Recent drought-induced livestock losses in East Africa mask deeper problem of animal feed scarcities
Animal Feeding / Brazil / Cattle / Dairying / East Africa / Feeds / Fodder / Forages / Kenya / LIVESTOCKCRP / LIVESTOCKFISH / Opinion piece / Pro-Poor Livestock / Seeds / Southern Africa / Thailand / Zambia

Recent drought-induced livestock losses in East Africa mask deeper problem of animal feed scarcities

The following excerpts are taken from an opinion piece on Brachiaria grass for livestock feed published by An Notenbaert, tropical forages coordinator for Africa at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and published by Business Daily (Kenya) and the CIAT Blog. Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / Brazil / Food Security / Malawi / Opinion piece / Soils

African agriculture: Basket case or bread basket?

(Illustration on Flickr by Vintaga Posters.) Is Africa an agricultural basket case, or a potential bread basket? Michael Moran, in the GlobalPost, argues the case for the latter. ‘. . . Food security remains a problem in Malawi, as elsewhere in the so-called Guinea Savannah—a huge belt of arable (and largely untilled) land with unpredictable … Continue reading

Agriculture / Brazil / China / Event report / India / Opinion piece / Policy

Rio+20 ‘ducked’ political realities: Time for South to show ‘political muscle and imaginative thinking’

Happy dragon in Fengdu, China (photo on Flickr by Major Clanger). SciDevNet’s David Dickson argues in an opinion piece last week that the outcomes of the June Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development illustrate that leadership from developing countries will be key to global sustainable development. Dickson says that the result of Rio-20 was ‘the … Continue reading

Agriculture / Animal Feeding / Asia / Brazil / China / Latin America / Trade / USA

China’s insatiable appetite for Brazil’s soybeans is making the latter country rich–and nervous

Planting soy in the state of Paraná, Brazil (photograph via Flickr by Dami Izolan). Daniel Kfouri reports in the New York Times that Brazil’s ‘$7 billion agreement signed last month—to produce six million tons of soybeans a year—is one of several struck in recent weeks as China hurries to shore up its food security and offset … Continue reading

Agriculture / Brazil / China / Consumption / Egypt / Food Security / India / Middle East / Philippines / Vietnam

The great global food crunch: Was scarce food the tinderbox for Middle East turmoil?

Ancient Egyptian cow relief (photo credit: ILRI/Elsworth). The Washington Post’s op-ed columnist Robert J. Samuelson argued yesterday that the turmoil in the Middle East is related to a global food squeeze. ‘Here’s a question about the Mideast turmoil for future historians: How much did food inflation contribute? We know some basic facts. Middle East countries … Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / Brazil / Cattle / Environment / Food Security / Latin America / Livestock / North America / NRM / Research / Soils / Water / WLE

The miracle of the cerrado

Brazil has revolutionized its own farms. Can it do the same for others? IN A remote corner of Bahia state, in north-eastern Brazil, a vast new farm is springing out of the dry bush. Thirty years ago eucalyptus and pine were planted in this part of the cerrado (Brazil’s savannah). Native shrubs later reclaimed some … Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / Brazil / Cattle / Farming Systems / Latin America / Livestock Systems

Feeding the world without levelling the forest

Romosinuano cattle grazing in South America (picture credit: ILRI/Edwin Perez) A July 2010 article in the leading science journal Nature highlights the gains Brazil is making in its agricultural productivity. ‘With its plentiful sun, water and land, Brazil is quickly surpassing other countries in food production and exports. But can it continue to make agricultural … Continue reading