It should be possible to grow much more in Africa. . . . Five decades ago it was one of the world’s great crop-exporters. Ghana grew most of the world’s cocoa, Nigeria was the biggest exporter of palm oil and peanuts, and Africa grew a quarter of all the coffee people slurped. Since then it has shifted from being a net exporter of food to an importer.
A recent perspective piece published in Nature Climate Change by researchers Philip Thornton and Mario Herrero suggests that we still know very little about how climate change will impact these mixed farms and especially the interactions between crops and livestock. This is alarming as mixed farming systems form the backbone of smallholder production in developing countries,producing over 90% of the world’s milk supply and 80% of the meat from ruminants.
To support the implementation of the N2Africa project in Ethiopia, ILRI has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Hawassa University
Agricultural economists working in ILRI and Uganda have designed a new method of identifying and analysing constraints to smallholder farmers’ capacity to serve fast retail markets.
According to the article, ‘farmers who mix growing crops with rearing livestock in both poor and developed countries, not only boost food security efforts’, but also earn much needed income in the process.
The Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC) in Ethiopia distilled insights, findings and experiences into eight key messages which, taken together, contribute to new water and land management paradigm that enables poor smallholder farmers improve their food security, livelihoods and incomes while conserving the natural resource base.
On 27 and 28 February, the N2Africa project was officially launched in Ethiopia. More than 70 people attended the workshop, representing project partners, the private sector, universities, government and researchers.