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.

The amazing, surprising, Africa-driven demographic future of the Earth, in 9 charts, The Washington Post

Driving Agricultural Innovations to Improve Nutrition, Feed the Future

GM crops: Public fears over ‘Frankenstein food’ may be easing, Independent poll reveals, The Independent

Costs of Arctic methane release could approach value of global economy – study, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Can We Trust Monsanto with Our Food?, Scientific American

Climate Forecasts Shown to Warn of Crop Failures, Science Daily

Better evidence, better programmes, better outcomes, IFAD

Zimbabwe: Smallholders Feed a Nation As Land Reform Fails, Africa Agriculture News, IPS

Partnerships bear fruit in drive for Africa to feed Africa, Thomson Reuters Foundation

How (and why) Africa should solve its own problems, The Christian Science Monitor

The era of cheap food is over. Are we ready for that?, The Telegraph

Commentary – Who feeds Africa? It is the woman, Global Food for Thought

The ‘invisible’ farmer and the global hunger debate, Aljazeera

How To Prevent Hunger In Upcoming Decades? Try Precision Agriculture, Huffington Post

From Molecule to Molecule

An agricultural value chain often refers to the sequence of events from a crop being produced to it being ingested. Although ensuring that highly nutritious crops are being developed, distributed and digested is important, to guarantee that they are targeting and relieving micronutrient deficiencies, requires an extending of value chains as we know them: from molecule of micronutrient in the crop to molecule of micronutrient, and its effects, in the human body. Moreover, evidence of impact needs to be collected at each step along this chain.

HarvestPlus, launched in 2004 and part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), has developed several biofortified crops such as orange fleshed sweet potatoes (OSP), which boasts enhanced levels of vitamin A. HarvestPlus works along an impact pathway, not unlike a value chain, for each biofortified crop, which encompasses three phases: discovery of the problem and possible solutions; development of crops and methods of adoption and delivery of crops including measurement of impact. [Read more…]