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).
A great new book, ‘The End of Desertification? Disputing Environmental Change in the Drylands’, edited by Roy Behnke and Mike Mortimore, has 20 top quality chapters from all over the world, documenting why the term desertification has passed its sell-by date, if it ever had one at all. It is an impressive and timely synthesis.
book by Burns and Worsley (available in hardback, paperback and eBook formats) will be of interest to all those looking to make a greater difference in international development (that is, in development parlance, to take solutions to scale). ‘Navigating Complexity in International Development: Facilitating Sustainable Change at Scale’, published by Practical Action Publishing, Oct 2015, 198 pages.
A new edition of a stunning coffee table book about one of Africa’s livestock treasures—the indigenous Nguni cattle of South Africa—has been published. ‘Long the mainstay of traditional Zulu culture, [the Nguni] are possibly the most beautiful cattle in the world, with their variously patterned and multicoloured hides everywhere in demand. . . .
New Yorker cover by Tom Gauld (via Pinterest). The following fascinating recent history of the chicken in America is taken from a 2014 essay by Andrew Lawler published in Aeon (check out this online science and cultural magazine, founded in London in 2012, if you haven’t yet): Chicken of tomorrow: How a massive breeding contest turned …
‘. . . According to studies by scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), informal markets . . . provide essential sources of food and income for millions of poor, with milk and meat that is often safer than supermarkets. Blunt crack-downs on informal milk and meat sellers that are a critical source of food and income for millions of people are not the solution,” Delia Grace, ILRI’s program leader for food Safety and Zoonoses, said during the launch of the study in Nairobi on Tuesday.
Simple food safety training for informal vendors can limit the spread of SARS, avian influenza, tuberculosis and pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli, said the book, “Food safety and informal markets: Animal products in sub-Saharan Africa”.