Visiting drought prone regions in Tanzania

Originally published by WINnERS, 15 Jul 2016. Read the original post here. By William Thompson

In March, I travelled to Central and Northern Tanzania with the World Food Programme (WFP) team, to visit several farmer organisations that are participating in the Patient Procurement Platform (PPP). The PPP is an emanation of WFP’s smallholder sourcing policy, designed to catalyse increased production for smallholder farmers through co-ordinating market demand. These are farmers the WINnERS project aims to benefit.

From P4P to PPP farmers can become WINnERS
My visit took advantage of a parallel project that was evaluating the success of another WFP engagement with smallholder farmers in Tanzania, Purchase for Progress (P4P). P4P highlights some of the key challenges faced in creating well-functioning agricultural value chains: capacity building and infrastructure development for village and district scale farmer organisations, in the form of leadership training and warehouse construction. Without well-functioning farmer organisations, the individual smallholder farmers that these cooperatives serve are unable aggregate sufficient produce to become market players and are certainly not able to deal directly with the medium to larger scale processors that dominate Tanzanian grain markets.

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This work helps to shift power into the hands of smallholders to overcome an imbalance that has evolved in the Tanzanian agricultural sector, a phenomenon endemic to small-scale agriculture globally. Building on the work of P4P, in these regions, the PPP aims to harness the gains made through farmer co-operation and catalyse private sector market engagement by these smallholders. It is via these value chains that the WINnERS project – led by Imperial College to build weather and climate resilient supply chains through better risk management tools – has huge potential to enable climate adaptation through the novel risk sharing strategies. [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

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

Building a Food-Secure World Helps America Prosper, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Nutrition and Social Protection, FAO

Weak links hamper knowledge sharing in agriculture, SciDev.Net

Paying farmers to help the environment works, but ‘perverse’ subsidies must be balanced, EurekAlert

Creating an enabling environment for livestock development in Ethiopia, ILRI

SPECIAL SERIES -Wanted: data revolution to track new U.N. development goals, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Can open data prevent a global food shortage?, The Guardian

The challenge of fighting poverty through farming, The Daily Monitor

Food security: businesses want government intervention to avoid long term risk, WWF

Big Ideas and Emerging Innovations, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Plant Doctor Game app was downloaded 1111 times!, Plantwise

As drought hits maize, Tanzania cooks up a sweet potato fix, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Understanding the SDGs: Tom Bigg, IIED

LUMENS is illuminating land-use planning for sustainable landscapes, Landscapes for People, Nature and Food

Farm to Table in Africa, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

FAO Food Price Index registers sharpest fall since December 2008, FAO

What we’ve been reading this week

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

Closing the Gap: Towards a 2030 Wasting Target, Generation Nutrition

Making Headway Against Climate Change, Ban-Ki Moon, The Wall Street Journal

Companies take the baton in climate change efforts, The New York Times

GM agricultural technologies for Africa: A state of affairs, IFPRI

Ethiopian Enterprise Partners with New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, ACDI VOCA

Escalating the weed wars, Los Angeles Times

Fine-tuning plant cells for superior cereal crops, The University of Adelaide

Monsanto to spend $90 mln on corn seed research center in Mexico, Reuters [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

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

Deep emissions cuts needed by 2050 to limit warming: U.N. draft, Reuters

Teaching a humongous foundation to listen to small farmers, Grist

New report links aquaculture and poverty reduction, WorldFish

The MDG Hunger Target and the Contested Visions of Food Security, Fukuda-Parr & Orr

The Power of Numbers: Why the MDGs were flawed (and post2015 goals look set to go the same way), From Poverty to Power

At last, some evidence on the national impact of the MDGs. In Zambia, rivalry with other governments and measurable indicators have made a difference, From Poverty to Power

The GMO Fight Ripples Down the Food Chain, The Wall Street Journal

How GMO crops conquered the United States, Vox

Coming soon: Genetically edited fruit?, EurekAlert

Let’s Use Organic and GMOs to Feed the World, Huffington Post [Read more…]

What we’ve been reading this week

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

African agriculture needs trade not aid, SciDev.Net

World’s first global Meat Atlas – facts and figures about what we eat, Friends of the Earth

World food prices stay high, but steady, FAO

‘Sugar is the new tobacco’: Cuts to amounts hidden in food could halt obesity epidemic, claim doctors, The Independent

Women Farmers in Chile to Teach the Region Agroecology, IPS

Big Beef, Washington Monthly

The Future of Agriculture Requires Dialogue, Huffington Post

Storming the ivory towers: Time for scientists to get out, ‘get social’, to learn better, faster–Nature commentary, ILRI

Drought tolerant maize varieties ready, The East African

A new horizon for African-European research links, Sci Dev.Net

A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops, The New York Times

14 Food Resolutions to Bring in the New Year, Huffington Post

Food security: an urban issue, The Guardian

Global farm research consortium doubles funding to $1 billion, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Big Ag’s Gifts for 2013, Huffington Post

Exclusive: Make food and drink corporations ‘account for water usage’, says scientist, The Independent

 

What we’ve been reading this week

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

Rice gene digs deep to triple yields in drought, SciDev.Net

Short-term action needed to meet 2° warming goal – report, Thomason Reuters Foundation

Africa’s agriculture commodity exchanges take root, Forbes

Keeping pace with plant pathogens, National Science Foundation

Genetically modified crops pass benefits to weeds, Nature

Hungry for change, The Age

China gobbling up wheat, as US exports to nation soar, NewsMax

Put a corn cob in your tank, The Wall Street Journal

Pesticide risks need more research and regulation, SciDev.Net

Mali’s fish traders get wise to wetland conservation, Thomson Reuters Foundation

What if Food Labels Served as Warning Signs Instead of Marketing Devices?, Take Part

Paper recommendation: Landscape Sustainability Science, Ideas for Sustainability

 

What we’ve been reading this week

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

Does “sustainable intensification” distract from sustainable development?, Ideas for Sustainability

Pro-organic group wants FDA to ban ‘natural’ label on GMOs, The Hill

Eight questions that need answers about lab-bred meat, The Conversation

From survival to competition: informality in agrifood markets in countries under transition, IIED

Rice gene digs deep to triple yields in drought, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Africa can feed itself and contribute to world food security, Dr Namanga Ngongi

How African innovation can take on the world, CNN

China approves first genetically modified Argentine cargo, Reuters

Most of Africa ‘not positive’ about growing genetically modified crops, BD Live

GM rice delivers antibodies against deadly rotavirus, SciDev.Net