Farming First Newsletter November 2014 Issue
Is Africa a land of hunger or great promise? That all depends on your perspective. To celebrate World Food Day on the 16th October, Farming First partnered up with the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to turn some of the most shocking statistics on agriculture in Africa on their head, and explore what the potential for food production in Africa could be, if the right interventions and investments are made. Read on to discover what we found out…
New infographic: Africa’s Agricultural Potential
Did you know, that only around 5% of cultivated land in Africa is irrigated, compared with 41% in Asia, yet, irrigation alone could increase output by up to 50% in Africa? And did you know that only 16% of sub-Saharan Africa’s roads are paved, yet, upgrading these road networks could boost yearly trade by US$250 billion a year, while costing only US$38 billion? Our latest infographic is an essential tool for policymakers, development practitioners and academics looking to understand the issues and opportunities which lie ahead for the African agricultural sector. Each theme also hosts an individual resource library with multimedia content and case studies from 47 different organisations working in the African agricultural development sector.

Public investements
Right investements

Explore the full infographic and share it

Farming First & World Food Week
World Food Week was a busy time for Farming First supporters, tackling the topics of soil health, climate change and market access for smallholders at the World Food Prize in Iowa and the Committee on World Food Security in Rome. Check out these media articles to hear what the coalition had to say.

Farmers experiment with old and new to adapt to climate change
Thomson Reuters Foundation

Family Farmers – Forward to the Future
Inter Press Service

Norman Borlaug Centennial Q&A with Esin Mete
World Food Prize

The International Year of Soils Is Coming!
The United Nations has officially declared 2015 the International Year of Soils – to shine a spotlight on the vital role our soils play in plant nutrition and agricultural production. To delve into this topic and explore the many ways we can make our soil healthier for future generations, Farming First will be hosting a Twitter Chat on World Soils Day, 5th December. Follow @farmingfirst and keep an eye on our events calendar for the latest news on how to get involved.

New Expert Guest Blogs
Each month, Farming First features guest blogs by experts on a range of topics from climate smart agriculture to innovations changing the face of agriculture. Here are some of the latest published:

How ICTs Will Transform Agriculture By Michael Hailu, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation

“When I Grow Up… I Want To Be a Plant Scientist” By Stephanie Brittain, Agriculture for Impact
New Supporters
Farming First is delighted to welcome Root Capital as its newest supporter organisation.

Root Capital
Root Capital is a non-profit social investment fund that grows rural prosperity in poor, environmentally vulnerable places in Africa and Latin America by lending capital, delivering financial training, and strengthening market connections for small and growing agricultural businesses.

Farming First on Social Media
We have almost reached 30,000 followers on Twitter! Thank you to all our loyal followers for helping us to build such an active community of sustainable agriculture activists. If you don’t already, follow @farmingfirst to stay up to date with all the latest news and views, or follow our new page on LinkedIn

Farming First TV
Each week we have been bringing you a brand new episode of Farming First TV, with exclusive interviews with a range of high-level professionals in agricultural development. Check out the latest episodes here:

The Business of Building Resilience
Building Resilience Through Better Use of Fertilizer
with Margaret Catley-Carlson, IFDC

Which Technologies Will Save Our Food Supply?
An Africa-Led Science Agenda
with Yemi Akinbamijo, FARA

Behind the Concept of Resilience
How to Build a Resilient Food System
with Shenggen Fan, IFPRI

Behind the Concept of Resilience
Building Resilience to Natural Disaster in Indonesia
with Dr. Suprayoga Hadi, Government of Indonesia
Farming First in the News
Farming First supporters Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CEO of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and Dyborn Chibonga, CEO of the National Smallholder Farmer Association of Malawi (NASFAM) have been blogging about the compelling statistics on Africa’s agricultural potential that our latest infographic uncovered.

Reuters Africa’s Agricultural Potential in Numbers

The Guardian Three Practical Steps to Go From Hunger to Abundance in Africa

Devex The Alternate Future of African Farming
Upcoming events
Second International Conference on Nutrition 19th-21st November, 2014 – Rome, Italy

Farming for the Future & Delivering Sustainable Intensification 26th November 2014 – London, UK

UNFCCC COP20 1st-12th December 2014 – Lima, Peru

OECD Global Forum on Agriculture 2 December 2014 – Paris, France

First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference 2 – 5th December – Dijon, France

No Ordinary Matter: Montpellier Panel Report Launch 4th December – Rome, Italy

World Soil Day / International Year of Soils Launch 5th December – Rome, Italy