Cattle / Climate Change / Drylands / Environment / Food Security / Forages / Goats / Pastoralism / Presentation / Sheep / Small Ruminants / Soils / USA / Vulnerability / Wildlife

Want to green the world’s deserts? Do the unthinkable: Put livestock back on them — Allan Savory

Watch this new provocative 22-minute TedTalk by Allan Savory on ‘How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change’. Alan Savory, a Zimbabwean-born biologist/ecologist and rangelands specialist, gives environmentalists pause in a recent TedTalk, published 4 Mar 2013, on the ‘cancer’ of desertification of the world’s drylands, which make up some two-thirds of the … 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

Animal Feeding / Article / Crop residues / Crop-Livestock / ILRI / Soils

Stuck on stubble: Why ‘no-till agriculture’ is a ‘no can do’ on many small farms

 Rice residues in southeast Punjab, India, prior to the wheat season (photo on Flickr by Neil Palmer). Why are most poor farmers in developing countries not adopting ‘no-till agriculture’ (also called ‘conservation agriculture’)—an eco-friendly, natural-resource-conserving technology that helps conserve soil fertility by eliminating ploughing and keeping the remains of crops on the ground after harvest? The … Continue reading

Agriculture / Article / Crop residues / Crop-Livestock / ILRI / Soils

Can conservation agriculture work where scarce biomass feeds hungry livestock?

Rice residues after harvest, near Sangrur, southeast Punjab, India (photo credit: Neil Palmer/CIAT). There is a new report of mixed results about the viability of adopting ‘conservation agriculture’ to enhance soil health and sustain long-term crop productivity in the developing world, an approach advocated by many. The authors of the report work at five centres … Continue reading

Animal Feeding / Crop residues / Crop-Livestock / Disease Control / Forages / Soils

Scientists arrive in Senegal to give African hunger a black eye

A long neglected crop with the potential to halt hunger for millions in Africa, sustain the livestock revolution underway in developing countries, rejuvenate nutrient-sapped soils, and even feed astronauts on extended space missions, is attracting scientists from around the world to Senegal this week for the Fifth World Cowpea Research Conference. “It’s hard to imagine … 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 / Environment / Ethiopia / ILRI / IPMS / Markets / NRM / Soils / WLE

Sustainable land management through market oriented commodity development: Case studies from Ethiopia

This working paper by Berhanu Gebremedhin, Gebremedhin Woldewahid, Yigzaw Dessalegn, Tilahun Gebey and Worku Teka on Sustainable land management through market oriented commodity development: Case studies from Ethiopia was released on 30 August, 2010. Land degradation has been identified as severe environmental problem in Ethiopia, especially since the early 1970s. Because there is significant degradation … Continue reading