Regional research project seeks to promote the development of cacao to continue competing in the European market
The Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC) is the main producer of fine flavor cacao in the world. The contribution of LAC to the worldwide production of cacao, currently 17%, has nearly doubled in the last decade, taking advantage of the growth of global and regional demand for cacao by consumers. Cacao buyers obtain part of their supply from LAC to diversify and ensure their supply, forecasting the growing demand for fine flavor cacao in the world market and anticipating the negative impacts of climate change, among other factors, in West Africa, where most of the conventional cacao is currently produced.
Mushimiyimana and her family are one of the more than 420,000 farming households in Rwanda who cultivate iron-biofortified bean that were developed by HarvestPlus, the Rwanda Agriculture Board, and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and first released in the country in 2012. In just a few years since then, iron bean cultivation has expanded rapidly and currently accounts for 20 percent of all beans grown in Rwanda; more than 1.8 million Rwandans, or about 15 percent of the total population, were estimated to be eating these nutritious beans—and the market continues to grow.
When Simon and Sylvia Kiruja started their farm three years ago, they never imagined it would get so big they would need a bigger plot. Their three cows used to bring them 7 litres of milk a day. Today, their 45 cows deliver more than 250 litres daily, contributing around US$1,700 monthly depending on the season, to the Kiruja’s income.
As Ethiopia approaches 105 million people, the growing demand for food is expanding agriculture into marginal, forest, and natural conservation areas. Human-induced activities include population pressure, agricultural expansion, logging, and development, which have been challenging development and conservation efforts. As cultivation and grazing expand into peripheral and conservation areas, land degradation in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, and nutrient mining as well as conflict between land uses and users accelerate the vulnerability of local farmers to climate change. Despite the environmental, social, and economic benefits of biodiversity and natural ecosystem conservation, the reality is that views that strictly exclude the human element are no longer an option.
The wild relatives of chile peppers, pumpkins, carrots, and lettuce join a growing list of poorly conserved plant species. These ancient plants have genes that may help our food withstand the harsh climate of our future. If they don’t go extinct first
Growing up in the wild makes plants tough. Wild plants evolve to survive the whims of nature and thrive in difficult conditions, including extreme climate conditions, poor soils, and pests and diseases. Their better-known descendants – the domesticated plants that are critical to a healthy diet – are often not nearly as hardy. The genes that make crop wild relatives robust have the potential to make their cultivated cousins – our food plants – better prepared for a harsh climate future. But a series of new research papers show these critical plants are imperiled.
The climate change point-of-no-return may still be 1 degree C away. But that is of little solace to the people whose lives have already been upended by a warmer climate. They include growers and consumers of one of the most important protein sources in low-income countries: the common bean, a staple in diets from the highlands of Central America to the vast expanses of sub-Saharan Africa.
Scientists tossed aside the shovel and studied cassava roots as they grew in real time, suspended in the air. The innovative use of aeroponics may usher in a new era of science for cassava genetic improvement and sustainable intensification.
The prize intends to award 10 participants from around the globe who have compelling visions of what regenerative and nourishing food environments will look like in 2050. Individuals, organizations, institutions, companies, and other entities across the globe are encouraged to participate.
Throughout his university studies at Africa Nazarene University, where he studied computer science (B.S. degree), Leroy Mwanzia focused on only one thing: software development. So great was his passion that, after graduating, he turned down a computer networking opportunity at East Africa Breweries Limited and instead opted to become a lecturer at an affiliate training center of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), a job that paid much less. Two years later, he went to a different college to teach the UK-based BTEC Higher National Diploma in Computing.
In one day, a cow can eat between 25,000 and 30,000 morsels of grass. What do the differences in these amounts depend on? They will depend on how accessible the grass is to them, and the height of the grass could make a difference.