THE COMING FAMINE
The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It
By Julian Cribb
248 pages. University of California Press. $24.95.
v.5 no.1, Spring, 2012
v.4 no 4, Oct.-Dec., 2011
v.4 no 3, July-September, 2011v.4 no.2, April-June, 2011v.4 no 1, January-March, 2011v.3 no.3, July-October, 2010v.3 no.2, April-June,2010v.3 no.1, January-March., 2010v.2 no.3. July-December, 2009v.2 no.1-2, Jan-June, 2009v.1 no.3-4, July-Dec., 2008v.1 no.2, Apr-June, 2008v.1 no.1, Jan-Mr 2008
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Published on 5th Nov 2012
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Published on 25th Sep 2013
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."
Published on 20th Aug 2013
Published on 14th Aug 2013
The conference on sustainable, Ecological Crop and Horticulture Conference took place in Namibia at Okahandja Country Lodge, August 8-9, 2013. The conference was organized by the Namibian Organic Association, Namibia Agronomic Board and MAWF.
Scientists from various areas of expertise, technicians from the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, lecturers from the Polytechnic of Namibia, Namibian training authority, Field workers, members of NGO’s, farmers, seed company suppliers(Aqualand, Agri-Gro), National Youth Service, traders, Agriculture Training Centre gathered to discuss different topics for 2 days.
The conference was organized to give more practical information to the farmers on compost production, importance of biodiversity for the soil.
>>>More (Feedback on conference by Albert Fosso)
Published on 6th Mar 2013
The world of horticultural science has indeed lost a dear friend and 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
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
Published on 23rd Oct 2012
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.
Published on 23rd Oct 2012
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.
Published on 22nd Aug 2012
The 11th Meeting of the GlobalHort Board of Directors was held in Angers, France in conjunction with the 2nd Symposium on Horticulture in Europe (SHE2012). Several Board members contributed to the pre-SHE international seminar, “Higher Education for Development in Horticulture.” Others joined SHE2012 as speakers or discussion leaders. One SHE2012 ‘Open Space’ event dealt specifically with horticulture for development.
GlobalHort is at a crossroads with respect to both management and leadership. Remi Kahane’s term as Executive Secretary will finish at the end of February 2013 and the Board Chair, Norman Looney, representing ISHS, has indicated that he will also be stepping down in 2013. The search for candidates for the Executive Secretary position is to commence immediately. The terms of reference for this position will be updated and posted on the GlobalHort website. The next Chair will be elected by the Board at large at the next Board meeting. Decisions about renewal of several Board positions, taken during this July Board meeting, are likely to have a bearing on this election.
The Secretariat will continue to be located in Rome and hosted by FAO or the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR), or perhaps by some combination of both. Cooperation with CIRAD will continue, likely within the framework of a broader MoU between FAO and CIRAD but with no direct funding of GlobalHort.
A teleconference with Board member Mark Holderness, Executive Secretary of GFAR, confirmed that GFAR will cooperate with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to channel IFAD support for the GlobalHort Secretariat. It is hoped that this arrangement and these funds can be in place before year end. Both GFAR and IFAD are aware that CIRAD support for the Executive Secretary position ends in early 2013.
Given that GFAR is organizing the second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD 2012; see http://www.egfar.org/gcard-2012) in Punta del Este, Uruguay Oct. 29-Nov. 1, 2012, there was an in-depth discussion about how GlobalHort can contribute to that conference. GlobalHort is working with GFAR to consolidate an alliance of partners promoting (Crop) Diversity for Development and it is expected that discussions about agro-biodiversity will be highlighted at this GCARD event. However, in the end it was decided that GlobalHort did not have the resources to join this particular conference. Horticulture for development and the even broader issue of agro-biodiversity for development would be promoted by GlobalHort partners, including AVRDC, FAO and the Horticulture CRSP, that would be represented in Uruguay.
Other topics given special attention at this Board meeting included the GlobalHort effort to build capacity for better horticulture education in African universities (the topic of the pre-SHE event in Angers) and the importance of developing and delivering a position paper on Horticulture for Development in cooperation with FAO. The former topic is of particular interest to Board member Didier Pillot, President of AgriNatura, and involves GlobalHort cooperation with a broad array of partners, many associated with the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture (GCHERA). With respect to the Horticulture for Development position paper, it was agreed that this must be completed by year end and will involve input from most of the organizations represented on the GlobalHort Board. Board Chair, Dr. Looney, will shepherd this multi-contributor paper.
The 12th Meeting of the Board will be held 5-7 February 2013 in Brussels, Belgium. The Flemish Ministry of Agriculture and the Secretariat of the International Society for Horticultural Science have been approached to provide logistical support for this meeting.
Published on 29th Jun 2012
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.
Published on 17th Apr 2012
However it became crystal clear to me, when reflecting on the topics addressed during this Board meeting, that GlobalHort is strongly positioned to provide both cohesion and leadership to a much broader range of multi-partner and ‘development-relevant’ activities. Consider the following three activity realms that were discussed in some depth during this Board meeting.
GlobalHort and the ‘Diversity for Development’ special interest group convened by GFAR and ITPGRFA
During much of 2011 and now into 2012, GlobalHort has worked with our Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) and International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) colleagues in Rome to facilitate the bringing together of organizations and agencies with a shared vision about the importance of crop diversity (i.e., producing a richer array of crops) within the broader vision of sustainable smallholder agriculture worldwide. Given that most of the high-value crop options available to smallholders are horticultural crops and that horticulture embraces the greatest range of crop species and varieties within plant agriculture, GlobalHort is logically positioned to play a prominent role in this discussion. Crops for the Future, The World Vegetable Center, The Global Non-Timber Forest Products Partnership led by the International Center for Bamboo and Rattan, and Bioversity International are among the score of other key partners in this effort.
In late 2011 and with support from GFAR, GlobalHort contracted the services of Dr. Hannah Jaenicke to help develop an agreed ‘rationale’ and terms of reference for this initiative. Her assignment was to develop an evidence-based position paper around the social, economic and environmental strengths of a smallholder farming model based on a greater diversity of crops (i.e., less reliance on a limited number of staple crops) and commercializing the indigenous plants (and the local knowledge about these plants) around the world. There is a strong voice within this constituency for ‘preservation through use’ of neglected crop species and traditional varieties of established crops with potential to enrich modern agriculture. The interests and ambitions of this Diversity for Development alliance are also highly consistent with the sustainable intensification of smallholder agriculture policy guidelines outlined in the recently published Save and Grow document of FAO.
Through the efforts of Dr. Jaenicke and many others, this position paper is now at the final editing stage and publication is expected for the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development in November this year. This effort has been very valuable in that it has helped define the common interests of these organizations so that they can collectively advocate for various ‘Diversity for Development’ causes. GlobalHort is a proud partner and an active contributor to this new alliance.
Horticulture and Health in an Urbanizing World
Among the many benefits arising from positioning the GlobalHort Secretariat in Rome and hosted by FAO are the opportunities to join forces with a range of FAO initiatives that recognize that horticulture can address important issues around food and nutrition security. These include the Food for the Cities and the related Growing Greener Cities programs of FAO, and the Global Fruit and Vegetables for Health Initiative involving both FAO and WHO.
In addition to these links to FAO, GlobalHort partners like the World Vegetable Center and the USAID-supported Horticulture CRSP have clearly defined objectives for improving food and nutrition security through greater uptake of horticultural industry in the developing world. One GlobalHort Board position is specifically reserved for a representative of the ‘horticulture for health’ community and this is capably filled by Ms. Boitshepo Giyose, Nutrition Advisor for NEPAD.
During 2011, GlobalHort contributed substantively to international workshops on fruit and vegetable city supply (Nairobi, Kenya) and the PROFAV (Promotion of Fruits and Vegetables for Health) event at Arusha, Tanzania. Both events pointed the way toward further involvement by GlobalHort in advocacy, networking, and capacity building to achieve objectives shared by a consortium of partners.
Tertiary Horticultural Education Assessment in Africa to Highlight Value Chain Approach
GlobalHort was represented by Remi Kahane and Board member, Didier Pillot at the ‘Support to Tertiary Agricultural Education in Africa’ workshop, Wageningen March 26-28, 2012. In collaboration with ANAFE, FARA and RUFORUM, they gave a presentation titled "Opportunities of a Thematic Approach at the Continental and Sub-Regional Level- A Case Study on Horticulture".
The workshop participants discussed new mechanisms to support TAE in Africa by assessing lessons learned from past and current support programs, and by matching possible new initiatives with Africa’s own plans for TAE, as expressed in Pillar 4 of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme of NEPAD, and by the World Bank supported TEAM-Africa initiative. The latter has a new coordinator, Hamidou Boly hosted by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Development in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and the African Network for Agriculture, Agroforestry and Natural Resources Education (ANAFE). The Wageningen Workshop aimed to align the various North American and European donor support mechanisms and also addressed the support requirements for a number of existing (bilateral) university partnership programs.
The results presented by GlobalHort offered perspectives to the TEAM-Africa coordination unit for a working method based on assessments. GlobalHort offered to further analyze the data and facilitate other assessments of the needs for skills by emerging horticulture industries in Africa.
Clearly, there is much to advocate, connect and facilitate within the realm of Horticulture for Development. It is an interest area virtually unlimited in relevance, scope and opportunity. With each passing year we discover new opportunities for GlobalHort involvement as a catalyst for collective actions. We discover, or are discovered by new partners that share our vision about reducing poverty and improving family and community health through greater uptake of horticulture industry by smallholder farmers, both rural and urban. As GlobalHort seeks new funding partners it can do so with complete confidence that the worldwide community of H4D actors can achieve much more through cooperation. GlobalHort can provide the leadership needed to assemble the critical mass essential to achieve impact.
Dr. Norman Looney
Board Chair of the Global Horticulture Initiative
Published on 24th Apr 2012
In early March a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed 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.
Published on 5th May 2012
SGI Quarterly Newsletter volume 2 covering the period January - March 2012.
Click here for a PDF copy.
Published on 30th May 2012
THE TOMATO, BRASSICA (Cabbage, Broccoli, Cauliflower etc), MANGO 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
Mobile:0722 575544,0723 491549
Published on 26th Feb 2012
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
Number of articles 24
Place Lisbon, Portugal
Published on 7th Feb 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.
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 www.undercoverfarmingexpo.co.za
Published on 16th Aug 2011
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
Published on 19th Jul 2011
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.
Published on 14th Jul 2011
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."
Published on 13th Jul 2011
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
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.
Published on 8th Jun 2011
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
Published on 3rd Jun 2011
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."
Published on 27th May 2011
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.
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.
Published on 18th May 2011
ASNAPP-supported farmers must probably be shouting their last hurrah as their total produce sales for 2010 pushes for the third million dollar milestone. Roughly a year ago, the project in Livingstone (Zambia) alone, in partnership with Sun International Hotel and with seed funding from USAID, recorded its first $1 million in sales revenue. That was when the Livingstone Project reinforced its position as a viable rural agricultural development model worthy of replication across the region. Now, with significant contributions from the Livingstone Project, farmers in the ASNAPP regional program comprising those from Zambia, Malawi and South Africa have made over $2.6 million in sales revenue for fiscal year 2010.
Published on 22nd Apr 2011
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.
Published on 11th Mar 2011
The 2ND ALL AFRICA HORTICULTURE CONGRESS will take place from 15-20 January 2012, at the Skukuza Conference Centre in the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The Congress will take place under the aegis of the International Society for Horticultural Science and aims to bring together scientists involved in diverse horticultural endeavours in Africa and will provide a platform that will encourage a spirit of communication, collaboration and sharing of knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the African Continent and its people. As an important role-player with a direct interest in agriculture, you have an opportunity to sponsor and participate in the Congress.
The Congress provides opportunities for interaction between academia, researchers, extension and industry specialists who will present their latest scientific findings, and deliberate a number of pertinent issues facing African horticulture. Not only will this event broaden the knowledge base of all concerned, but it will also enhance the synergies between the different institutions and business sectors. The first Congress attracted over 350 delegates and since many of the delegates are important opinion formers and role-players in agriculture, exposure of your company or organisation to this diverse audience should result in long term dividends.
You are invited by the Local Organizing Committee to be an integral part of this 2nd ALL AFRICA HORTICULTURAL CONGRESS. Attached are opportunities for sponsorship whereby you could enhance your visibility. The logos and contact details of all sponsors will be included on the official website and a list of sponsors will be displayed during the congress, which will indicate contributions in terms of categories. Gold sponsors (over R50 000) will be entitled to banners in the venue as well as inclusion of their logos in the Programme and on delegates’ name tags which are worn throughout the Congress. Sponsorship for an event or item not on the formal list will of course also be welcomed as will reasonable partial sponsorships. Please note that you can also place an advertisement in the Programme and Abstract booklet.
Please make use of this opportunity to participate in the furthering of agricultural and horticultural science to the benefit of Africa and its people. Queries can be made to Karin Hannweg by e-mail or phone.
Published on 9th Mar 2011
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.
Published on 25th Jan 2011
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:
Published on 25th Jan 2011
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:
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.
Published on 28th Oct 2010
THE COMING FAMINE
The Global Food Crisis and What We Can Do to Avoid It
By Julian Cribb
248 pages. University of California Press. $24.95.
Published on 17th Aug 2010
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.