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Showing posts with label Tropical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tropical. Show all posts

Monday, June 4, 2012

With hunger, sustainable development is not feasible - FAO


The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has affirmed that sustainable development is unfeasible if hunger and malnutrition are not eradicated.
José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director General said there cannot be anything called sustainable development when nearly one of every seven men, women and children are victims of undernourishment.
FAO in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet revealed that millions of people are still hungry despite the significant progress in development and food production as there are no means to purchase the food needed for a healthy and productive life.
FAO made the pronouncement in preparation for the Rio+20 summit coming up this month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that a sustainable future is being put to a limit as a result of the challenges of food security.
"At the Rio summit we have the golden opportunity to explore the convergence between the agendas of food security and sustainability to ensure that happens," FAO boss said forecasting the summit as an opportunity to discuss food security issues.
Hunger reduction and sustainable development, FAO revealed are irrevocably connected, hence a better governance of the agricultural and food systems are key to achieving both targets.
Further, NaijaAgroNet gathered that three quarters of the world's poor and hungry live in rural areas and most of them depend on agriculture and related activities for their livelihoods. 
The UN agency also made known that about forty per cent of the world's degraded lands are in areas with high poverty rates, making hunger to put in motion a vicious cycle of reduced productivity.
Yinka Awosanya/LS
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

AATF enters deal with Japan Tobacco on rice varieties



In order to develop varieties of rice in sub-Saharan Africa, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) has signed a license agreement with Japan Tobacco (JT), a leading international tobacco product company.

The license, as revealed in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet, would enable smallholder farmers in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda to use JT's transformation technology to develop new rice varieties.

The project which seeks to address major constraints facing rice production in Sub-Sahara Africa region is tagged 'Nitrogen Use Efficient, Water Use Efficient and Salt Tolerant (NEWEST) Rice Project.' Japan Tobacco would also offer free technology in support of humanitarian aid projects.

Commenting on the agreement, AATF Executive Director, Dr. Denis Kyetere affirmed that slow growth in domestic rice production has contributed to the low output achieved by farmers in the region.

“Several factors are responsible for the low rice production. However, nitrogen deficiency and drought have been cited as leading constraints to upland rice production, while high salinity is increasingly becoming a major problem in many rice growing areas of Africa,” he noted.

NaijaAgroNet recollects that the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) once revealed that rice production in the region has stagnated at about 14.5 million tonnes per year, which is against the annual consumption of 21 million tonnes, hence the need to boost production.

The license, JT’s Chief Strategy Officer, Mr. Masamichi Terabatake said would also enable the use of JT's plant transformation technology for monocot species, PureIntro; developing and deploying the nitrogen efficient, water efficient, and salt tolerant rice products, free of royalties.

PureIntro is an agrobacterium-mediated plant transformation technology that is recognized worldwide as de facto standard for monocot transformation, which reduces development costs and time.

Additionally, PureIntro has been licensed by JT to more than 50 private and public entities worldwide for numerous monocots including maize, rice, wheat, barley, sorghum, sugarcane, switchgrass, miscanthus, forage and turf.

JT’s plant biotechnology is independently managed from its core businesses including its tobacco business and food business, thus not applied to its product development conducted within those businesses.

AATF launched the NEWEST Rice for Africa Project in 2008 with the objective to transform some varieties of the New Rice for Africa (NERICA) to improve their productivity in nitrogen-poor soils.

Experts say, provision of smallholder rice famers with higher yielding varieties are well adapted to the upland and lowland rice-growing areas in Africa, which also is another goal for establishing NEWEST.

Other partners in this private public partnership include Arcadia Biosciences who are providing access to traits that confer nitrogen use efficiency, water use efficiency and salt tolerance. The University of California is donating required plant transformation technologies. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the national agricultural research institutes of Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda will conduct the necessary field trials to test the performance of the new varieties.
The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and will initially be implemented over a 10-year period.
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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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

John Kufuor is special envoy for tropical disease


Mr. John A. Kufuor
Former Ghananian President, Mr. John A. Kufuor, has been honoured by the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) as the organization’s new special envoy, reports MarketWatch.
NaijaAgroNet gathered this was to honour the former president for his political and humanitarian achievements in Africa and beyond.
Dr. Neeraj Mistry, Managing Director of the Global Network expressed the organization’s delight to have President Kufuor joining the cause of the organization.
"His record of progress in human development for the people of Ghana and globally speaks for itself,” Mistry said.
John Kufuor in his response affirmed that NTDs is a major factor in improving health systems and reducing poverty in endemic countries.
"I am delighted to apply my experience in improving health, nutrition, and food security programs in Africa to work with governments around the world," he said.
Admin/LS
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