Nourishing Crops for Resilient Food Systems in sub-Saharan Africa

Improved maize production with 4R Framework practice compared with current farmer practice in Western Kenya. (Photo Credit: APNI)

Dr Shamie Zingore, Director of Research and Development at the African Plant Nutrition Institute, delves into the relationship between soil health, crop productivity and human nutrition. Africa is home to an estimated 33 million smallholder farmers who contribute about 70 per cent of the continent’s food supply. But these farmers face various constraints, such as low productivity and limited access to new agricultural technologies. The soils in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in particular are some of the poorest in the world due to naturally low fertility and insufficient soil conservation measures. It is estimated that the continent loses over US $4 billion worth of soil nutrients each year, severely eroding its ability to feed itself. Crops require an adequate and balanced supply of nutrients to produce good yields, yet currently, more than 60 per cent of SSA’s agricultural land faces challenges around crop production. Read More

The Power of People: A spotlight on youth-led initiatives for MENA’s food systems

A young farmer from Egypt smiles at the camera

Rayan Kassem, West Asia Regional Director at Youth4Nature, highlights youth-led projects for food systems transformation and the ways they can be supported to lead as changemakers. Food systems challenges are not unique to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, nor are the issues that young people face. But, as with every region, the actions needed to transform them are.  Read More

How Europe-Africa Research Collaboration Can Uncover Climate Solutions for Farmers

One Planet Fellowship Science Week in Montpellier. Photo credit: AWARD/Lambert Coleman

Dorine Odongo, Communications Manager, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), explores how collaboration can lead to a more resilient and equitable future. Scientific innovation plays a key role in equipping Africa’s smallholder farmers to adapt to the impacts of climate change. But before African researchers can develop the solutions and innovations that farmers need, they must first be scientists of uncompromising quality. Supporting African agricultural scientists, particularly women, to develop their research skills is essential, not only for African food security but also for global food security. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to a quarter of the world’s arable land but to date, produces just 10 per cent of its agricultural output, leaving an enormous source of potential untapped. Read More

Closing the Adaptation Gap: Harnessing the power of possibilities

A rice farmer in Kantuta, near Caranavi, Bolivia.

Leanne Zeppenfeldt, Knowledge & Partnerships Officer and Bruce Campbell, Chief Innovation Strategist at Clim-Eat discuss how Earth Overshoot Day highlights the need to not only mitigate climate change but adapt to its effects. By July 28th – Earth Overshoot Day – humans will have used more ecological resources and services this year than what our planet can regenerate. The rate at which we are emitting greenhouse gases and using our clean water, healthy soil, oil reserves, and carbon-storing forests exceeds the Earth’s capacity. Despite the important role it plays to our lives and livelihoods, agriculture is also one of the largest drivers of planetary overshoot, and mitigation action to reduce our natural resource use and emissions is essential to #MoveTheDate of Earth Overshoot Day in the coming years.  Read More

A Double Win: Revolutionising African agriculture to empower youth and sustain the continent’s development

Dr Dennis Rangi, Director General, Development at CABI, discusses the potential for Africa’s youth in agriculture. An African agricultural revolution can not only help advance the continent’s development progress, but it can also solve the growing challenge of youth unemployment, especially in rural areas.  Africa’s youth hold the key to the continent’s very survival and the burden to sustain wider global development. But we simply cannot rely upon young people to be only producers of food. Through upskilling and a digital ‘knowledge exchange’, they must also be involved across all stages of the value chain – starting from production.  Read More