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First State of the World’s Plants report

May 25, 2016

The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, has published the first State of the World’s Plant report, which includes information on the total number of plants known to science, features new discoveries, and lists useful plants. It also gives insights into the state of knowledge on global threats to plants, including plant pests and diseases and throws a light on policies and international trade. Generated by more than 80 scientists the report suggest that 21% of all 391,000 vascular plants, that are estimated to be known to science, are threatened, with Agriculture being one of the major threats with 31%. The State of the World’s report is meant to be released annually from this year onward. To read the report and to find more information please visit the official website here.

Video game to simulate the challenges of farming in Africa

May 16, 2016 

The TotoGEO group has developed a 3D farm simulation video game called “Farm Defenders”. The game is based on real soil, climate and market data that has been collected by TotoGEO over the course of multiple years and with support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, INSEAD and ICON Group International. Players can create their own virtual farm anywhere on the African continent and learn about the challenges of farming. Specifically this game was made for anyone interested in economic development and with the goal to model real-world conditions. TotoGEO has the aim to empower the world’s poorest people by offering information from a series of tools and databases, such as local weather forecasts as mobile phone audio files. For more information on the game watch this video and visit this website.

Urban gardening project brings hope to Syria

May 4, 2016 

The 15th garden project is currently supplying people in 17 besieged cities with food from a total of 30 gardens. Named after the start of the revolution against Assad on March 15th, 2011 the project aims to contribute to food security and “raise awareness about the importance of food sovereignty and organics”. Everything started with a group of woman in Zabadani, a city in Syria under siege at that time, which were searching for seeds to grow food. Through the joint efforts of a network of German farmers, who raised money and organized heritage seeds, and a group of activists, who smuggled the seeds into the country the 15th garden project was born. Since that time activists in other cities copied it. Although gardens get repeatedly attacked and the city of Zabadani could not withstand the siege but is now evacuated, the 15th garden project keeps brining food and hope to people all across Syria. To read more about this project click here.

A summary of the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s annual meeting 2016

April 25, 2016 

From March 14. to 18. the Horticulture Innovation Lab hosted its 2016 annual meeting in Cambodia. About 100 scientists and representatives of organizations working with horticulture participated in the event, including Dr. Detlef Virchow, Executive Secretary of GlobalHort and member of the International Advisory Board of the Horticulture Innovation Lab. The first day of the meeting consisted of brief, 5 minute lightning talks and discussions, followed by an Horticulture Expo with demonstrations from iDE Cambodia, the World Vegetable Center (AVRDC), Kasetsart University, Cambodia HARVEST, the ECHO Asia Impact Center, and the Horticulture Innovation Lab. The second day consisted of field trips to project sites hosted by Cambodia HARVEST and Beng Mealea Vegetables farmers cooperative. On the third day of the meeting updates on administrative topics and programmatic guidance were given, including a workshop on gender, and discussions on data management plans, monitoring social media and others. The annual meeting was closed with the Horticulture Innovation Lab’s international Advisory Board meeting and the “Symposium on Horticultural Science” at Cambodia’s Royal University of Agriculture with about 175 participants. For more information click here..

Dr. Wopereis, the new leader of the AVRDC

April 23, 2016 

Last Wednesday Dr. Wopereis became the new Director General of the Word Vegetable Center (AVRDC). In an official ceremony at the headquarters in Taiwan, Dr. J.D.H. Dyno Keatinge, who was the AVRDC's Director General since 2008, handed over the office symbolically through a key to the Center, flags, and a stone seal engraved with the Center’s name in Chinese characters. Dr. Wopereis earned his education at Wageningen University and has been engaged in agricultural science research and management in the last 25 years, specifically in Africa and Asia. Previous to his new position he was the Deputy Director General and Director of Research for Development of the Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice). He has vast experience in management of resources and building partnerships from the local to the international level. For more information visit this link.

Successes of teaching urban farming in Uganda

April 15, 2016 

A project supported by the National Agricultural Advisory Services in Kampala City, Uganda, that aims to reduce poverty shows first successes. With classes ranging from poultry, and fishery to horticulture, the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Agriculture Resource Center is offering free lectures to a wide audience and produces cheap seedlings to enable residents to increase their income. The facility is built on 31 acres and includes also a hydroponic system and a fish pond. Income is also generated from selling the produce, especially tomatoes, sweet pepper and sukumawiki, a native crop and substantial part of the Ugandan diet. For more information click here.

US initiative to safe horticulture

April 1, 2016 

Longwood Gardens and the American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) launched the Seed Your Future initiative, which aims at increasing the awareness of horticulture in the United States and promoting horticulture as a career path. The youth campaign will be realized over a period of five years and multiple phases. On the official website you can find a list of programs offering education in the field of horticulture, as well as more information about the vision and goals of the initiative. Click here.

In memory of Dr. Norman Looney

March 28, 2016 

GlobalHort deeply mourns the loss of Dr. Norman Looney, a firm and passionate champion for improving the quality of life of the world’s poorest citizens through horticulture for sustainable development. Norman Earl Looney was born May 31, 1938 in Adrian, Oregon (USA) and died March 24, 2016 in Vancouver, B.C. (Canada). He left the world a better place through his contributions to horticultural science. Norman received his PhD in Horticulture at Washington State University and started his career at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre. Throughout his life he made significant contributions to Canadian Horticulture but also had an immense influence on international horticulture. He later served as President of the International Society for Horticultural Science and founded the Global Horticulture Initiative. A great man is walking away. His death leaves a big hole in the hearts of his multi-generation family as well as of his colleagues and partners in horticulture.

Canadian supermarkets ready to sell imperfect fruits and vegetables

March 14, 2016 

The ugly food movement from Europe has swept over to Canada. After a successful pilot phase of selling visually not as pleasing but otherwise completely enjoyable vegetables and fruits, the major food retailer in Canada, Loblaw, has decided to broaden its new label “Naturally Imperfect” across the whole nation. Through cutting down on food waste while also reducing prices, the new branding creates a win-win situation for environmentalists and consumers. To read the full article, click here.

Access to Seed Index Report 2016

February 29, 2016

In this first index of its kind the Access to Seed Foundation ranks the world’s leading seed companies on their efforts to increase the productivity of smallholder farmers across the world. With a focus on the seven major field crops, and the ten major vegetables, the report concludes that the world’s leading seed companies have to improve in enabling smallholder farmers’ to obtain seeds. The index was supported by the Dutch government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to inform on the role of seed companies in food security and development. The ranking is based on various parameters including internal policies, stakeholder engagement and capacity building, research, and attitude towards intellectual property rights. To read the report, please follow this link.

World’s first vertical farm research campus of its kind

February 16, 2016

The city of Pasadena in Texas, USA has decided to establish the first crowd-funded, open-source, publicly-owned, vertical farm and campus in the history of horticulture. The campus will carry the name Community Located Agricultural Research Area (CLARA) and is a joint project of the engineering firm Indoor Harvest Crop and a variety of non-profit partners, as well as the University of Texas MD and others. The project will focus on research and education to foster R&D in commercial vertical farming, while also addressing the local lack of healthy food. Please click here for more information.

First urban farm at international airport

February 2, 2016

An airplane company has initiated the first urban farm not just at any airport but at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Although flight passengers will, for the moment, not get to enjoy much of the produce yet, the garden is planned to be used for recycling of food waste and especially for educational purposes for local school children. You can find more information about this interesting project here.

Foresight Africa Report 2016

January 25, 2016

The Africa Growth Initiative released its new report on challenges and opportunities for Africa, 2016. The report focusses on six key areas, including economic shocks, trade, human development, and urbanization. As a central factor of development, food production is repeatedly addressed in the report. Please find the report and more information here.

New report on small and medium agriculture businesses in East Africa

January 18, 2016

Farm Africa published a new report on “Strengthening the first mile: Enabling small and medium agribusinesses to unlock development in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya”. The report points to the important role of small and medium agriculture businesses as a central component of rural economic development in East Africa. It also informs about the obstacles small and medium-sized enterprises are facing and gives a wide range of background information on farmers and markets in East Africa. Please find the full report as PDF here.

Report on horticulture in Guinea after Ebola

January 14, 2016

With today’s announcement of the WHO the Ebola crisis is officially history. On the basis of an evaluation of fruit and vegetable production in Guinea the Horticulture Innovation Lab produced a new report on horticulture in Guinea after the Ebola outbreak titled “Rapid Assessment of the Horticulture Sector in Guinea”. It informs about the challenges of Guinea’s horticultural production on the household and commercial level and gives advice on coping strategies. Information is drawn from various interviews and surveys of farmers, village leaders and market traders, as well as literature. Please follow this link for more information. The full report can be read here.

New record of Indian horticultural outputs

January 4, 2016

According to a report of the Indian Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, India’s horticultural sector has produced more output in 2014-2015 than ever before. With a yield of 283.5 million tonnes in 2014-2015 horticultural outputs exceed the country’s foodgrain production by 30 million tonnes. This is especially remarkable as the 2014-2015 period was characterized by severe droughts and extreme weather events. Reasons for this seems to be an increase in horticultural area as well as increased annual production. Please find the report here, or follow this link for more detailed information.

News of 2015

CGIAR info note on the effects of the Paris Agreement on food production

December 21, 2015

195 countries have agreed to reduce emissions to limit "the increase of global temperatures to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels”. In their new info note, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) explains what this means for global food production. The note informs about the expected impacts of different scenarios on yields and implications for adaptation and mitigation and gives recommendations on how management in food production can contribute to reaching the goal. Please find the info note here.


The role of homestead gardens in adaptation to climate change

December 1, 2015

Together with the government of Lesotho, NGOs and other UN agencies, the FAO aims at increasing resilience of small scale farmers to hazards of climate change. A central part of one initiative is the promotion of homestead gardens and the adoption of innovations like keyhole gardens. These raised bed systems allow to increase soil fertility and soil moisture, as well as to protect from frost and wind. Please find more details about this FAO project here.


CIAT farmer-to-farmer video on Growing cassava on sloping land

November 24, 2015

The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) published a new online video on “how to cultivate and manage cassava while preventing soil erosion on sloping land.” The video was developed by farmers for farmers with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), CIAT and Agro-Insight. Please find the download link to the video here.

UN launched International Year of Pulses 2016

November 21, 2015

In order to promote the use of pulses as a major source of protein and important nutrients all around the world, the United Nations has launched the International Year of Pulses 2016 (IYP 2016) at the FAO headquarters last week. The campaign not only aims at increasing awareness of the nutritional value of pulses, but also addresses strategies to improve supply and production. To obtain more information on the importance and use of pulses, as well as on challenges and potentials, please visit the official website of the IYP 2016 here. A list of events connected to the IYP 2016 can be found through this link.

FAO call for papers on Integrating food into urban planning

November 9, 2015

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) of the University College London are still looking for papers, that can contribute to their new book on Integrating food into urban planning. The book aims to draw attention to successful practices in strategic planning, sectoral, inter-sectoral, or spatial planning that deliberately take food systems into account. Papers can still be submitted until the end of this month, November 30. Please find more information here.

The new horticultural consortium “Desert Growing”

October 26, 2015

Leading horticultural companies from the Netherland and Saudi Arabia have joined to supply horticulturalists in the Middle East with components for their greenhouses to increase high quality production and crop yields. Desert Growing was formed by the major vegetable producer Saudi Greenhouse Management Group, Prins Group, which is highly experienced in greenhouse construction, Stolze, a technical supplier, as well as the automation supplier Hoogendoorn Growth Management. The cooperation provides a number of services, addressing issues from irrigation via renewable energies to heating and cooling systems by construction, trainings and customer advice. Projects are currently being developed, including a 7.5 ha large greenhouse system in the Riyadh area in Saudi Arabia and a high tech glass greenhouse in Al-Quassim, besides others. Please find more information about the consortium and its projects here.

New issue of AJFAND published

October 15, 2015

The African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development (AJFAND) has published their new issue. AJFAND is an open access peer reviewed journal published in Kenya with the aim to influence policy and decision making, as well as promoting research and regulation of new technologies. The journal covers a wide range of disciplines and includes a series of interesting articles on horticultural issues.

Please find more information about the journal and the new issue here.

“The story of agriculture and the SDGs”

October 8, 2015

On their new website Farming First offers a brief overview with excellent visualization on the SDGs that are specifically connected to food production and informs why agriculture is important to reach the goals.

To find out more about the role of horticulture in sustainable development please click here. To visit the website on “The story of agriculture and the SDGs” click here.

Solar Energy Drier by Claphijo Enterprise

September 29, 2015

Claphijo Enterprise has developed a technique for small-scale farmers to dry fresh fruits and vegetables. The technology was developed to reduce postharvest-losses and domestic food waste and to offer an opportunity to diversify income and diet. Through the use of merely solar energy moisture of fresh produce can be reduced from 60% to less than 10%. The technology is affordable and requires only very low expertise and technical knowledge. Ms. Clara Ancilla Ibihya, founder and managing director of Claphijo Enterprise, will demonstrate the Solar Energy Drier at the GFIA Africa in Durban.

Please find the reports and more information here.

Oxford University Press launched Journal of Urban Ecology

September 24, 2015

With their new open access journal, the Journal of Urban Ecology, editor in Chief Mark J. McDonnell and a board of international editors aim to provide a platform for exchange of original research, and discussion on urban ecology. The journal covers topics such as organisms of urban areas, ecosystem services and social aspects connected to urban environments.

Please find the reports and more information here.

The importance of home gardens in Nepal

September 13, 2015

Home gardens can contribute significantly to food security, nutritional diversity, diversification of income and conservation of agrobiodiversity. Yet their role is often neglected or underestimated. With the ‘Home Garden Project’ in Nepal Biodiversity International aims at creating a scientific basis for the promotion of home gardens, by conducting research on biodiversity, nutrition and income generation with local partners. In its recent publication out of a series of impact assessment briefs, Biodiversity International informs about results of evaluations of the “Home Garden Project”.

Please find the reports and more information here.

Assessment of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture

September 11, 2015

Results of a joint initiative of START, UNEP and a number of partner organizations, on the assessment of Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture in nine cities of Africa and Asisa are now available.

 “Urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA) faces significant pressures from rapid urban expansion and related stresses. START and UNEP recently partnered with several organizations to undertake a nine-city assessment of UPA in Africa and Asia. The assessments examined key environmental and governance dimensions of UPA to advance understanding of how increasing urban pressures on land and water resources, and intensifying climate risks, are undermining the resilience of UPA in the face of rapid urban development. The assessments are helping to better inform city-based decision maaking on risk management for UPA that have direct implications for advancing urban adaptation and resilience planning.”

 Please find the reports and more information here.

Urban farms produce a significant portion of the world's food

September 11, 2015

Freelance Journalist Elizabeth Royte gives an overview of community farming in primarily the USA, it’s challenges, advantages and overall contribution to society. The article is based on a number of interviews with gardeners as well as scientists and makes a strong statement for the role of urban farming in food security.

Please find the article here.

Ethiopia earns $114mn from horticulture exports in 6 months

September 8, 2015

Read more about Ethiopia's horticulture success story here

New RUFORUM Case Study confirms that horticulture can be a source of income for farmers and development in Burundi.

September 8, 2015

You find the complete case study here. here .

Nature published an article about “The rise of Africa’s super vegetables”

April 13, 2015

Please find the article here.

GlobalHort member of new research initiative “NutriHAF” to combat hunger and malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa

April 23, 2015

GlobalHort, as part of the research initiative NutriHAF (“Diversifying agriculture for balanced nutrition through fruits and vegetables in multi-storey cropping systems”), will promote the cultivation of vegetables and fruits in multi-storey cropping systems in Ethiopia and Madagascar. Different goals are to be achieved: the reduction of malnutrition in Ethiopia and Madagascar; conservation of biodiversity and natural resources; and creating awareness for the importance of a varied diet through capacity building among farmers, consumers, politicians and extension services.



ZEF Research


The aim of the research project is to find and introduce adequate varieties fruits of and vegetables that help to improve the nutritional status of the local population. Providing new sources of food and income will then help to reduce the pressure on natural resources and prevent resource depletion. A first step will be to find out more about the habits of food consumption in order to identify seasonal gaps in calorie- and nutrient intakes. These gaps are then to be filled with the consumption of the species that are introduced by the project. Awareness creation and trainings for local decision makers and extension workers will help to put nutrition and the importance of a diversified diet on the agenda.



Farmers, policy makers and other actors along the whole value chain will be involved at all stages of the project. Gender issues are a central aspect as women are often responsible not only for cooking but also for food production.


GlobalHort is a member of the project consortium. Furthermore, the consortium includes 13 other partners in Africa and Germany that are all involved in research and capacity building.


The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) for three years. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) for three years. The NutriHAF consortium consist of the following organizations:



ZEF - Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (Center for Development Research)

GlobalHort  - The Global Horticulture Initiative KoGa - Kompetenzzentrum Gartenbau

FRC - Forestry Research Center from the Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR)

CGS - Center for Gender Studies at the Addis Ababa University

FOFIFA - Centre National de la Recherche Appliquée au Développement Rural

FANRPAN - Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network

ASARECA - Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa

WHH – Welthungerhilfe (Madagaskar)

ECFF - Environment and Coffee Forest Forum

AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center Horticulture Innovation Lab

IZNE – International Centre for Sustainable Development at the University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein Sieg  

UoA - University of Antananarivo 

Second World Congress on the Use of Biostimulants in Agriculture is to be held in Florence, Italy, 16-19 November 2015

April 23, 2015

The 2nd World Biostimulants Congress will see over 1,000 delegates gather to explore the recently acquired scientific and technical knowledge on biostimulant products, which are increasingly used in crop production around the world, as well as the various aspects of legislation on these products in the main markets around the world. Early bird registration is now open! Deadline for abstract submission is 10 May 2015. More details can be found here.

New Article “Feed the World in 2015…and Nourish it, too” by Dyno Keatinge and Maureen Mecozzi published

April 23, 2015

The Resource Magazine published an essay by AVRDC Director General and GlobalHort Board Chair Dyno Keatinge and Head of Communications of AVRDC Maureen Mecozzi titled “Feed the World in 2015…and Nourish it, too” in a special March/April 2015 issue.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ new report was released at the Global Food Security Symposium 2015

April 23, 2015

The report Healthy Food for a Healthy World: Leveraging Agriculture and Food to Improve Global Nutrition by Douglas Bereuter and Dan Glickman (cochairs) calls on the United States to use the power of the agriculture and food sector to reduce the reality and risks of malnutrition globally. Please find more information here.

AVRDC issued a list of the top 10 AVRDC publications of 2014.

April 9, 2015

Please find the list here.

AVRDC published the SEAVEG2014 Proceedings

April 9, 2015

Please find more information here.

Bioversity International published a study on propagating quality planting material to improve plant health and crop performance

April 9, 2015

Bioversity International published a study on “Propagating quality planting material to improve plant health and crop performance, key practices for dessert banana, plantain and cooking banana: Illustrated guide” written by C. Staver and T. Lescot. Please find the study here.

GlobalHort’s Board Meeting at Bioversity International in Rome

March 10, 2015

All board members came to Rome for the two-day annual board meeting on February 16 and 17, 2015. Two guest participated in the meeting: John E. Bowman, Senior Agriculture Advisor, USAID Bureau for Food Security (BFS), Office of Agricultural Research & Policy (ARP) and Jozef van Assche, Executive Director of ISHS. Ann Tutwiler, Director General for Bioversity International, welcomed all Board members and their guests, wished them a successful meeting and stressed the various areas of opportunities of collaboration between Bioversity and GlobalHort. Dr. Dyno Keatinge, GlobalHort’s Board Chair and DG of AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center, welcomed Rod and thanked Dr. Didier Pillot, Vice-President of AGRINATURA from Montpellier SupAgro, France for serving GlobalHort’s Board as Vice-Chair for two years. GlobalHort’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Detlef Virchow, presented the annual report on the work of GlobalHort’s secretariat in 2014 and the board members discussed the forthcoming activities of GlobalHort. All members of the board reconfirmed the importance of GlobalHort as organization championing for horticulture for sustainable development (H4sD) through its work of:

  • advocating greater support for H4sD initiatives worldwide,
  • networking the diverse and dispersed H4sD community of actors,
  • facilitating research that aims at improving smallholder horticulture and H4sD, and
  • strengthening capacity development to foster the implementation of R&D results concerning H4sD.


Reflecting on the forthcoming sustainable development goals (SDGs), horticulture can be seen as opportunity and engine for sustainable development, affecting a wide range of important indicators for development (health, wealth, employment, market opportunities, women empowerment and other special challenges) and hence impacting on several of the SDGs.

All board members came to Rome for the two-day annual board meeting on February 16 and 17, 2015


From left to right: Jozef van Assche, Executive Director / ISHS (guest); Justin Rakotoarisaona, Board Treasurer / AFSTA; Detlef Virchow, Executive Secretary / GlobalHort; Raul Quimson Montemayor / Federation of Free Farmers; Elizabeth Mitcham, Board Secretary / Horticulture CRSP; Dyno Keatinge, Board Chair / AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center; Alison Hodder / FAO; John E. Bowman, Senior Agriculture Advisor/ USAID (guest); Stephan Weise / Bioversity International; Mark Holderness / GFAR; Rod Drew, Board Vice-Chair / ISHS; Didier Pillot / AGRINATURA

Prof. Dr. Roderick A. Drew, President of ISHS, is the new Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of GlobalHort

March 10, 2015

During their meeting, the Board of Directors of GlobalHort have elected Rod Drew as their new Vice Chair. In August 2014, Rod Drew was elected President of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), the world's leading independent organization of horticultural scientists with over 7,500 individual and institutional members. Rod Drew is professor at the Griffith University in Australia with a general research interest in biotechnology of tropical and subtropical horticultural crops. Rod is an expert on papaya. His research has focused on genetic improvement, particularly disease resistance. He is passionate about using horticultural crops to alleviate malnutrition worldwide and helping develop agriculture in developing countries in general and in Pacific countries in specific. Rod Drew has published more than 150 journal papers, book chapters and invited review papers and in excess of 50 of these have been on Carica papaya.

Horticulture is a key area of growth in Gambia

March 10, 2015

Horticulture is rapidly emerging as one of the key growth areas of The Gambian economy. Read more here.

The National Agriculture Export Board (Naeb) of Rwanda plans to set up a modern horticulture centre

March 10, 2015

The National Agriculture Export Board (Naeb) plans to set up a modern horticulture centre at Mulindi Gasabo District to help small scale farmers acquire skills and market information. Read more here.

News of 2014 and previous years

New Book: Dirty Hands, Fine Minds. The Story of an Agricultural Research and Training Network in African Universities

Dirty Hands, Fine Minds. The Story of an Agricultural Research and Training Network in African Universities by Mary Anne Fitzgerald and Megan Lindow RUFORUM 2013, 53 pages

The RUFORUM programme described in this book draws on solid international experience, which illustrates how universities are central to achieving successful agricultural transformation. RUFORUM aims to build quality institutions closely linked to the agricultural spectrum; farmers, suppliers, processors and consumers.

This book shows how the RUFORUM member universities are building strong ties to business enterprises to provide role models, case studies and attachment opportunities. Collaboration among universities gives students, staff and; most importantly; farmers access to the knowledge and facilities held within the ambit of those universities. By pooling their efforts through networking, RUFORUM members have greater abilities to achieve their strategic goals in terms of training and impact oriented research. The outputs are graduates well versed in their chosen disciplines, and increased capacity at the less well-endowed universities. The RUFORUM strategy, which is detailed in the chapters of this book, draws on multiple channels and players to allow choices to emerge and be tested. Ultimately, the best of those have been adopted.

ICTs and Higher Education in Africa

This report reviews existing national and international policies with regard to the use of ICT to enhance teaching and learning within institutions of tertiary education.  Common areas of strength and weakness with reference to educational technology readiness in the Partnership for Higher Education in Africa (PHEA) countries are explored. These countries are Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.  The authors outline the challenges to the deployment of ICT in tertiary education within the PHEA areas. Finally, lessons learned and possibilities for collaboration are highlighted.       

Full text available as: Pdf

Building Pathways out of Rural Poverty Through Investments in Agricultural Information Systems. Final Report by Dwight W. Allen and Mary Anderson Ochs. Feb. 2008

Last year Cornell University and partners put together a 'WorldAginfo' Design Team to test the premise that: "new collaborative information technologies offer an exciting opportunity to transform agricultural education and information systems in Asia and Africa." The Team was charged by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore the landscape of agricultural education and information systems in Asia and Africa, and to come up with "a set of recommendations for areas of investment that have the potential to improve the lives of smallholders through better access to agricultural education, training and information."

Full text available as: Pdf

ASB and the World Agroforestry Centre published a book on Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practice.

A new book on Climate-Smart Landscapes: Multifunctionality in Practice has been published by ASB and the World Agroforestry Centre. You can read the book here.

New issue of News@GlobalHort now Available

Please click v.5 no.2-3, Summer-Fall, 2012  to access. 

If you would like to be placed on the mailing list for future issues send a message to the Editor.

Editorial: The Urgent Need for African Leadership in Science, Engineering and Technology to Transform African Agriculture into Agri-Food Value Chains

Prof. Umezuruike Linus Opara has recently written an editorial in the vol. 13(4), 2013 issue of AJFAND journal,  "The Urgent Need for African Leadership in Science, Engineering and Technology to Transform African Agriculture into Agri-Food Value Chains"

In his editorial he concludes:

"The transformation and industrialization of African agriculture will be incomplete if we do not industrialize the food system through scientific and technological innovations in postharvest handling and food processing to reduce losses and add value. It is often said that one can import a mechanical device, but it is not possible to import all the human resources needed to operate and manage it sustainably. Africa must grow its own timber of human talent and thought leaders to lead the continent in this ever complex and increasingly science-driven global economy. Investing in agricultural education and research, building the necessary infrastructure and implementing the right policies to support farmers and private sector investors are critical to ensure success of the ongoing agricultural transformation agenda. Finding ways and means to addressing our socio-economic challenges will enable us contribute better to the broader global development agenda. Nothing short of these will guarantee our long-term success and competitiveness."

The World's Farmers Organization Focuses on Food Waste and Food Loss

The World Farmer’s Organization recognizes the costs of food waste and food loss in the December edition of their F@rmletter Newsletter

The World Farmers' Organization Focuses on Water

The World Farmer’s Organization recognizes the vital role of water to the world’s farmers and that many of the water-related issues facing our farmers are identified in the August edition of their F@rmletter Newsletter


In memory of Jacky Ganry

The world of horticultural science has indeed lost a dear friend anJacky Ganryd colleague. Jacky was clearly ‘one of a kind’. He demonstrated every day his love for horticultural science and his passion for finding new ways for horticulture to improve health, generate wealth, and enrich the near environment for people everywhere. When listening to a presentation at an ISHS symposium or congress, Jacky was never satisfied until he had asked a pertinent question or offered an informative comment. Everyone gained from Jacky’s curiosity and enthusiasm.

We must also remember Jacky’s service and dedication to the journal Fruits. We doubt if many colleagues outside of France realize just how instrumental Jacky was in growing this journal to its present stature. This was a labor of love for Jacky. It was another way he could demonstrate his love for horticultural science and especially his affection for tropical and sub-tropical fruit crops.

Jacky was involved with the ISHS Committee for Research Cooperation (1998-2006) and was supportive of the Global Horticulture Initiative. It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of those involvements. He sent many messages encouraging us to make every effort to ensure that GlobalHort would become a powerful force for international development.  He had deep and strong connections to key GlobalHort partners like Bioversity International, the Global Forum for Agricultural Research, Agrinatura, FAO, and of course ISHS and CIRAD.

This sad news was received during the 12th Board Meeting of GlobalHort held last week in Brussels. Everyone was shocked and deeply saddened, but we carried on with the work knowing that Jacky would not want us to waste time talking about what was lost and could not be recovered. Still, we clearly recognized that Jacky was very much a spiritual leader of GlobalHort. And we profoundly realized that this would not change.

Dr. Norman E. Looney, Remi Kahane and the Board of GlobalHort

Canada announces new initiative, PROPEL, with Jamaica to boost fruit and vegetable prodution

Through the Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project, the Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) will work with the Caribbean Farmers Network to enable farmers to increase the quality and quantity of fresh, regionally grown fruits and vegetables, and help these producers link with buyers such as regional grocery chains, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and restaurants. The project, which is supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)’s Caribbean Program, will also enable producers to maintain internationally accepted food quality and safety standards. PROPEL’s initial focus will be on Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Barbados and Guyana.


Le Centre national de spécialisation en fruits et légumes (CNSL) Meets in Burkina Faso

Le Centre national de spécialisation en fruits et légumes (CNSL) organized a regional workshop  from September 5-7, 2012, on the programming of its activities. Grouping participants from the economic Community of the States of western Africa, the meeting was aimed at elaborating and to validating projects of research and transfer of technologies for the development of the following commodity chains:  mango, tomato and onion.

This national centre of specialization in fruits and vegetables (CNSL) is one of components of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP). In Burkina Faso where the centre is located the commodity chains on mango, onion and tomato are the areas of specialization. It is the role of this research structure to increase the productivity in these value chains by making of them expanding sectors and creating employment for the benefit of the population in western Africa.


New Publication: Harvesting the Sun – A Profile of World Horticulture by ISHS

Seeking to share horticulture’s scope and value with a wide readership, the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) has released Harvesting the Sun: A Profile of World Horticulture. This full-color, extensively illustrated 70-page report examines how horticulture touches all of us. Harvesting the Sun traces the farm-to-table journey using simple language and informative graphics. It highlights innovations in crop breeding, production, and handling, presenting recent advances in how to control pests and diseases, promote food safety, and minimize post-harvest losses.It explores how horticulture offers myriad paths to economic growth, and offers insights into how the cultivation of plants nourishes the spirit as well as the body. Harvesting the Sun brings the benefits of horticultural science to the attention of a wider audience. ISHS hopes that this publication will spark new interest in the people and processes that coax fruits, roots, leaves, and flowers to yield health, wealth, and beauty worldwide. For further details contact the International Society for Horticultural Science.

GlobalHort Signs MOU with ISHS

In early March a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signedDr. António Monteiro, President, ISHS with the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS).  

The President of ISHS, António Monteiro, was recently interviewed by News@GlobalHort in regard to the significance of this MOU with GlobalHort.

What is ISHS's commitment for horticultural science for development?

The ISHS is committed to promote research and education in all branches of horticultural science and to facilitate cooperation and knowledge transfer on a global scale through its symposia and congresses, publications and scientific structure. For many years our Society has organised symposia and workshops in many developing countries and we are proud to say that 30 % of our members come from countries ‘of the South’. We are confident that this figure will keep growing, and we do wish that this evolution will be further reflected in the leadership of the various sections / commissions / working groups. ISHS meetings and publications reach people involved in horticulture in developing countries directly and can be used for other activities related to capacity building. To maximize the output of these activities we are open to enter into agreements and establish partnerships with other organizations such as CTA, FAO, CGIAR, national scientific societies, and platforms as there is GlobalHort.

What is the significance of the MOU and what collaborative actions might be possible?

The significance of the MOU is that the seven constituency groups are ready to go for collaborative action. Collaborative activities are foreseen on conferences, publications, communication, website assistance, and education and training. In addition, since GlobalHort is registered as an international foundation in Belgium, the ISHS ensures that the annual tax declaration of GlobalHort is correctly and timely done by the ISHS Secretariat also based in Belgium.

What is your vision of our long term partnership in respect to continental congresses (what role for GlobalHort in the future AAHC, and in Asia and Latinamerica as well), and capacity building (training workshops associated with sections, commissions and/or symposia of ISHS)?

The International Horticultural Congress and the regional congresses are by nature the best platforms to discuss major issues of transnational, regional and global importance to horticulture. To be successful the stakeholders must be involved, and contributions should not be limited to academics or scholars. ISHS is keen to interact with horticultural industry, consumers, trade, civil society, and others. GlobalHort is welcome to share its experience with us.

I understand that ISHS is developing a new web portal. Could you give us some idea of the changes that will be made in terms of interactive communication and media possibilities? We would very much welcome a scoop on the new website to advertise in our newsletter.

The ISHS website is indeed under revision with the objective of being more interactive and providing better information.  Horticulture advocacy is an important addition to the website. We are launching an advocacy tool entitled ‘Harvesting the Sun’ that will showcase the huge importance of horticultural science and industry and the relevance of the horticultural profession for increasing the quality of life both in the North and the South.

KENGAP Horticulture publishes new series of farming handbooks

THE TOMATO, BRASSICA (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower etc), MANGOMango Handbook AND PASSION FRUIT FARMING HANDBOOKS are among a series of several good agricultural practices manuals being researched and developed by KENGAP HORTICULTURE for all crops in Kenya. The handbooks are aimed to be a ready reckoner to farmers, students, private and public agricultural advisors among others.

These HANDBOOKS contain technical information on all the critical agronomic aspects of Tomato, Brassica, Mango and Passion Fruit farming. Moreover, they have coloured photographs on various cultural practices, pests and diseases. The handbooks give tips on cultural, biological and chemical control options to optimize yields sustainably.

Contact Janet Njogu on 0723-491549 or Evelyn Kagendo on 0721-621174 for more details.

Get your copy at Kshs.1000 only while stocks last.

Garissa Rd,Third South Avenue
Kahawa Sukari, Off Thika Rd.
P.O Box 12898-00400 Nairobi,Kenya
Tel:020 8026476,020 8026477
Fax:020 8026477
Mobile:0722 575544,0723 491549

ISHS Horticulture for Development Symposium now published (IHC2010)

XXVIII International Horticultural Congress on Science and Horticulture for People (IHC2010): International Symposium on Horticulture for Development.  ISHS Acta Horticulturae 921

Conveners      R. Kahane, L. Wasilwa, L.M. Martín Martín, A. Martín, J. Ganry, S. Mitra
Editors      R. Kahane, L.M. Martín Martín, A. Martín
Publication date      31 December 2011
ISBN      978-90-66054-50-9
ISSN      0567-7572
Number of articles      24
Volumes      1
Place      Lisbon, Portugal 

Undercover Farming Expo and ASNAPP host conference for intensive farming industry 6 to 8 March 2012

Undercover Farming Expo, an expo focusing on intensive farming techniques and farming industries, has joined forces with Agribusiness in Sustainable Natural African Plant Products (ASNAPP), an organisation promoting sustainable economic development, to host a three day conference for existing and potential producers and buyers of vegetables, flowers, fruit and seedlings being produced under protective shelter.

This conference will run concurrently with the inaugural Undercover Farming Expo, which will be held from 6 to 8 March 2012 at The Saint George Hotel & Convention Centre near Pretoria.

Topics covered during this conference will include the prospects for the marketing of fresh produce in South Africa & Africa, the impact and applicability of NEMA 28 (Environmental Duty of Care) in the agricultural sector, implementing lean manufacturing principles in the greenhouse industry, the production and export of flowers from South Africa, the role of The World Vegetable Center in the development of the fresh produce and vegetable seed industry in East and Southern Africa, and the potential for the production and export of fresh produce from Namibia.

A large number of international speakers from countries such as The Netherlands, Belgium, Zambia, Namibia and Tanzania will participate in this conference.

Delport says this conference, together with the expo, will serve as a business hub and will create an exclusive platform for industry professionals to be on the frontier of protected farming and to network with key players in the industry. “Tunnel and shade-net farming is one of the newest forms of food production in Southern Africa and offers the ideal solution to producers investigating alternative methods of farming because of the increasing dryer climate. This expo and conference will cover all the elements involved in this production method, from tunnel construction, growth enhancements and climate conditions to seedlings, packaging and export opportunities.”

The Undercover Farming Expo and Conference is supported by Intensive Agriculture South Africa (IASA), South African Flower Growers (SAFGA) and South African Seedling Growers Association (SAGA).

For more information about Undercover Farming Expo / ASNAPP Conference visit


Tanzania-based consortium to start manufacturing Agronets

A Tanzanian Company, A to Z Textile Mills, member of a consortium of companies producing OlysetR nets in Joint Venture with Sumitomo Chemicals Japan recently started to manufacture Agronets farmers can use to cover horticultural crops and prevent them from pest attacks. A to Z is partnering with the Michigan State University, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, CIRAD, France, Egerton University and International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology in a USAID funded project to test the efficacy of these nettings.
Vector Health International (VHI) which is the name of the Joint Venture is in the process of building a new state-of-the-art research-and-development facility in Kisongo area of Arusha town which it plans to utilize to diversify its products. VHI has recently recruited a Director for the Centre, Dr Johnson O. Odera, who has been charged with the responsibility of overseeing the development and testing of new products, especially insecticide treated materials, for crop protection and vector control. >>>More

Mosquito nets can be used to protect cabbage plants from aphids and caterpillars

Research now underway at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari) shows that a modified form of the mosquito net can used to protect cabbage plants from aphids and caterpillars.

Traditionally, bed nets were used to trap and prevent mosquitoes from biting human beings and infecting them with malaria, a deadly tropical disease.

Dr Lusike Wasilwa, an assistant director in charge of horticulture and industrial crops at Kari, says the initiative could be the most effective method of pest control on cabbages and tomatoes.


Fifth anniversary of GlobalHort subject of editorial in recent issue of Fruits journal

Dr. Jacky Ganry, Scientific Director of Fruits, has provided a short overview of GlobalHort over the last five years in the vol. 66 (2011) issue of Fruits .  Please click here to access his editorial, "5 years already gone for GlobalHort."

New Book: "Speciality Crops for Pacific Islands"

Specialty Crops for Pacific Islands
by Craig R. Elevitch (Editor)

Hardcover - 576 pages
Full color - over 940 photographs
Format - 8.75" X 11.25" (22.2 cm X 28.6 cm)
Weight: 5 lb (2.3 kg)
Release date: July 2011 (expected)
Publisher: Permanent Agriculture Resources
ISBN-13: 978-0-9702544-8-1

This book covers:

• 26 important specialty crops
• Value-added processing
• Enterprise development
• Accessing unique markets
• Sustainable local food production
• Economic and ecological viability
• Multi-crop agroforestry systems
• Local systems with export potential

Click here to order.

CABI launches open access Invasive Species Compendium

The Invasive Species Compendium is an online, open access reference work covering recognition, biology, distribution, impact and management of the world's invasive plants and animalsThe Invasive Species Compendium currently covers over 1,500 species with over 7,000 basic summary datasheets and 1,500 detailed datasheets. You can also access over 800 full text articles (in pdf format) and 65,000 abstract summaries, with plans to add 10,000 more by the end of 2011. This new resource has been built upon a brand new technical platform which enables our experts to update the datasheets and bibliographical data on a weekly basis.Go to the new, open-access Invasive Species Compendium

  • Download a range of information materials
  • View an introductory video
  • Learn more about CABI's work with invasive species by signing up to our invasives blog

Global crop loss initiative launched by CABI

CABI, a UK-based not for profit organization, has launched Plantwise, a new global initiative aimed at improving food security and the lives of the rural poor by reducing crop losses. The program is broadly composed of a network of plant clinics to be established internationally, and a knowledge bank comprised of worldwide data on crops and crop pests (including insects, weeds, pathogens/diseases).

 Partial funding will be provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation to the tune of US$9.3 million over a five-year period. Plantwise is designed to generate immediate positive impacts for the globe's
smallholder farmers said to be "the backbone of rural economies," and to fill current production voids until additional scientific pest management research becomes available. 

The clinics will be patterned as "doctor's style clinics for plants," according to CABI information materials. Establishment of hundreds of community-based clinics in developing regions is envisioned. Currently there are clinics operating in 14 countries while the goal anticipates expansion to 40 nations during the next three years. The clinics, operated by trained local personnel, advise farmers on pests in a manner similar to the way a health center does for humans.

The Plantwise knowledge bank--a prototype is set for launch in May 2011--will be a repository for high-quality information, both historical and current, and is seen as an underpinning for the plant clinics. A wide range of international sources will provide material, augmented by validated observations from the clinics. The gathered information is to be digitized, aggregated, structured, updated, and made searchable, CABI documents explain, thus "providing a level of detail that has simply not been available before." It is hoped that the bank will become a "comprehensive source of plant health intelligence."
 CABI, Plantwise, Nosworthy Way, Wallingford, Oxforshire, OX10 8DE, UK.  Fax: 44-0-1491-833508.  Voice: 44-0-1491-832111.
   --excerpted, with thanks, from CABI Ezine, April 2011.   

New FAO study find that more research is needed on the reduction of food losses at all levels

Food security is a major concern in large parts of the developing world. Food production must clearly increase significantly to meet the future demands of an increasing and more affluent world population. This study illustrate that one of the first mean to fight imbalances and reduce tensions between the necessary increase in consumption and the challenging increase in production, is to also promote food loss reduction which alone has a considerable potential to increase the efficiency of the whole food chain. In a world with limited natural resources (land, water, energy, fertilizer), and where cost-effective solutions are to be found to produce enough safe and nutritious food for all, reducing food losses should not be a forgotten priority. The study revealed that there are major data gaps in the knowledge of global food loss and waste. Further research in the area is urgent. 


This new publication “Global Food Losses and Food Waste: Extent, Causes and Prevention” is based on studies carried out from August 2010 to January 2011 by The Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK) on request from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Two studies on global food losses (one for high/medium-income countries and one for low income countries) were conducted to serve as a basis for the international congress Save Food!, 16-17 May 2011, at the international packaging industry fair Interpack2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Save Food!  The aim of this congress was to raise awareness on global food losses and waste, and on the impact of these on poverty and hunger in the world, as well as on climate change and on the use of natural resources. 

The results of the study suggest that roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year. This inevitably also means that huge amounts of the resources used in food production are used in vain, and that the greenhouse gas emissions caused by production of food that gets lost or wasted are also emissions in vain. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption.

  • In medium- and high-income countries food is to a significant extent wasted at the consumption stage, meaning that it is discarded even if it is still suitable for human consumption. Significant losses also occur early in the food supply chains in the industrialized regions.
  • In low-income countries food is lost mostly during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain; much less food is wasted at the consumer level. Overall, on a per-capita basis, much more food is wasted in the industrialized world than in developing countries. It is estimated that the per capita food waste by consumers in Europe and North-America is 95-115 kg/year, while this figure in Sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia is only 6-11 kg/year.
  • The causes of food losses and waste in low-income countries are mainly connected to financial, managerial and technical limitations in harvesting techniques, storage and cooling facilities in difficult climatic conditions, infrastructure, packaging and marketing systems. Given that many smallholder farmers in developing countries live on the margins of food insecurity, a reduction in food losses could have an immediate and significant impact on their livelihoods.

The food supply chains in developing countries need to be strengthened by, inter alia, encouraging small farmers to organize and to diversify and upscale their production and marketing. Investments in infrastructure, transportation, food industries and packaging industries are also required. Both the public and private sectors have a role to play in achieving this. The causes of food losses and waste in medium/high-income countries mainly relate to consumer behavior as well as to a lack of coordination between different actors in the supply chain. Farmer-buyer sales agreements may contribute to quantities of farm crops being wasted. Food can be wasted due to quality standards, which reject food items not perfect in shape or appearance. At the consumer level, insufficient purchase planning and expiring ‘best-before-dates’ also cause large amounts of waste, in combination with the careless attitude of those consumers who can afford to waste food. Food waste in industrialized countries can be reduced by raising awareness among food industries, retailers and consumers. There is a need to find good and beneficial use for safe food that is presently thrown away. 

While increasing primary food production is paramount to meet the future increase in final demand, tensions between production and access to food can also be reduced by tapping into the potential to reduce food losses. Efficient solutions exist along the whole food chain, for reducing total amounts of food lost and wasted. Actions should not only be directed towards isolated parts of the chain, since what is done (or not done) in one part has effects in others. In low income countries, measures should foremost have a producer perspective, e.g. by improving harvest techniques, farmer education, storage facilities and cooling chains. In industrialized countries on the other hand, solutions at producer and industrial level would only be marginal if consumers continue to waste at current levels. Consumer households need to be informed and change the behavior which causes the current high levels of food waste. Another point to be stressed is that the food supply chain of today is more and more globalized. Certain food items are produced, transformed and consumed in very different parts of the world. The impact of growing international trade on food losses still has to be better assessed.

Due to lack of sufficient data, many assumptions on food waste levels at foremost the distribution and consumption levels had to be made. Therefore, the results in this study must be interpreted with great caution. Further research in the area is urgent, especially considering that food security is a major concern in large parts of the developing world.

Going Forward: Agro-Biodiversity Collective Action Strategy

Opportunities exist for collective actions involving GlobalHort, Crops for the Future, the Non-Timber Forest Products Partnership, Bioversity International, the Global Crop Diversity Trust, and others. These partners share the vision that encouraging and facilitating the cultivation and marketing of a greater diversity of high value specialty crops, both indigenous and exotic, can significantly improve incomes and health of the rural poor. They also point to the important environmental services pro-vided and to the ‘preservation through use’ of valuable plant genetic resources.

At a January 20-21 Workshop convened in Rome by the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the Secretariat of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), GlobalHort Board Chair, Norman Looney, helped to craft a manifesto for this kind of Collective Action. It was agreed that GFAR would provide the required leadership and coordination, noting that the promotion of High-Value Specialty Plants such as horticultural crops could make an important contribution to the GFAR effort to connect, inform, and identify priority issues for the global community of professionals engaged in agri-cultural and socio-economic research for development. Dr. Looney observed that GlobalHort can contribute importantly to ensuring that high-value specialty plants and crops receive the attention deserved within the context of reducing poverty and improving food and nutrition security of smallholders.

Women are key to easing world hunger says FAO report

 March 2011, Rome - If women in rural areas had the same access to land, technology, financial services, education and markets as men, agricultural production could be increased and the number of hungry people reduced by 100-150 million, FAO said in its 2010-11 edition of The State of Food and Agriculture report.

Yields on plots managed by women are lower than those managed by men, the report said. But this is not because women are worse farmers than men. They simply do not have the same access to inputs. If they did, their yields would go up, they would produce more and overall agricultural production would increase, the report said. 

"The report makes a powerful business case for promoting gender equality in agriculture," said FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf.

"Gender equality is not just a lofty ideal, it is also crucial for agricultural development and food security. We must promote gender equality and empower women in agriculture to win, sustainably, the fight against hunger and extreme poverty," he added.

Foresight: The Future of Food and Farming (2011) highlights rising food prices and the importance of fruit and vegetables

The 221-page report, titled Foresight. The Future of Food and Farming and written by the Government Office for Science in the United Kingdom. Released on Jan. 25 and produced by about 400 leading experts and stakeholders from about 35 low-, middle and high-income countries across the world, it makes for bleak reading.  The Asia Sentinal has an excellent review of the report.

Sir John Beddington, chief scientific adviser to the British government, in an interview for The Economist talks about this report and why the era of cheap food is over.  "The food system is not working because it is not sustainable."

The "Foresight" report covers all aspects of the global food system: including governance at all scales, food production and processing, the supply chain and also consumer attitudes and demands.  The report is also relevant to policy makers and others with an interest in areas that interact with the food system, for example, climate change mitigation, energy and water competition and land use.  

In Chapter 4, "Challenge A: Balancing Future Demand and Supply Sustainability," the authors state that for perishable higher-value products such as fish and fruit, access to urban and export markets can transform local opportunities, but require adequate facilities for storage and refrigeration, and efficient supply chain management.

In Chapter 6, "Ending Hunger," there is an argument that dietary change can have multiple benefits on both public health and environmental sustainability, with synergies across different areas of policy. Advocating the consumption of foods that use fewer resources (land, water, fertiliser and other inputs) usually increases sustainability and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Guidelines on changing diets to achieve health nutrition and sustainability aims include:

  • The UK Sustainable Development Commission has identified guidelines for effecting changes to diets that will contribute the most towards sustainability, while encompassing existing guidance on public health nutrition. Recommendations include a reduction in the consumption of highly-processed energy-dense foods that produce more GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions than fruit and vegetables, the latter having a clear health benefit.
  • Oxfam’s ‘4-a-week’ report highlights the need for a change in consumption in the UK to militate against climate change and reduce global hunger. To deliver environmental and social justice Oxfam argues for a change in consumer behaviour to waste less food, reduce the consumption of meat and dairy products, buy fair-trade produce, and buy foods from low-income countries.

"It's time for a Revolution of Greens" says Abdou Tenkouano, Director of AVRDC's Regional Center for Africa

Abdou Tenkouano, Director of AVRDC's Regional Center for Africa, says it's time for a “Revolution of Greens.” Abdou contributed a chapter, "The Nutritional and Economic Potential of Vegetables". about the Center's work in the influential State of the World 2011 report, published annually by the Worldwatch Institute.

He presented the Center’s activities in:

  • Paticipatory research to involve farmers in the evaluation and selection of vegetable varieties suitable for local climates and market preferences
  • Poviding policy, technical, and managerial support to develop and strengthen the vegetable seed supply chain in Africa
  • Pomoting indigenous vegetables for their nutritional qualities and market potential “Staples such as rice, maize, wheat, and cassava have been the focus of much research and investment, yet an abundance of these crops will only amount to a ‘Grain Revolution’ if the vegetables required to balance the diet are not equally abundant,” said Tenkouano. “A “Revolution of Greens” is necessary as well.”

The report is written in clear, concise language, with easy-to-read charts and tables, State of the World 2011, produced with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provides a practical vision of the innovations that will allow billions of people to feed themselves, while restoring rural economies, creating livelihoods, and sustaining the natural resource base on which agriculture depends.

See the Table of Contents for more information.  Click here to purchase the book.

New Book: The Coming Famine by Julian Cribb

THE COMING FAMINE The Comining Famine

The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It

By Julian Cribb

248 pages. University of California Press. $24.95.   

 (To order book)

In The Coming Famine, Julian Cribb lays out a vivid picture of impending planetary crisis--a global food shortage that threatens to hit by mid-century--that would dwarf any in our previous experience. Cribb's comprehensive assessment describes a dangerous confluence of shortages--of water, land, energy, technology, and knowledge--combined with the increased demand created by population and economic growth. Writing in brisk, accessible prose, Cribb explains how the food system interacts with the environment and with armed conflict, poverty, and other societal factors. He shows how high food prices and regional shortages are already sending shockwaves into the international community. But, far from outlining a doomsday scenario, The Coming Famine offers a strong and positive call to action, exploring the greatest issue of our age and providing practical suggestions for addressing each of the major challenges it raises.


NewYork Times Book Review

"Julian Cribb warns with a well synthesized evidence base about a potential famine in the making. The food crisis is already daily reality for one billion people. The book is not just a warning but offers sound guidance for the needed actions; easily understandable but suitably comprehensive, leaving no excuse for inaction."—Joachim von Braun, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute

"The Coming Famine is an erudite and learned analysis of humanity's greatest challenge. At this very minute we are jeopardizing the rights to food for a billion people, and the effects will be felt by us all through migration, dietary changes and increased health risks, whether we believe it or not. This is a book all thinking people should read."— Lindsay Falvey, University of Cambridge

Now Free for All: FAO’s Statistical Database

If you have tried to track down data related to food, agriculture and hunger, chances are you have spent time navigating through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ Statistical database (FAOSTAT).  If not, there is no better time to start than now.  FAO recently announced that it is granting unlimited, free access of FAOSTAT to the general public after a simple registration process.  Prior to this, there were limits to the number of records non-fee paying users could retrieve, and a subscription fee of US$1500 per user for full access. Visit Worldwatch Blog for more information.

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