The Economist reports that the future of food lies in Africa. And why that’s a good thing. As Africans get richer, they will eat more meat and live longer, healthier lives.
This week is World Antibiotic Awareness Week. Get yourself updated with this useful short overview on the rising global problem of antimicrobial resistance by reading this ‘Factbox’ from Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics (Humidtropics) was an agricultural research for development program that aimed for sustainable intensification of agricultural systems to improve the livelihoods of farm households. The Central Mekong Action Area was primarily focused on the complex of rice and non-rice farming systems (plus areas with other land uses) in the non-flood-prone lowlands, uplands and highlands. The Action Area covered six countries (Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam).
‘Archaeologists have long known that people started to domesticate animals for food at the dawn of agriculture in the Fertile Crescent (the curve of land across the Middle East from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf) about 10,000 years ago. But details of the complex pathways through which improved livestock spread across Europe and Asia are only now emerging, as genomic technology makes it practical to compare the DNA of hundreds of animals across continents. . . . ‘A Chinese consortium led the sheep study in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi; it is published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution.
A recent paper that maps the global distributions of the world’s major livestock species has already been used to advance understanding of where surveillance efforts should be targeted to prevent the possible spread of a lethal bird flu virus now circulating in poultry populations in China, where it has killed 62 people. The original mapping work, led by Tim Robinson, of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and published at the end of May, was immediately put to practical use in locating large regions in South and Southeast Asia that would suit the new lethal virus.
Sheep graze pasture in Inner Mongolia; a long-term research study shows that large-area grazing on steppes actually reduces, rather than increases, nitrous oxide emissions into the atmosphere (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann). Five ecosystems-climate researchers, including Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), have been honoured for outstanding interdisciplinary research on nitrous oxide emissions. Butterbach-Bahl …
Fulani boy in Niger herds his family’s animals (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann). Mobility to unlock scattered food, feed, water and other scarce and scattered essential resources is a human strategy as old as humankind itself—and one that remains key for pastoral livestock herders the world over. As the world warms and its natural resources become ever scarcer, it would …