Africa’s Cinderella story: $700 billion could be picked up in farmers’ fields–The Economist
Africa / Agriculture / Article / Crop-Livestock / Dairying / Intensification

Africa’s Cinderella story: $700 billion could be picked up in farmers’ fields–The Economist

It should be possible to grow much more in Africa. . . . Five decades ago it was one of the world’s great crop-exporters. Ghana grew most of the world’s cocoa, Nigeria was the biggest exporter of palm oil and peanuts, and Africa grew a quarter of all the coffee people slurped. Since then it has shifted from being a net exporter of food to an importer. Continue reading

Australia / Drought / Drylands / DRYLANDSCRP / East Africa / Event / ILRI / ILRIComms / Insurance / Kenya / Launch / PIL / UK

Of cows, camels and ‘charity insurance’ on Kenya’s Somali frontier–The Economist

Insuring animals who range with semi-nomadic herders across some of the harshest terrain on earth had defeated all previous efforts. Eventually he came across the work of a Kenyan economist, Andrew Mude of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), based in Nairobi. Mr Mude has developed an insurance model that uses satellite images to assess the impact of drought on the vegetation that camels, cows and goats need to survive. . . . Continue reading

Animal Products / Article / Southern Africa / Value Chains

Zambeef: Indigenous Zambian company ‘makes good’ serving middle, as well as lower-income, groups

Cows wait to be milked at one of Zambia’s largest agribusinesses—Zambeef (photo credit: BBC World Service). A butchery run by Zambeef in Lusaka, Zambia, is ‘a fast-growing food company based in Lusaka. It operates meat counters at all 20 Shoprite stores across Zambia as well as in the chain’s newer outlets in Ghana and Nigeria. … Continue reading

Article / Event / Film and video / Food Security / Ghana / Human Health / Nutrition / USA / West Africa / Women

Got milk? (or meat or eggs)? The missing ingredients in global nutritional security

Hidden Hunger from Bob Caputo on Vimeo. Watch this handsomely made film (with superb writing as well as videography), produced in 2010 by National Geographic‘s Bob Caputo (run-time: 26 minutes). ‘Malnutrition does not make headlines the way famine does. But it is far more widespread and deadly. Globally, it affects more than a billion people. It is … Continue reading

Environment / NRM / Policy

On the road back to Rio: Is the new mantra – ‘inclusive green growth’ – really possible?

‘The real question about green growth is whether it can fulfil its promise that poor countries can have both greenery and prosperity.’–Economist. An example of an ‘investment-hungry project’ that can bring high environmental as well as poverty-reduction returns is greater adoption of improved dual purpose ‘food-feed’ crops whose grain feeds people and whose residues after … Continue reading

Agriculture / East Africa / Impact Assessment / Report / Research

Millennium Villages Project: Success? Failure? Unknown?–The controversy continues

Young boys in Malawi on a break from class pose for the camera at The United Nations Millennium Villages Project (photo on Flickr by The Economist has started an interesting new blog, ‘Feast and famine: Demography and development’. On this blog, the magazine’s correspondents report on and analyse matters relating to demography and development, including food … Continue reading

Drought / East Africa / Ethiopia / Food Security / Kenya / Pastoralism / Somalia / Uganda / Vulnerability

Early famine warnings in Horn not enough: Early action also needed–Economist

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net) reports on emerging food security conditions related to drought and other climate crises (image on the ReliefWeb website by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the United States Agency for International Development Famine Early Warning Systems). The first food to arrive in famine-struck Mogadishu, … Continue reading

East Africa / Ethiopia / ILRI / Kenya / Pastoralism / Resilience / Somalia / Uganda / Vulnerability

Long-term ‘food aid-plus’ has helped avert famine in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda–Economist

Children in Kenya’s Watamu District with milk (photo on Flickr by Thomas Blower). An article in this week’s Economist describes the value of helping communities in the Horn of Africa’s to build resilience to recurrent drought. It is this ‘Food Aid-Plus,’ argues the Economist, that has helped avert famine in southern Ethiopia (seeds), northeastern Kenya (school milk … Continue reading

Drought / East Africa / Ethiopia / Food Security / Kenya / Pastoralism / Somalia / Vulnerability

Drought bites harder in pastoral regions of Africa’s Horn

Map of drought-afflicted areas in the Horn of Africa as of 28 June 2011 (map credit: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, web-posted on the ReliefWeb website). ‘. . . [A]fter the worst drought in 60 years, more than 10m people in the Horn of Africa need emergency food aid. Livestock have … Continue reading

CGIAR / Consumption / ECF / Food Security / Mozambique / Research

Feeding the world: ‘Let them eat [CGIAR] research’ – Economist

Customers rush to buy bread, a staple in high demand in Mozambique, after it arrives at a bakery in the south of the country as wheat ran short and food prices rose in 2008 (photo credit: ILRI/Mann). A leader for a special report on feeding the world’s growing population, published in the Economist recently (24 February … Continue reading