with a growing number of firms gobbling up arable land in Africa—not solely for crop production but also for livestock and cattle—investment shops are slowly redirecting capital to this agricultural subsector. Investing in this segment of African economies can be transformative, as a significant portion of African wealth and growth opportunity is walking on four legs on the African continent.
Do we really need to double food production? In an analysis published in BioScience, my coauthors and I offer a recalibrated vision of sustainable intensification. We conclude that food production does not need to double by 2050, which would require unprecedented growth, but instead needs to continue increasing at roughly historical rates. . . .
At the Ezwilini Conference, experts were trying to find ways to unlock the livestock value chain, finances and access to credit for rural farmers. They probed issues to do with improving the livelihoods of livestock smallholder farmers and other value chain actors through value addition and marketing.
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).
Rural farmers in Zimbabwe and the whole of Southern Africa are set to receive a major boost in their livestock production through the expected launch of the beef value chain finance initiative this year. The initiative, whose pilot project was successfully undertaken in Swaziland, includes a loan scheme for smallholder farmers who want to take up beef fattening for the market. This came out during the on-going International Conference on Livestock Value Chain and Access to Credit being held in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
At the Global Landscapes Initiative in the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, our research focuses on increasing global food security while reducing harmful impacts from agriculture to Earth’s natural resources. We have found that one key strategy to combating food insecurity—lack of access to nutritious foods—is increasing food production on small farms. There are tremendous opportunities to increase yields throughout South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. . . .
On 6 October 2016 the Ambassador of the United States to Burkina Faso, H E Tulinabo S Mushingi, visited Ziga in Yatenga Province, one of the implementation sites of the Feed the Future Sustainable Intensification Innovation Lab (SIIL) project in the country.