For Mahadevappa and Gauramma, life was a struggle farming their two-hectare plot in Karnataka state, India. Here, in the country’s second biggest dryland area, soil is poor and droughts frequent, making crop production difficult and harvests meager. Some parts of Karnataka have suffered drought in six out of the past ten years.
But now a holistic approach to natural resource management is helping farmers like this couple to produce results that they could only have dreamed of. In 2011, despite the region having been gripped by serious drought, three million farmers saw their yields rise by up to 66%, generating extra profits of US$130 million. Subsequent harvests have also shown significant increases in the state, whose farmers rely heavily on rainfed agriculture.
Behind the turnaround is a multi-pronged strategy pioneered by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT, a member of the CGIAR Consortium), which was called in by local authorities after Karnataka suffered stagnant agricultural growth rates for four years running, largely due to depleted soils and water deficiency.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Vietnam on Thursday signed two loan agreements totaling 111.88 million U.S. dollars to help Vietnam enhance low carbon agriculture development, and strengthen the government's capacity to better startup, prepare and implement ADB-financed projects.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says millions of people could escape poverty, hunger and environmental degradation if countries put more effort into promoting agro-forestry, an integrated approach combining trees with crop or livestock production.
The agro-forestry sector is a significant source both of local commodities such as fuel wood, timber, fruit and fodder for livestock as well as global ones such as coconut, coffee, tea, rubber and gum.
In Kenya’s Nyeri district, several hundred miles north of the capital of Nairobi, energy-intensive tea production employs thousands of farmers and tea-factory workers - and now the industry is beginning to go green.
Four factories managed by the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) are going green through the ‘Gura project’, which facilitates the use of clean electricity. Named after the nearby Gura river, the project aims to significantly reduce the factories’ carbon footprint while increasing productivity and incomes.
The growing role of quinoa on the world stage has prompted the United Nations, in collaboration with native producers Peru and Bolivia, to declare February 20th as the beginning of the International Year of the Quinoa, a move meant to raise awareness about the nutritional might of the so-called Golden Grain.
This is not about how to start the Lunar New Year right with proper weight management. Well, not exactly, as this is about thin trade and why thin is not good especially during excessive upswings and downswings of prices for Asia’s main food staple—rice.
The average export–output ratio, a measure of tradability or the extent of exchange of output between and among countries, is the thinnest for rice relative to two other important food staples, maize and wheat. From 1961 to 2009, the average export-to-output ratio of rice was only 5% while wheat was, 19%, and maize, 14%.
Climate change could cause the production of irrigated and rainfed staple crops to drop by 25 percent compared to a no-climate change scenario in 2050 in the Asia Pacific region. IFPRI Senior Research Fellow Mark Rosegrant shared this and other findings at a conference in Sydney this week.
The rise in global food prices and the ever-growing food import bill have prompted sharp attention on agricultural policies in Africa. African policy makers are grappling with what unstable food prices mean for their countries; how these price movements will affect their food security situation; how the private sector is likely to respond; and what governments themselves can do. In addition, they fear that global warming may significantly change the location of food production within Africa. This report discusses how opening up cross-border trade will boost the potential for greater food production in Africa and contribute to food security by improving poor people’s access to food and by increasing returns to poor farmers for the food they produce.
In the cool, fertile highlands of the Rift Valley Province in western Kenya, the landscape is dominated by tea. Kenya is the world’s largest producer and the leading exporter of the caffeinated leaves, and the land around the township of Kericho and bordering the Mau Forest Complex is one of the country’s primary tea producing areas. But recent projections by tea industry group Ethical Tea Partnership show that, without substantial action, climate change will render most of the Kericho-Mau area unsuitable for tea production by 2050.