Karungaru village in eastern Kenya’s Tharaka Nithi county is dry — so dry that even the resilient acacia trees have shed their leaves to cope. But amid these arid conditions, Peninah Muthoni is growing amaranth, spinach and other vegetables. Thanks to agroecological techniques, Muthoni and hundreds of other farmers across the county are coaxing fresh vegetables to grow despite the harsh conditions.
Biosciences research could transform Africa’s agriculture and lead to food and nutrition security, but little is being done locally to support its funding, experts say.
Researchers and policymakers who attended a review meeting of the Biosciences eastern and central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI)-Sweden partnership in Kenya last month (10-14 November) expressed concern that African governments are not investing enough in research that promotes biosciences despite its potential to improve agriculture.
A new review of the aquatic foods sector, or “blue” foods, shows how fisheries and aquaculture can play a greater role in delivering nutrition and improving food systems around the world.
Five peer-reviewed papers in the journal Nature highlight the opportunities to leverage the vast diversity of blue foods in the coming decades to address malnutrition, lower the environmental footprint of the food system, and provide livelihoods.
People around the world eat more than 2,500 species or species groups of fish, shellfish, aquatic plants, and algae. Together, these foods provide livelihoods and incomes for more than 100 million and sustenance for one billion.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is about to take over the presidency of the Pan-African Agency of the Great Green Wall – the continent’s effort to restore degraded cropland, grazing areas and woodlands bordering the Sahara Desert. He takes over from Mohamed Ould Ghazouani, president of Mauritania.
Buhari has the support of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and an international accelerator platform with new funding. But based on the slow rate of progress to date and the lingering confusion about the initiative’s vision, much work remains ahead to achieve farmer prosperity.
Africa’s Great Green Wall is an ambitious initiative started in 2007 by the African Union. It is now running far behind schedule. It needs to immediately speed up to reach its goals by 2030, as called for by the new infusion of money and as needed by the people along the edges of the desert.