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Showing posts with label Agro-Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agro-Research. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FAO boss urges academia to join fight against hunger

José, FAO Director General

The Director-General of the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), José Graziano da Silva has called on the academia to be involved in the essential and politically important research into rural poverty.
According to José, one of the great challenges man faces today is to make use of academic knowledge to comprehend and improve the life of rural populations all over the world. “We need to look at the reality outside of university walls,” he said.
José in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet affirmed that food insecurity, nutrient deficiencies and unsafe food top the list of most pressing issues in the fight against hunger and rural development.
Unequal competition between small-scale and large scale food producers, NaijaAgroNet gathered also contributes to hunger, yet small-scale farmers account for a larger percentage of food produce and any unequal competition will drive them out of operation.
“Academics should look into the issue of governance of the food and agriculture sector, both at global and local levels, and how to achieve a fair distribution of benefits,” José recommended that there is the need to reduce transportation and storage cost as well as food waste and loss if we want more people to be eating healthy diets, based on fresh foods.
The FAO boss also recommended a better conceptual clarification and practical proposals from academics and policy makers.

Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Monday, June 18, 2012

300 leading cassava researchers to attend GCP21

About 300 global leading cassava researchers and stakeholders would attend Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21) scheduled to hold between June 18 and 22, 2012.
The international cassava conference to be held in Uganda would focus on improving cassava productivity through scientific research and development.
The organisers in a press release made available to NaijaAgroNet stated that GCP21 consists of 45 member institutions working on research and development of cassava.
The Cassava Global Partnership, NaijaAgroNet learnt advocates for cassava issues while leveraging research and development by facilitating dialogue among farmers and stakeholders through scientific and technical meetings.
The partnership also seeks smart strategies, funding opportunities and catalyzing solutions to technical challenges like cassava genomics.
The chairman of GCP21-II, and scientist at NaCRRI, Dr. Yona Baguma said the greatest reward of his life time would be to bring about a significant transformation in cassava to impact on peoples' lives especially those who depend on the crop.
GCP21, in 2011 had initiated several research projects totaling over $60 million, about N9.6 billion in grants in the areas of cassava genomics, genetic engineering, biofortification, genetics and biology.
The report of the research projects would be presented at GCP21-II.
Participants will exchange knowledge and experiences in the areas of socio-economics, biodiversity and genetic resources, post-harvest, starch modification, nutrition, genomics, molecular genetic markers and gene discovery, tissue culture and transformation, biotic and abiotic stresses, participatory research and technology transfer.
Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

FAO develops online portal to unlock food potentials

Thermal zones (baseline period: 1961-1990)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) with the partnership of International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) recently developed an online data portal in order to help unlock the planet's potential on food.
The data portal, NaijaAgroNet learnt is named Global Agro-ecological Zones (GAEZ) Portal and developed in order to assist in unlocking the planet's potential to feed the rapidly growing population.
The United Nations' agency affirmed that there is need to increase the global food production to 60 per cent by 2050 as the world population is expected to rise above 9 billion.
FAO revealed to NaijaAgroNet in a press statement that the portal is a planning tool designed specially to help identify areas of increased global food production while maintaining natural resource base and facing the challenge of climate change.
FAO identified water scarcity as one of the limiting factor for area expansion that intensification of food production occurs within a changing climate, thereby requiring adaptation and mitigation.
Director of FAO's Land and Water Division, Parviz Koohafkan said GAEZ would help identify where there are ‘bridgeable yield gaps' and what causes them, allowing for the formulation of appropriate investment policies with the provision of appropriate support for farmers to help boost food production.
FAO recent study revealed that crop production by small farmers can run as low as 30 to 40 per cent of potential in some areas in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The study also made known that the Sub-Sahara Africa is the region with the highest yielding gap in cereal. Africa as a whole also recorded about 1.2 tones of cereal per hectare compared to an average yield of some 3 tons per hectare in the developing world as a whole.
The online data seeks to enhance planners' and decision makers' capacity to estimate agricultural production potentials and variability under different environmental and management scenarios, including climatic conditions, management regimes, water availability and levels of inputs.
Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Friday, April 27, 2012

African agric ministers call for the use of biotechnology, ICT

Agriculture and Science and Innovation Ministers in Africa have called for the use of modern technologies like biotechnology and ICT in agricultural research, reports NewsTime.

The ministers NaijaAgroNet learnt at the ended of the second dialogue of agriculture, science and innovation ministers in Accra also call for the creation of Innovation Fund for Agricultural Transformation (IFAT) in a bid to boost extension and increase access to information and knowledge.

The Ministers in a communiqué released at the end of the meeting asserted that the creation of the funding mechanism will stimulate both public and private investments across the continent which will sustain transformation of agriculture.

Executive Director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Monty Jones said there is a need for paradigm shift that would transform African Agriculture. "The mindset that we can sustain ourselves through subsistence farming has trapped the continent in a cycle of famine and failed harvests."

Monty also said that African farmers do need improved seeds and other inputs, and timely advice on how use them, saying "Africa’s farmers do not need pity. They need support." 
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that participants at the dialogue said that African farmers need greater access to improved, resilient seeds, fertilizers, irrigation, weather insurance and other means to improve their farm production.
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Incorporate natural resource to sustain food security - Experts

Experts have said that incorporation of natural resources in farming practices will provide sustainable solution to food insecurity in Africa, CoastWeek reports.

Natural resources incorporation in farming, NaijaAgroNet gathered that will help in the face of climate change, decline in soil fertility and shrinking size of arable land.

Addressing the Beating Famine conference, the regional Leader of World Vision East Africa, Mr. Charles Owubah reportedly said that restoring ecosystems will boost the resilience of food production systems in Africa.

The conference was organized by the Nairobi-based World Agro Forestry Center (ICRAF) and International Christian Charity, World Vision.

“Fighting hunger should go alongside reversing environmental degradation that has worsened this challenge in the region,” Owubah said. 
He urged countries to embrace ever green agriculture to boost crop and the resilience of small holders to climate change impacts such as droughts and floods.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

12 countries partner EU, FAO on managing obsolete pesticide

European Union
Twelve countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia are to work with the European Union (EU) and UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in order to handle their stocks of obsolete pesticides.
NaijaAgroNet authoritatively gathered that about 200,000 tonnes of obsolete pesticides could be found in 12 Soviet Union republics and are kept in tens of thousands of unprotected sites.
EU and FAO are making provisions for the sum of 7 million Euro, about N1.44 billion for the next four years to assist Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
The funds will be used in managing obsolete pesticides and to also reduce the risks of current stocks.
A press release made available to NaijaAgroNet indicated that the obsolete pesticides pose a serious threat to the health of the people around them and to the environment.
Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
The joint effort will also see to the building of capacity to reduce risks from pesticides used in agriculture and avoid build-up of additional stockpiles in future.
FAO Director-General, Graziano da Silva said that pesticides may be an important input for farming but need to be used responsibly while protecting human health and the environment from their adverse effects.
"In our quest for sustainability and to meet the challenge of feeding a growing population while preserving our environment, we also need to take a good look at the different options we have to protect crops and improve productivity. This includes using natural means to protect and improve crop yields through sustainable crop intensification, or 'save and grow' techniques as we call it at FAO," FAO boss added.
EU Ambassador, Laurence Argimon-Pistre affirmed EU's established policy dialogue and cooperation on environment related issues with its eastern neighbours and Central Asian partners. 
"In its new Neighbourhood Policy, the EU will continue to pursue a higher level of environment protection with its eastern partners and be committed to combat environmental degradation," she added. "This includes obsolete pesticides and other hazardous chemicals, whose environmental and health risks are not only at stake for the region but also for the EU".
Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Scientists call for new solutions to prevent fungal infections in plants and animals

Maize Plant affected by Fungi
Scientists has called for new solutions in order to prevent the proliferation of existing and emerging plants' and animals' fungal infections, a bid to prevent further loss of biodiversity, ScienceDaily reports.
NaijaAgroNet gathered that the call was made following a data reviewed by scientists that revealed that emerging fungus is behind the problem where infectious disease causes extinction of a type of animal or plants.
The scientists who are from University of Oxford, Imperial College London and institutions in the United States affirmed that about 125milllion tones of the top five food crops - rice, wheat, maize, potatoes and soybeans - are being loss yearly, the loss they say could have been used to feed those in need if prevented.
NaijaAgroNet further gathered that the damage caused by fungi to rice, wheat and maize alone costs global agriculture $60 million, about N9.44 billion yearly. Read moreAdmin/LS
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