Increasing Food Security and Empowering Women

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Efforts to help developing countries increase their food security and to empower women should be considered together as both are dependent on one another. The FAO has said that if women had the same resource access in agriculture as men then food output in developing countries would increase by enough to pull 100-150 million people…
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Maize’s New Protector: Parasitic Wasps

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Certain maize landraces obtained from South America have been found to have developed sophisticated defence strategies to cope with insect pests such as the spotted stemborer, Chilo partellus, it was reported today. These findings could help to increase maize yields and improve food security. The spotted stemborer, Chilo partellus, is now a major pest in…
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Cucumber Mosaic Virus Stopped By Slicing

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Source: Scot Nelson, Flickr CC-licensed Food security can be compromised by a combination of different factors related to the environment, such as the current drought in East Africa. It can also be negatively impacted upon by insect pests that may migrate into new regions, or by native pests that have widened their feeding habits or…
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Yellow Rust Adds to Famine Worries

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Source: allafrica.com In terms of food security the big story recently is that two regions of southern Somalia are in the midst of a famine. More than 10 million people are currently at risk of starvation with 1.8 million people displaced in East Africa’s worst drought for 60 years. Ethiopia and Kenya are neighbouring food…
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Do you like your coffee wilted?

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According to CABI’s Peter Baker at the recent ISEAL Conference the International coffee community may be failing farmers in providing them with support in adapting to upcoming climate risks. Changes in the climate can have dire consequences for farmers within developing countries. They can change the distribution ranges of insect pests, causing pests to migrate into…
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State of severe food insecurity in Africa

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On the 7 July the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) announced that an appeal to help more that 10 million people in east Africa, suffering from their worst drought in over half a century, would be broadcast on ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5. 
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Call for support for sustainable smallholder agriculture

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Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), last week called for a dramatic increase in support for sustainable agriculture, including smallholder farmers, as a way to drive green growth and reduce poverty. This is…
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Can science feed the world?

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This was the question posed by Nature’s Special recently. In other words, how can we feed the Earth’s growing population in such a way that no-one goes hungry and nature is left with some land and water of its own? Their answer can be broadly summed up by what Britain’s Royal Society call “sustainable intensification…
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Sri Lankan coconut farmers predict yields for future climates

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Millions of people in the tropics depend on coconuts for food, raw materials and livelihood. Coconuts are also a high value commercial crop. But like any crop, coconuts are at risk of drought and other prolonged events. By using climate science and better agricultural forecast models, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI)…
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