Africa / Agriculture / East Africa / Ethiopia / Farming Systems / ILRI / ILRIComms / IPMS / Livelihoods / NRM / Report / Value Chains / Water / WLE

Market-oriented irrigated crop development improves farm incomes in Tigray

A working paper by Gebremedhin Woldewahid, Berhanu Gebremedhin, Kahsay Berhe and Dirk Hoekstra on Shifting towards market-oriented irrigated crops development as an approach to improve the income of farmers: Evidence from northern Ethiopia was released on 5 May 2011. Rainfed crop production in Ethiopia’s semi-arid areas is associated with extreme rainfall variability which occasionally leads to complete crop … Continue reading

Africa / Agriculture / BecA / Biotechnology / Burundi / Central Africa / East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Kenya / Rwanda / Tanzania / Uganda

Swedish-funded Bio-Innovate Program tackling 6 ‘orphan’ food crops of East Africa

Portrait of Joyce Ledson, a farmer growing four ‘orphan’ food crops of the poor—beans, cassava, potato and sweet potato—as well as the ubiquitous maize, in Malawi (photo credit: ILRI/Mann). ‘. . . Six orphan crops chosen for a five-year programme called Bio-resources Innovation Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio Innovate) are sorghum, millet, cassava, sweet … Continue reading

Agriculture / Drought / East Africa / ILRI / Insurance / Kenya / Rwanda

Index insurance pushes farmers closer to cover

The development of the financial services sector is emerging as potential boon to agriculture in East Africa, with up to 40,000 farmers in Kenya and Rwanda set to gain from a new insurance scheme targeting losses to bad weather. The scheme comes at a time when Kenya is recovering from a prolonged drought in 2009 … Continue reading

Africa / BecA / Biotechnology / ILRI / Research

BecA hosts ‘Agricultural Research Connections Workshop 2010′

This workshop by Biosciences eastern and central Africa – International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI) Hub, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) brought together scientists based in sub-Saharan Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom to foster scientific collaborations with the potential to create new pathways … Continue reading

Africa / Climate Change / Crop-Livestock / Livestock Systems

Mixed crop-livestock farming could help adaptation in Africa

According to new research (see related article), African farms with both crops and livestock could be more resilient to climate change than farms that only grow crops. The research suggests that policy makers should support farmers in making the switch to integrated farming. Read more … (European Commission) Continue reading

Africa / Climate Change / Crop-Livestock / Livestock Systems

Is an integrated farm more resilient against climate change?

This paper by S. Niggol Seo in the journal ‘Food Policy’ examines whether an integrated farm that owns both crops and livestock is more resilient under global warming than a specialized farm in crops. Using around 9000 farm surveys across Africa, we explore how farmers choose one of the farm types and how the net … Continue reading

East Africa / Food Security / Kenya / Livelihoods / Pastoralism

Kenya: Where there’s cluck, there’s brass

Pastoralists in parts of the semi-arid eastern region of Isiolo are abandoning their nomadic lifestyles in favour of farming to improve their food security and livelihoods. Successive droughts in arid and semi-arid parts of Kenya have led to livestock deaths, affected pastoralist nutrition and, in places, led to pastoralist drop-outs. Read more (IRIN: Humanitarian news … Continue reading

Africa / Crop-Livestock / East Africa / Ethiopia / Food Security

The ultimate crop rotation

Lured by a new business model, wealthy nations flock to farmland in Ethiopia, locking in food supplies grown half a world away BAKO, ETHIOPIA — In recent months, the Ethiopian government began marketing abroad one of the hottest commodities in an increasingly crowded and hungry world: farmland. “Why Attractive?” reads one glossy poster with photos … Continue reading

Africa / Climate Change / Environment / Middle East / North Africa / Women

Climate change: Are women the solution?

It is often asserted that climate change will affect women the most in the developing world. That’s because most women will have to walk farther for drinking water, work harder to grow food, pull daughters out of school to help with family chores, and fuss more about family hygiene as the world – and particularly … Continue reading