect Experts Issue 'Urgent' Warning On Using Biotech Seeds

Insect Experts Issue 'Urgent' Warning On Using Biotech Seeds | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"Last year, we reported that a major insect pest, the corn rootworm, had "found a chink in the armor" of genetically engineered crops. In several different places across the corn belt, the insects have developed resistance to an inserted gene that is supposed to kill them.

Now, in a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released this week, 22 of the nation's top experts on corn pests lay out some of the implications of this discovery, and they are potentially profound...


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