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Showing posts with label Expert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Expert. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Climate Impacts: Lagos becoming devastating @1.5 degrees says expert - NaijaAgroNet

The Pan Africa Director of Oxfam International, Mr. Apollos Nwafor, has warned that at 1.5 degrees of warming, climate impacts in West Africa, for instance, would be devastating, as Lagos in Nigeria could become a newly heat stressed city like Delhi in India, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Reacting to the recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which detailed progress and pathways to global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Oxfam International boss said that natural disasters such as droughts and floods have been thwarting development in the African continent.
He highlighted fluctuations in agricultural production due to climate variations along with inefficient agricultural systems have caused food insecurity, one of the most obvious indicators of poverty. 
“The 2016 El NiƱo phenomenon, which was super charged by the effects of climate change, crippled rain-fed agricultural production and left over 40 million people foods insecure in Africa. Without urgent action to reduce global emissions, the occurrence of climate shocks and stresses in the Africa region are expected to get much worse,” he said.
For him, why African government should get real worried includes that on 5 July this year, Africa registered its hottest reliable record temperature in Ouargla, northern Algeria, of 51.3C (124.3F).
Pointing out that there is mounting evidence that higher temperatures linked to climate change have worsened drought and humanitarian disaster in East Africa, including last year’s drought which left over 13 million people dangerously hungry.
Also, he said that even at 1.5 degrees of warming, climate impacts in West Africa, for instance, would be devastating, just as wheat yields could fall by up to 25 percent and at 1.5 degrees Lagos in Nigeria could become a newly heat stressed city like Delhi in India.
In sub-Saharan Africa, he said, 1.5 degrees warming by the 2030s could lead to about 40 percent of present maize cropping areas being no longer suitable for current cultivars, and significant negative impacts on sorghum suitability are projected. Under warming of less than 2 degrees by the 2050s, total crop production could be reduced by 10 percent.
Further, he said that at 2 degrees of warming heat extremes never experienced before could affect 15 percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s land area in the hot season, causing deaths and threatening farmers’ ability to grow crops.
“If global temperature rises by more than 2 degrees by the end of the century, by 2050 this could see daytime temperatures in North Africa (and the Middle East) rise to 46 degrees on the hottest days, which can be deadly,” he warned.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Expert advises on protecting rice plants by exploiting natural defences - NaijaAgroNet

An analysis of the chemical signals sent out by rice plants under attack by the brown planthopper could help in natural control of this insect pest.

Researchers in Indonesia have deciphered the chemical cues used by rice to attract a parasitoid that helps fight off the plant’s predator. The researchers created a system to imitate these cues, which could help investigate similar interactions in other crops and possible sources of non-toxic pest control.
Rice is a staple food, relied upon by half the global population. The brown planthopper is one of rice’s most destructive pests, causing damage by wounding the stem of the plants to lay the eggs for the next attack and by transmitting viruses that attack the plant.
Researchers from Universitas Negeri Malang and the Indonesian Sweetener and Fibre Crops Research Institute led by Dr. Surjani Wonorahardjo, Chemistry Department, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia, wanted to see if they could target the brown planthopper without using pesticides known to harm the environment. To do this, they investigated the so-called ‘tritrophic interaction’ between rice, the brown planthopper and the parasitoids that prey on the brown planthopper’s eggs.
They extracted samples from rice infected by the brown planthopper and analysed their chemical makeup. They then compared this to what they found in samples taken from healthy rice, identifying the chemical differences between healthy and infested rice.
They created a porous material from rice husk and soaked different pieces in chemicals extracted from either healthy or infected rice. In laboratory tests, the parasites were more attracted to the material infused with the infested sample. They also attached infused materials to posts and placed them outside in a rice field. Again, they found more parasitoids on the infected sample, but the researchers observed that the effect wore off over five days, so the samples effectively had an expiration date.
results, published in the Pertanika Journal of Science and Technology, could guide further trials to see if applying the chemical cue could actually reduce the pest’s destruction of rice paddies; and if so, to what degree. The use of analytical chemistry offers insights into the mechanisms underlying these interactions and detect small changes taking place in great detail. 

They note that their technique exploring the interaction between plant, pest and the pest’s own predator on a chemical level requires further refinement, but could eventually be applied to other agricultural crops and potentially reduce the use of harmful pesticides.
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Pix: Dr. Surjani Wonorahardjo, Chemistry Department, Faculty of Mathematics and Science, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Promote healthy diets says expert - NaijaAgroNet

Agronomists and Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Mr. Graziano da Silva, has appealed to Portuguese-speaking countries under the auspices of Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP)reports NaijaAgroNet.

Da Silva also urged them to address the rising rates of obesity, which he described as “alarming” in develop and developing countries alike.

In 2017, he explained, almost two billion adults were overweight in the world, of whom around 700 million are obese.

"Excessive consumption of processed foods rich in salt and sugars is the main factor behind the increase in obesity,” he said. “Countries must face this situation by encouraging healthy diets through public policies that allow consumers to know the benefits and harms of what they are eating," he said.

Tackling the problem requires redoubling efforts in nutrition education, especially for mothers and children, and improving the information available to consumers through the regulation of food labeling and advertising, he added

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Expert says Nigeria invests too little on people’s health

Nigeria has been investing too little and inefficiently in the health of her people, so says the Director, Health, Nutrition, and Population Global Practice, World Bank Group, Dr. Olusoji Adeyi, NaijaAgroNet reports.

Adeyi in a keynote address entitled “Financing Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria” to the 2018 Nigeria Health Financing Forum in Abuja, said recently that Nigeria is underperforming in health financing when compared to other Lower-Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) and countries in the Upper-Middle-Income (UMIC) Group.

As said by him, investing in health would lead to economic growth, reductions in mortality account for about 11 per cent of recent economic growth in low-income and middle-income countries as measured in their national income accounts.

This, he said, would see to a more complete picture of the value of health investments over a time period given by the growth in a country's ‘full income,’ which is the income growth measured in national income accounts plus the Value of Additional Life Years (VLYs) gained in that period.

Dr. Adeyi noted that between 2000 and 2011, about 24 per cent of the growth in full income in low-income and middle-income countries resulted from VLYs gained.

According to him, the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) means that all people could use the essential health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.

This definition of UHC, he said, embodies three related objectives, including equity in access to health services; the quality of health services should be good; and People should be protected against financial-risk.

Further, he explained that equity in access implies that everyone who needs services should get them, not only those who can pay for them, while the quality of health services should be good enough to improve the health of those receiving services; whereas, people should be protected against financial-risk, to ensure that the cost of using services does not put people at risk of financial harm.

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Expert decries more women paying for family planning services in Lagos

Reproductive health expert has decried the rising charges on women seeking family planning in Lagos State, and called for more funding to health sector to help cushion the effect, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The co-Principal Investigator for the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), Dr. Funmi OlaOlorun, expressed her displeasure in Lagos, over the charges on women in need of family planning services, saying this has been on the rise as more women get involved.

Lagos, which has about 112 service delivery points, she said, change fees on family planning, with the points estimated at 65 public and 47 private facilities, which represents 26.2 and 10.6 per cents respectively in public and private clinics.

Family planning indicators, she said, must cut across, calling upon government and all well-meaning investors, to allocate more funds on consumables and logistics to ensure improved impact on family planning programmes, and reduce the charges even though its prevalent in both public and private clinical facilities.

Dr. Olaolorun while sharing the scorecard on the per cent of public and private clinical facilities alongside the offering and current in and out of stock by methods survey in Lagos, told NaijaAgroNet that government could also offer vouchers to the poorest women by using an equity approach and graded billing system.

Other Family Planning Indicators, she pointed out to include access, equity, quality and choice, just as out of the seven states sampled, consisting of 302 Enumeration Areas (EA), Lagos State had 52.

The programme, NaijaAgroNet recalls was supported by the Federal Ministry of Health, National Population Commission, National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos State Ministry of Health , Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health (Johns Hopkins University) as well as Pathfinder International and was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

2017 Nutrition Symposium: 13% Nigerians risk mental deformation

Estimated 13 per cent of Nigerian children risk growing up with mental deformity unless proper iodine is part of their nutrition, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Professor emeritus, Babatunde Oguntona, who gave this indication in Lagos at a one-day Nutrition Symposium on ‘Malnutrition,  Child Development and the Media’ organised by the Media Centre Against Child Malnutrition (MeCAM).

He also called on government to pay greater attention to public health.

“If we don't keep iodine level properly, we'll have 13% of Nigerian children mentally deformed,” Prof. Oguntona said.

Lamenting the situation, Prof. Oguntona imagineed that about 13 percent of parliamentarians are mentally deformed and wondered the kind of policies and legislation.

"Inadequate iodine in our food is a serious threat. You can't talk of development when you ignore the issue of nutrition status of your people,” he declared, rapping the Nigerian authorities for their poor response to the threats of malnutrition.

Oguntona, a former president of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, said between 13 and 18 Nigerian children die of malnutrition and related diseases every hour and called on the media to step up advocacy on the issue.

Ivy Ibiso KingHarry, an associate at the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network | Global Alliance on Improved Nutrition (GAIN), said the media have a duty to promote messages on nutrition as influencers and change agents. 

She added however that such media efforts must flow from proper understanding of the science of nutrition and effective delivery of messages in language understood by common people.

She urged reporters to always fact-check and scrutinize official data on malnutrition, be consistent and build trust in their duty as gatekeepers.

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