Publication


The 2011 State of the World edition from Worldwatch was released yesterday.  It is reported to give a compelling look at the global food crisis, with particular emphasis on global innovations that can help solve a worldwide problem.

Read more

The pdf version costs $19.95! Why isn’t that document a free public good?

by Place F, Roothaert R, Maina L, Franzel S, Sinja J and Wanjiku J.

Abstract
The objective of this study is twofold, to demonstrate (1) the effects of fodder shrubs on milk production and their value at the household and regional level and (2) the contribution of research by the World Agroforestry Centre toward strengthening the impact of fodder shrubs. The study is a synthesis of previous studies related to dissemination, adoption and impact combined with two new analyses, one quantitatively measuring the impact of the shrubs through econometric analysis and the other a qualitative analysis to better understand constraints on adoption and gender issues related to participation and control of benefits from fodder shrubs. Among the study findings are that fodder shrubs have been widely adopted in East Africa, by an estimated 205,000 smallholder dairy farmers by 2005. Women were active in planting shrubs, as monitoring found almost half of planters to be women. Several studies have confirmed that shrubs do have an impact on milk production. While feeding trials have found that 1 kilogram of calliandra increases milk production by 0.6–0.8 kilograms, a new survey of farmers’ perceptions in Kenya found the effect to be about half as large after controlling for the effects of breeds, season and other feeds. Whether the effect is the lower or higher estimate, the overall impact of theshrubs in terms of additional net income from milk is high, at US$19.7 million to $29.6 million in Kenya alone over the past 15 years.

Full report in pdf

The final report of the SLP projet Balancing livestock needs and soil conservation: assessment of opportunities in intensifying cereal–livestock systems in West Africa led by IITA in collaboration with ICRISAT and ILRI is now available on line

Photo: Tahirou Abdoulaye (IITA)

The general objective of the project was to identify key areas where research can make a difference in balancing trade-offs among livestock, soil, and crops, while taking advantage of synergies in evolving crop–livestock systems. The project focused on the identification of socioeconomic factors influencing decision-making on crop residue uses, quantification of trade-offs in using crop residues as soil amendment or livestock feed, and the identification of entry points for improving the productivity of cereal–legume–livestock systems.

The Fodder Adoption Project has recently published Fodder Fact Sheets for Ethiopia in English, Amharic and Oromiffa

Joint Publication from Save the Children, FAO and ECHO on Participatory Rangeland Management in the specific context of Ethiopia is available on line.

‘The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) proposed the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) as an innovation system framework that should form the base upon which transformation of agricultural research in SSA should be considered. The IAR4D concept aims to deviate from the traditional linear configuration of ARD by encouraging the engagement of multiple actors along the commodity value chain for the promotion of the process of innovation in the agricultural system. In IAR4D, innovation evolves through continuous interaction among players, utilisation of feedback, analysis and incorporation of lessons learned between different processes. This essentially draws onthe knowledge of relevant actors at each stage. The framework creates a network that considers the technical, social, and institutional constraints in an environment that facilitates learning with the ultimate aim of generating innovation rather than mere research products or technologies. IAR4D cannot but be complex, and would certainly require fundamental changes in the wider institutional and policy environment in order for it to promote the process of innovation.’ Monty Jones Executive Director FARA

Link to the full document

Among the key findings in the report are:

  • More than 1.7 billion animals are used in livestock production worldwide and occupy more than one-fourth of the Earth’s land.
  • Production of animal feed consumes about one-third of total arable land.
  • Livestock production accounts for approximately 40 percent of the global agricultural gross domestic product.
  • The livestock sector, including feed production and transport, is responsible for about 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Read the story on the Woods Institute for the Environment Website

To obtain a copy of Livestock in a Changing Landscape, contact Angela Osborn at Island Press: (202) 232-7933 (extension 35) or aosborn@islandpress.org.

The Thematic Papers are part of a Toolkit for Project Design recently published by IFAD which reflects its commitment to developing a sustainable livestock sector in which poor farmers and herders might have higher incomes, and better access to assets, services, technologies and markets. They intend to be practical tools for development practitioners, project designers and policymakers to define appropriate livestock development interventions with recommendations on critical issues and also possible responses and actions to encourage the socio-economic empowerment of poor livestock keepers.

–          Emergency Livestock Interventions in Crisis and Post-crisis Situations

–          Gender and Livestock: Tools for Design

–          Integrated Crop-Livestock Farming Systems

–          Livestock and Climate Change

–          Livestock and Land

–          Livestock and Pastoralists

–          Livestock and Rural Finance

–          Value Chains, Linking Producers to the Markets

–          Water and Livestock for Rural Livelihoods

Compiled by Amir Kassam, Moderator of CA-CoP listserver

Yet another forward looking publication on Food Security….

This time in Crop Science and  using the IMPACT-IFPRI model (as in the recent Science piece by Herrero et al.)

Full article in pdf

Abstract
This background article addresses key challenges of adequately feeding a population of 9 billion by 2050, while preserving the agroecosystems from which other services are also expected. One of the scenario-buildings uses the Agrimonde platform, which considers the following steps: choosing the scenarios and their underlying building principles, developing quantitative scenarios, and building complete scenarios by combining quantitative scenarios with qualitative hypotheses. These scenarios consider how food issues link to production, for example, the percentage of animal vs. vegetal calorie intake in the full diet. The first section of this article discusses Agrimonde GO and Agrimonde 1 scenarios, which indicate that global economic growth and ecological intensification remain as main challenges for feeding the earth’s growing population toward the mid-21st century. The second section provides the outcomes of the analysis of alternative futures for agricultural supply and demand and food security to 2050, based on research done for the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development. The last section of this article provides a summary analysis of food systems and functions, as well as the role of food technology that address some of the global challenges affecting the supply of more nutritious and healthy diets. It also highlights the food production by novel means (e.g., alternatives for animal products based on plant materials) and increasing the presence of potentially health-promoting compounds in food to improve human and animal health. Finally, this article proposes priority areas that should be included in further agri-food research.

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