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…]

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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…]

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.

Climate Change and Environment

Mainstreaming Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity into Agricultural Production and Management in East Africa, FAO

United we stand: Reforming the UN to reduce climate risk, E3G

What Africa’s drought responses teach us about climate change hotspots, The Conversation

Double shock of El Nino, La Nina could affect more than 100 mln people – UN, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Could climate impacts help keep the Paris Agreement on track? E3G

Ten ways the UK can maintain international leadership on climate change, iied

Hunger and Malnutrition

Aid agencies hail U.S. bill to end global hunger and malnutrition, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Scaling Up Nutrition: In Practice Issue 5 – From Science to Action, SUN

Congress Passed the Global Food Security Act. Here’s Why That’s Historic, The White House

Why the African food basket should be full of beans and other pulses, The Conversation [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 and Nutrition Security

From promise to impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030, Clobal Nutrition Report

2016 World Food Prize goes to scientists who developed biofortified sweet potato, Genetic Literacy Project

Fighting global hunger helps us here at home, The Hill

Biofortification Pioneers Win World Food Prize 2016, Farming First

These 2 Boys Were Born The Same Day In The Same Town, But Their Lives Will Be Dramatically Different, The Huffington Post

The Global Food Security Act, AgriPulse

Unprecedented level of food insecurity in South Sudan, UN agencies warn, FAO

Biotechnology

107 Nobel laureates sign letter blasting Greenpeace over GMOs, The Washington Post

EU position on GMOs a blow to SADC’s food security, The Southern Times [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.

2016 World Food Prize Laureate, HarvestPlus

Agricultural techniques and policy in Africa

Climate-Smart Agriculture in Action, Farming First

African policy to end hunger silent on climate risk, SciDevNet

Centuries-old African soil technique could combat climate change – scientists, Reuters Africa

Climate-Smart Agriculture in Senegal. CSA Country Profiles for Africa Series, CCAFS

Food for thought from the land of a thousand hills, The Conversation

EDITORIAL: African govts should implement policies that increase food production, The New Times

Mainstreaming climate-smart practices in cocoa production in Ghana, CCAFS

Innovation

Guest Commentary – Africa’s famine – will President Obama’s Power Africa and Adesina’s Light Up Africa make a difference? Chicago Council

Matt Shakhovskoy: Three Big Opportunities for Unlocking Smallholders’ Access to Finance, Farming First

Despite problems, north African consumers offer investors promise, This Is Africa

Disruptive innovation: The most viable strategy for economic development in Africa, The World Bank

“Sweet business” of beekeeping helps protect Zimbabwe’s forests, Thomson Reuters Foundation

‘GMO’ Regulation: After 30 Years, Let Science Finally Show The Way, Forbes [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.

Climate change

GCF Insight 2016, Green Climate Fund

EU Commission presents COP21 ratification proposals, The Parliament Magazine

New crop varieties ‘can’t keep up with global warming’, BBC News

Seven climate records set so far in 2016, The Guardian

Value chains and food systems

Who Controls The Food Supply? Forbes

Fight Poverty Through Entrepreneurship, Huffington Post

Improving global value chains key for EU trade, European Parliament

Are donors pulling back on agriculture research funding? Devex

Feeding A Hungry Urban World, Huffington Post

Senegal’s farmers adopt new tool to boost harvests: mobile phones, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Putting water in local hands: Farmers to manage irrigation systems in Rwanda, IFAD [Read more…]

Mastering the last mile to food security

By Alice Marks, @alicemarks0

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IFPRI, Milo Mitchell

Is there light at the end of the tunnel for achieving food and nutrition security? According to Roberto Ridolfi, Director for Sustainable Growth and Development at the European Commission, there is not far left to go, but the journey still presents many obstacles to overcome. To him, the last mile is “the last inch between the fingers of the farmer and the seed in the soil.” On June 14th, the eve of the European Development Days, delegates congregated in Brussels at a workshop entitled Going the Last Mile: Accelerating Progress in Food Security and Nutrition. The evocative title conjured up different images for each speaker, which combine to create a path along this mile:

Step one: use the brain

For a long-distance runner, like Stineke Oenema from the United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition, “the last mile of a marathon can be the hardest to complete”. The last mile is when the brain must be engaged to mentally, as well as physically, push towards the finish line. Similarly, now is the time to engage the knowledge of scientists, engineers, and experts in order to overcome the final barriers, such as lack of access to a varied diet or improved seeds, which allow food insecurity and malnutrition to persist.

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Credit: Scott Wallace, World Bank

Indeed, in order to create sustainable agricultural growth research is desperately needed, for instance to generate improved varieties of crops. An excellent example of the impact that this can have was delivered by HarvestPlus Country Manager for Rwanda, Joseph Mulambu, who discussed their biofortified high-iron beans. Not only can a portion of the biofortified beans provide half of the daily requirement of iron, but the beans have been shown to be drought resistant, inferring an extra advantage to those who grow them. Using conventional breeding techniques, HarvestPlus scientists have contributed a crop that is nutritious and can reduce iron deficiency while at the same time improves farmer resilience to droughts, which are likely to become more severe and more frequent due to climate change. This is exactly the kind of innovation that helps the finish line come into view. [Read more…]