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Showing posts with label agricultural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label agricultural. Show all posts

Monday, July 9, 2018

Two sites added to global agricultural heritage - NaijaaAgroNet

NaijaAgroNet:

Traditional ginseng farming in the Republic of Korea and olive tree groves in Italy's Umbria region have been recognized on the register of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS), managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

The two sites, NaijaAgroNet gathered, were added during a meeting of the GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group in Rome this week (2-4 July), which is the first time an Italian site has been recognized, and the fourth site in the Republic of Korea. 

NaijaAgroNet reports that the traditional ginseng agricultural system in Geumsan, South Chungcheong Province has been recognized because it relies on a symbiotic relationship between nature and cultivation, and has been in practice for around 1500 years. Farmers use a 15-to-20 year rotation system whereby land is left fallow or used for other crops after harvest, to allow the land's ‘energy' to restore.  Surrounding forests and rivers contribute to micro climate control, and shade structures using natural materials help mimic conditions for wild ginseng cultivation.

"This is not only about the past, but also about the future," said FAO's Yoshihide Endo who coordinates the GIAHS programme. "Becoming a GIAHS site encourages the preservation of these long histories of agricultural practice, but it also recognizes the benefits for future generations in keeping these systems sustainable, promoting knowledge sharing and agrotourism potential and encouraging young people to participate in agriculture." 

Isaac Oyimah/GEE

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Good agricultural practices according to FAO

The importance of good agricultural practices has been stressed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO, through its Deputy Director-General, Maria Helena Semedo, at a United Nations General Assembly side event on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR), Semedo said that good health, good productivity and good economies depend on safe and nutritious food, which underscored the importance of work done at field level to bring AMR under control.

"Progress in the fight against AMR depends on good agricultural practices. We need to promote sustainable agriculture and food systems," she said.

In addition, she said, "The use of antimicrobials in agriculture is not a substitute for insufficient hygiene and bad management practices."

She also said that "we need improved mechanisms for the quality assurance of pharmaceuticals because counterfeit, substandard medicines contribute to resistance. Although Codex Alimentarius develops impressive global surveillance guidance and codes of practice, there remains a staggering lack of capacity for adequate surveillance of AMR at national levels."


Semedo, therefore, urged the international community to act now to invest in the future “we want to build together.”

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Friday, September 9, 2016

FAO, USAID deal to enthrone new age in agricultural data collection

NaijaAgroNet:
A new age of data collection in the agriculture sector may have taken root with the recent agreement between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to the tune of $15 million Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to the FAO Chief Statistician, Pietro Gennari, from the two organisations, the need for better, cost-effective and timely statistical data for agricultural and rural areas is widely recognized. 


Critical gaps in data production and dissemination persist in several countries - a consequence of long-standing issues such as shortages of financial and human resources, and the resulting limitations in technical capacities. 

FAO, Gennari noted has already been addressing such issues through the" Global Strategy to improve agricultural and rural statistics" (GSARS) programme, an umbrella effort working to enhance  the capacity of developing countries to produce and use agricultural and rural statistics and to strengthen statistical governance mechanisms. AGRIS is a spin-off of the Global Strategy's research programme. 


"With efforts like our Global Strategy and ‘next generation' tools like AGRIS, we're engaging with partners to spark what we hope will be a new era in agricultural data collection," Gennari said.


AGRIS, 
NaijaAgroNet, is being implemented by FAO within the context of the multi-agency Global Rural and Agricultural Integrated Surveys (GRAInS) Partnership, which is currently establishing in Rome as a Global Survey Hub.


Nenye Dom/GEE
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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Open data critical to Africa’s agricultural revolution - Chinje

Open data has been described as critical to solution of the African continent, especially in the agriculture sector, says the chief executive officer of the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) Mr. Eric Chinje, reports NaijaAgroNet.

“Programme on open data is critical to solution of the continent challenges,” he declared.

He made this assertion while addressing participants at the weeklong open data training for members of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Journalists Network ongoing in Hilton Hotels Nairobi, Kenya, on Wednesday.

He urged African media practitioners to discharge themselves of the maxim of being ‘watchdog’ or ‘forth estate of the realm’ when they cannot use their tools to enthrone good governance and leadership on the continent for the common good.

According to him, any supposed dog watching over certain part of the society on behalf of the people or less privilege must be able to stand up to be counted at all times through holding of those in leadership or authorities adequately responsible for the path or direction the society goes to.

“The purpose of the media is helping Africa to address the change we all wanted,” Chinje enthused.

He further urged media practitioners to live above board by ensuring that they bridge the gap through reportage that are evidence-based that will not be disputed by anybody because such a report has sufficient data to show or vindicate itself.

Chinje was optimistic that Africa and media practitioners precisely have a brighter future by offering adequate coverage on what unites the continent like agriculture than what divides Africa.

He, therefore, urged for practitioners to live up to their primary responsibilities in order to build a legacy worthy of emulation in no distance future.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the Open Data training is organized in line with the ACP-EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) -led partnership as part of the Global Open Data for Impact and Capacity Development on Agriculture and Nutrition (GODIVAN) scheme; a Department for International Development (DFID) project, implemented under a joint venture of international partners with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency as facilitated by Local Development Research Institute (LDRI).

Remmy Nweke in Nairobi, Kenya/ED, Ops
  
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Pix: Research Analyst, Gro Intelligence Kenya, Antal Neville, Executive Assistant at Local Development Research Institute (LDRI) Ms Wangui Muriu, chief executive officer, African Media Initiative (AMI) Mr. Eric Chinje, Project coordinator-Global Open Data for Impact and Capacity Development in Agriculture & Nutrition (GODIVAN ) at Centre for Technical Agriculture (CTA-EU) , Ms Isaura Lopes Ramos, Executive Director, LDRI, Mr. Muchiri Nyaggah and LDRI director, Mr. Stephen Nyumba at the open data training for CAADP journalists in Nairobi, Kenya.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

WAAP: Research, development critical for agricultural transformation

... Three observations from WAAPP initiative in Côte d'Ivoire.
Africa relies on rain fed agriculture to feed its people and millions of others around the world. Rain, however, isn’t always the most reliable partner in this endeavour. Realisation of agricultural transformation in Africa will need the continent to make some changes.

The World Bank, the International Water Management Institute and many others estimate rain fed agriculture coverage in sub Sahara Africa to be greater than 95%. This places a great deal of the continent’s food production at the mercy of temperamental rain and the effects of climate change.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to meet a farmer in Abidjan’s Azaguiè area who has broken his reliance on rain to feed his family. Albert Kangah is the proprietor of the Plantation Dougba, a plantain plantation dedicated to producing off-season plantain.

During regular plantain season, farmers can realize prices of about 100CFA per unit but off season plantain prices rise to highs of 600CFA. By planting 3 months after other farmers have planted and investing in irrigation equipment, Albert exploits the price increase to generate higher than average income from his farm. Albert’s story provides us with an example of the possible positive impact of adopting irrigation on livelihoods and signals the possibilities irrigation provides us in improving food and nutrition security on the continent. This is what agricultural transformation is all about.

Albert Kangah is a beneficiary of the West Africa Agriculture Productivity Program supported by the World Bank and running in 13 West African countries. The West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) was designed to respond to the challenges of improving agricultural productivity, an important part of any agriculture policy and central to the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP). It started in 2008 under the auspices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with financial support from the World Bank (WB) and coordinated at sub-regional level by CORAF/WECARD.

WAAPP aims to generate and accelerate the adoption of improved technologies in key priority areas of the agriculture sectors in participating countries. It also aims to provide producers with technologies to enhance and improve the competitiveness of their produce. The generation of technologies and innovations, including new crop varieties, is done through participating national centers of specialization hosted by the national agriculture research centers of the member states.

In Côte d’Ivoire, WAAPP’s national center of specialization focuses on plantain with farmers like Albert benefiting from the new better yielding, pest and drought resistant varieties that become available. Thanks to the inventory of plantain on his farm, he produces at least 12 tonnes a year. He says plantain changed his life. It’s not hard to see why.

WAAPP is also investing in value chain development for the priority commodities in participating countries. One example is the adoption of technology from Senegal through which at least 15% of the flour used in baking bread and pastries is corn or cassava flour. Through an improved manufacturing process, the amount of wheat consumed would reduce while improving the value of cassava and corn for producers through increased demand and new use cases. Establishing partnerships with the Union of Bakery Owners of Cote d’Ivoire has made it possible for the project to expand from the pilot 10 bakeries using the composite flour in Abidjan to more than 50 in Abidjan and two other towns up country.

I made three observations from this visit to WAAPP project sites:
  1. We need to ensure agriculture is a profitable business for Africa’s farmers if it is to become a key driver for Africa’s industrialization. Its profitability will draw young people to the farms and help lower the average age of Africa’s farmers while propelling efforts to reduce hunger, end poverty and reduce inequality on the continent.
  2. Investment in research and development cannot be left to happenstance. It must be deliberate and determined by the agricultural transformation strategy in place at the national and regional level. Data from the Agriculture Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) shows Cote d’Ivoire’s spending, in 2011 PPP US dollars, has reduced by 50% between 1981 and 2011. During the same time the population more than doubled but plantain production did not resulting in lower per capita plantain production in 2011 than 30 years earlier. R&D on better varieties and increased adoption of better technologies could have been useful in avoiding this. They are now imperative to reversing the trend.
  3. Increased production without investment in value chains development won’t deliver the added value to small holder farmers at the point of origin. WAAPP’s effort to invest in new use cases for cassava and corn flour could result in better prices and incentivize production whilst improving the nutritional value of pastries in Ivorian society.

The work being done by WAAPP partners provides valuable lessons for other regions in the continent especially where value chains development, R&D and regional collaboration on food and nutrition security is concerned. These are some of the elements which are important for CAADP compacts if Africa’s quest for agricultural transformation is to be realised.

*Muchiri Nyaggah, Executive Director, Local Development Research Institute (LDRI)
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Pix: Ivoiren farmer, Mr. Albert Kangah speaking to visiting journalists recently.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Italy, FAO to boost food production with 10,000 scientists


NaijaAgroNet:


Three Italian main research institutions are partnering the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to help developing countries build stronger agricultural sectors through better research and information, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The institutions, National Research Council (CNR), Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CRA) and National Agency for new technologies, renewable energy and sustainable economic development (ENEA), NaijaAgroNet gathered, would employ over 10,000 scientists in more than 100 research institutes across Italy to tackle global food and agricultural sector challenges, including climate change, degradation of natural resources, and plant and animal pests and diseases - as well as changes in dietary patterns that affect food systems.

Confirming the collaboration, Italian Ambassador to FAO Pierfrancesco Sacco said the agreement marks a turning point in Italy-FAO relations. "In particular, the partnership will help address the growing challenge of bringing sustainability into the food and agricultural systems of developing countries; also in view of future implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals," he said.

As part of Italian’s Ministry of Agriculture, CRA's 1,700 researchers and staff performing advanced research on agriculture, food, fishery, forestry and economics, toppled with more than 100 research institutes and 8,000 CNR’s research staff on areas of research and technological development in Agriculture and Food Sciences, Bio-Medicine, Engineering, Environmental and Social Sciences achieving the set goal is reassured.
FAO Deputy-Director General and Natural Resources Coordinator, Maria Helena Semedo, during the signing event, stated that research plays a crucial role in agricultural and rural development and can unleash tremendous agricultural potential in the developing world.

"Being able to harness the wide ranging expertise of three of Italy's top research bodies will not only help countries better manage their natural resources and food systems but also support FAO's larger mission of eradicating hunger and malnutrition worldwide," she said

NaijaAgroNet learnt that ENEA operates in the fields of energy, environment and new technologies and also employs over 2,600 staff across its 11 research centers.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE
 

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

FAO member countries urged to domesticate new world soil charter


The over 190 member countries of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) have been urged to domesticate the newly endorsed World Soil Charter (WSC), NajiaAgroNet reports.

This is coming as the world celebrates  the 2015 International Year of Soils, at the 39th FAO Conference to promote and institutionalize sustainable soil management at all levels, even as the 13 principles listed in its charter still remains valid

This according to the Global Soil Partners (GSP) is in light of new scientific knowledge gained over the past 30 years, especially with respect to new issues such as soil pollution and its consequences for the environment, climate change adaptation and mitigation and urban sprawl impacts on soil availability and functions. 

The original strong focus of the WSC on land use planning and land evaluation had to be adjusted; NajiaAgroNet gathered that, more recent key references and concepts such as the more widely understood framework of ecosystem services had to be reflected; major developments in the intervening period such as the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and ensuring spate of new agreements and the work of the Committee on Food Security had to be factored in; and the guidelines for action had to be reorganized and expanded to take account of a broader range of stakeholders. 

This was achievable through the Intergovernmental Technical Panel on Soils (ITPS), tasked with a revised text wide consultations within the international soil community and submitted to the GSP pleanary Assembly.

NajiaAgroNet also learnt that the first WSC was conceived and formulated, negotiated and adopted by the member countries in the 1981 FAO Conference and was a major normative instrument agreed by member states that the GSP partners was duty-bound to promote its principles and has requested all member states to move into its full implementation of the new World Soil Charter.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE 


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Over $20m needed to rescue Nepal farmers – FAO



Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) as part of the revised United Nations (UN) Flash Appeal for Nepal has said over $20 million is urgently needed to support farmers in earthquake-hit Nepal to resume agricultural activities, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The organization seeking to starve off the threat of prolonged food insecurity facing an estimated one million people, NaijaAgroNet learnt has received only 13 per cent of the $23.4 million emergency agricultural assistance.

The disaster, according to an FAO-led Agricultural Livelihood Impact Appraisal, has disrupted agricultural activities threatening the livelihoods of rural families, hitting hard in six Nepal districts causing half of all farming households to lose nearly all of their stored crops of rice, maize, wheat and millet, with some 16 percent of cattle and 36 percent of poultry lost in the disaster creating a detrimental effect on rural household consumption and income.

A representative of FAO in Nepal, Somsak Pipoppinyo told NaijaAgroNet that two-thirds of Nepalis depend on farming for their livelihood, "agriculture is a critical priority because two-thirds of Nepalis depend on farming for their livelihoods,’ he added that,’current levels of international assistance for Nepal's earthquake-affected farmers will deliver ‘only a fraction’ of the assistance urgently required."

Somsak also stressed that there is limited window to act, noting how rice seeds have to be distributed urgently before the start of the heavy monsoon rains which are expected to arrive in the coming days.

In addition, FAO’s appraisal team, noted that the repair and functioning of irrigation systems will be critical for the winter cropping season, as well as barley and wheat seeds and recommends that the most urgent needs for the current cropping season are seeds and fertilizers, followed by irrigation, tools and technical support, as well as urgent shelter, feed water, medicine and vaccinations, for livestock breeding.

NaijaAgroNet learnt that the organization has received around $3 million for emergency relief from Belgium, Italy and Norway; which has aided it to distribute 40,000 (5 kilogram) bags of rice seeds to the six most-affected districts of Dhading, Dolakha, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Sindhupalchowk, in time for farmers to plant before the monsoon.

Daniel Nsolibe/GEE
  

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