Amid global soil crisis, governments struggle to reach farmers

By Fatima Arkin. Reblogged from devex. To help tackle nutrient deficiency and plastic pollution in India’s soils, the country has one of the best knowledge delivery systems and trained human resource power in agriculture research. And yet, over 59 percent of the farming households receive no assistance from either their government or the private sector,…
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Investing in smallholder farmers for a food-secure future

Smallholder farmers provide the vast majority of the world’s food supply, and ‘small-scale farming’ is the largest occupation group of economically active people, 43% of which are women. Approximately 2 billion of the world’s poorest live in households that depend on agriculture in some form for their livelihoods, whether this is for market or subsistence.…
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Why African farmers should balance pesticides with other control methods

By Esther Ndumi Ngumbi. Reblogged from The Conversation. Insect pests cause almost half of the crop losses in Africa. If the continent is to feed its growing population, farmers must find ways to control them. Pests account for high losses in other developing regions too. For smallholder farmers in particular, pest management needs to be affordable, safe…
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Bringing financial services to smallholder farmers

Financial inclusion has made considerable progress in recent years. There are now a wide range of financial products which can help small farmers: debt financing, short term working capital to finance purchasing of inputs, long term working capital to finance machinery, equity and factoring. Whereas banks used not to want to go the ‘last mile’,…
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Good growth relies on good seeds

Seeds are the unsung heroes of agriculture, and modern varieties provide beneficial traits such as drought tolerance and cooking quality. Some varieties are even designed to provide a platform with which to provide other products, such as seed treatments conferring additional insect and disease protection. The lack of modern varieties, particularly in developing countries, is…
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Ending hunger will require increased agricultural investment, urges UK Parliament

In order to end global hunger and malnutrition in this lifetime, the UK government needs to increase investment in agriculture, urges members of the UK parliament in a new report released today. Home Grown Nutrition, produced by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food for Development, outlines the key challenges facing food security, and recommendations for overcoming these challenges based on the series of Westminster- held debates. At…
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