Our favourite Twitter accounts to follow today

Here’s a round-up of some of our favourite twitter accounts that we think bring unique, informative voices to the Twittersphere. Did we miss your favourite? Tweet them to us and let us know why you think they’re great.

ENuNJ8OB_400x400@WINnERSinsured: WINnERS is an exciting collaboration between academics, insurance industry experts and global food buyers. The project aims to build products and services that protect both food buyers and producers from weather-driven risks. The website and Twitter account are brand new, so follow now to find out more while they build their online presence.


marchmont comms@MarchmontComms: Marchmont is a communications agency that specialises in international development challenges. Follow them for links to stories, videos and content about global food security, sustainable agriculture and natural resource management to climate change, public health and innovation.


B4FA@B4FA: Biosciences for Farming in Africa specialise in balanced, science-based information to promote sustainable solutions to improve food security and productivity in Africa, particularly for smallholder farmers and farming organisations. They are a great place to find content about their subjects of particular interest: biosciences and biotechnology.


RAF learning lab@RAFLearning: The Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab are great to follow if you’re interested in the way that accessible finance can improve the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers and rural people. They run in partnership with the Initiative for Smallholder Finance to promote inclusive ways to supply the ever-growing demand for smallholder financing.

[Read more…]

African policy to end hunger silent on climate risk

By Baraka Rateng’

This article was originally published on SciDev.Net. Read the original article.


People digging an artificial pond to alleviate drought in Ethiopia. Photo credit@ UNDP Ethiopia

The African Union’s Malabo Declaration adopted in 2014 to double agricultural productivity and end hunger by 2025 underestimated the risk that climate change will pose, a report says.

The declaration failed to consider investing in Africa’s scientific capacity to combat climate threats, according to the report, which was produced by the UK-based Agriculture for Impact, and launched in Rwanda this month (14 June).

“Food security and agricultural development policies in Africa will fail if they are not climate-smart”, says Gordon Conway, director of Agriculture for Impact and chair of the Montpellier Panel, which is made up of African and European experts in fields such as agriculture and global development, in a statement.

“It is important that African governments have a voice in the international discussions and commitments on climate change.”

Ousmane Badiane, International Food Policy Research Institute

[Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this summer…

This summer’s roundup of eight of our favourite books, covering a diversity of topics including food security, nutrition, economics and climate change. Is your favourite missing? We welcome your suggestions and thoughts in the comments, below.


borlaugThe Man who Fed the world, Leon Hesser (here)

In this 2010 biography of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Norman Borlaug, Hesser depicts a remarkable scientist and humanitarian who continues to have influence today.

According to a review by one of Borlaug’s biggest fans, Bill Gates, “Although a lot of people have never heard of Borlaug, he probably saved more lives than anyone else in history.”

This book is an insightful introduction to a fascinating man with a message that continues to be relevant.


getting betterGetting Better, Charles Kenny (here)

If you need some good news this book is for you. The book highlights cost effective technologies and powerful ideas that are truly transforming the world for the better. Argued with optimism as well as realism, this is a chance to step back and appreciate some examples of ‘what went well’.

“Elegant and deeply researched- a powerful antidote to overly gloomy assessments of development aid-Charles Kenny shines a light on the real successes of aid, and he shows us the benefits that additional smart investment can bring.” – Bill Gates, Wall Street Journal

[Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary of the news stories, reports, and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Visiting drought prone regions in Tanzania, WINnERS

Institutional support of weather index insurance for smallholder integration, The Chicago Council

African Union to Use Imports Cash to Get $1.2 Billion Funds, Bloomberg

Guest commentary – raising agricultural productivity in Africa, The Chicago Council

Winning Innovators Pitch Pulse Products at IFT2016, Farming First

From field to fridge, food waste is everywhere, Grist

Climate scientists expected ‘nothing like’ this year’s record-breaking global temperatures, The Independent

From Science to Action: Academia and Decision-Makers Unite in SUN Countries, SUN

Africa: Recruiting Lumberjacks, Architects and Carpenters to Combat Climate Change, AllAfrica

IFPRI 2015 Annual Report, IFPRI  [Read more…]

Institutional support of weather index insurance for smallholder integration

By Christopher Au, PhD candidate, Imperial College London, and 2016 Next Generation Delegate

Originally posted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, July 21st 2016


Credit: Flore de Preneuf/World Bank

Growing Food for Growing Cities, by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, delivers prescient conclusions on the future manifestation of supply chains, as urbanization and wealth generation influence the structure and orientation of social activities. Currently, the quantity of smallholder produced food to meet domestic demand is underwhelming, primarily caused by lagging productivity rates. From a social welfare perspective, smallholder agricultural underperformance constitutes a drain on economic activity.

Stagnant productivity rates are in part due to sparse use of improved inputs, where uncertain crop performance and risk of lost income deters investment, locking smallholders into a low risk, low return production strategy. Uninsured risk prompts costly self-insurance strategies, stunting economic development, hindering poverty alleviation efforts, and preventing a meaningful contribution from smallholders to food security. [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary of the news stories, reports, and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Food Waste and Food Security

Innovating for Urban Food Security in Africa, Gain

Food Security Portal, IFPRI

Farming and forestry can deliver food security, says UN, BBC News

Action to cut food waste gains momentum across Europe, The Guardian

Ending Hunger and Poverty: A snapshot of progress, Feed the Future

Is resilience a useful concept in the context of food security and nutrition programmes? Some conceptual and practical considerations, EconPapers

CIMMYT 2015 annual report ‘Building resilience to risk’ now available online, CIMMYT

ReFed Video Illustrates the Problem of Food Waste, FoodTank

High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) and the SDG Report, 2016

The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016, UN [Read more…]

Finding hope in a gloomy view: the state of SDG 2

SDG report picBy Alice Marks, @alicemarks0

On 19th July, the first annual report on the progress of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was launched as part of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2016 is designed to set the benchmark for the next 15 years over which the goals will be implemented by evaluating where the world stands now against them.

Although agricultural development will have an impact on every one of the 17 SDGs, it is nowhere more evident than in SDG 2, which aims to “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.” So where do we currently stand against this goal?

  1. Nearly 800 million people are still hungry

Despite progress made under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), more than 790 million people around the world still suffer from hunger. According to the report, at the start of the new millennium 15% of people in the world were undernourished, and by 2015 this proportion was down to 11%. Although this is certainly progress, there is still a long way to go. Experiences from the MDGs indicate that, where countries failed to reach their target for reducing hunger, it was predominantly due to natural or human-induced disasters, and political instability. With a rising global population and a changing climate, resources such as land and water are likely to become increasingly limited, exacerbating these risk factors. This could destabilise progress towards SDG2, particularly in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa where, according to the report, more than 50% of the adult population face moderate or severe levels of food insecurity. [Read more…]


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