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.
Multi-stakeholder Workshops for Food Systems Profiles at the A4NH Benchmark Sites along rural-urban transect in Vietnam
Following up a successful implementation of Partial Food Systems Baseline Assessment at the Vietnam Benchmark Sites in 2018 under Agriculture for Nutrition and Health program (A4NH), the food systems profile is a visualized and collaborative product led by International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in collaboration with local authorities in the benchmark sites along rural-urban transect in Vietnam to provide a synopsis of the food systems of three sites in Vietnam.
Along with the support of numerous partners across the region, CIAT has put together and ambitious research project titled “Establishing sustainable solutions to cassava diseases in mainland Southeast Asia”. This project was commissioned by the Australian Center for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) for four years with a total investment of AUD4 million.
Fighting hunger through the mapping of key food systems indicators in the 1000 poorest communes of Vietnam
The EATS and CIAT have started to gather, synthesize and make accessible existing food system data on the poorest communes to the Zero Hunger agency. The final result from the synthesis is a website where users can see maps of key food systems indicators in the provinces of the poorest communes. These indicators are divided into three main areas: global drivers, food supply processes and health and nutrition outcomes.
How we are contributing in Asia with the Zero Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition
Together with stakeholders from different countries in Asia, Country Coordination and Engagement Unit of Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH CCE) in Vietnam participated in CFS Regional Consultation on Food systems and Nutrition for Asia and the Pacific held in Bangkok on 25-26 July 2019 and contributed to giving feedbacks and inputs on the four chapters of the Zero Draft of the Voluntary Guidelines.
“We are receiving a free subsidy from nature, but it will not continue indefinitely” – Louis Verchot
“Many findings are important for us and for policy makers around the world. The report shows that land is both a source and a sink of greenhouse gases. Currently, land absorbs 22% of our greenhouse gas emissions and such absorption has increased as our emissions have increased. Therefore, we are receiving a free subsidy from nature as the land is reducing the negative climate impacts of our own actions. The report also shows that this subsidy will not go on indefinitely, and the continuous land and soil degradation are major threats to the biosphere and the continued absorption of carbon dioxide.”
The Terra-i tool enables stakeholders to use the data at different levels to take action in natural resource management and create synergies between national and local institutions for protecting and conserving natural resources, as well as enhancing related governance processes, at national and subnational scales.
As global population grows so will demand for animal protein (Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving, 2009 ), making livestock farming intensification a central part to a sustainable food future. Breeding and mainstreaming of tropical forages are essential for improving productivity and lowering the environmental footprint while reducing the number of hectares dedicated to livestock production and the pressure over highly valuable ecosystems. This is a not only a priority in Latin America but in Africa and Asia as well, where the demand of forages with high nutritional quality and with resistance to different stresses is growing.
Crops such as bananas, potatoes and cassava are essential to food security in the world’s poorest regions. By 2050, their importance will increase, but climate change and population growth will put unprecedented pressure on production
The 2019 Global Forest Watch (GFW) Summit, held in Washington DC this week, opened with a retrospective on how deforestation monitoring systems have matured since their broad development in the early 2010s. Several Latin America countries have their own dedicated system. While many African and Asian countries have not yet created dedicated systems, they have come a long way in deforestation monitoring. Efforts such as Global Forest Watch, CIAT’s Terra-i system, and others are mature, providing near real-time data that can help governments, NGOs, the private sector, and others monitor and track deforestation across the world.
About CIAT in Asia
Despite the economic miracle that Southeast and East Asia has experienced over the last four decades, a significant proportion of the population living in rural areas and relying on agriculture remain poor. The economic crisis that hit Southeast Asia in the mid-1990s demonstrated the importance of a rural base for much of the population and prompted a much-needed renewal of commitment to improve the conditions of smallholder farmers.
The newly established Common Platform on Microbial Biotechnologies (CPMB) in Hanoi, Vietnam, is investigating the role of soil biota in sustainable cropping systems, and promoting agroecology in the region.