Posts Tagged agnews
With the last issue vol. 26 of the Newsletter released this month, below is a list of all past issues that the programme has published.
Issue 26: Regional Collective Action Wraps Up
Issue 23: Rwanda launches Irrigation Master Plan
Issue 21: Developing Africa’s Agricultural Markets
Issue 19: Highlights from GCARD
Issue 14: Update on the CGIAR Reform Process
Issue 5: Connecting the Dots: Online Maps for Improved Access to Information on Agricultural Research Projects
Issue 4: Could 150 Million Thirsty Livestock Be Efficient Water Harvesters? Nile Basin Studies Show How
Although Rwanda possesses considerable water resources, they are not evenly distributed. For example, while water is abundant in the marshlands, facilities for storing it elsewhere for irrigation purposes are lacking. Farming during dry seasons is thus limited in most parts of Rwanda. Agriculture and livestock in the eastern parts of Rwanda, where rainfall is lowest, are especially affected. This situation created a need for a full, efficient and sustainable exploitation of water resources that can help to ensure the sustainable production of food, cash, export and industrial crops.
One of the best options of achieving food security and improving people’s living conditions is through the use of modern irrigation technologies. It is from this recognition that the government of Rwanda commissioned Ebony Enterprises Limited, an Israeli firm, for the development of an Irrigation Master Plan (IMP) to facilitate the management of water resources, promote irrigation and improve food security. Ebony subsequently partnered with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) to undertake this task in collaboration with Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) and Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority (RADA). The aim of Rwanda’s IMP is to develop and manage water resources to promote intensive and sustainable irrigated agriculture and improve food security in Rwanda. Specifically, the objective of the IMP is to provide Rwanda with a planning tool for rational exploitation of its soil and water resources as represented by the respective domains (see Figure 1) at both national and district levels. This tool is intended to lead to an increase in crop production for local consumption, as well as to promote production of high-value crops.
In order to produce the IMP, ICRAF developed a flow chart matrix that identifies potential irrigation areas and water sources by mapping biophysical and socioeconomic parameters. Details of this work are provided in the IMP document which was launched on the 17th September 2010 in a ceremony graced by the Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda and the Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr. Agnes Kalibata. In her remarks, Hon. Kalibata, commended ICRAF and Ebony for a job well done. A number of organizations from diplomatic missions, international research institutions, local NGOs and the community were represented during the launch of the IMP.
In May 2009, 150 of the world’s leading market experts gathered in Nairobi, Kenya to consider how governments, donors and other stakeholders could improve Africa’s national and regional agricultural markets. Their goal was to identify and recommend priority actions for achieving more efficient and effective markets that would contribute to poverty reduction and economic development throughout the continent.
The Conference, organized by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, (AGRA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), comprised a wide range of representatives from the African agricultural value chain.
Participants considered interventions that have improved African markets as well as actions and policies that have undermined them. Overall, the experts concurred that no single institution or group of special interest stakeholders could resolve the array of problems afflicting Africa’s agricultural markets. Participants called for a range of efforts that would dramatically scale up proven interventions and test new ideas and approaches that would unleash the capacity of African agriculture to improve livelihoods and drive economic growth.
Among the many recommendations made for priority action was the need to encourage innovations that improve market efficiency and more fully integrate small-scale agro-entrepreneurs into marketing processes. Another recommendation was to support the provision of financial services to small-scale agro-enterprises and smallholder farmers – especially women – and the channeling of “smart subsidies” for farmers and small agro-businesses through private sector input suppliers in order to create market demand.
In collaboration with national and international partners, Bioversity International launched a campaign ‘Diversity for Life’ on 22 May 2008 (the International Day of Biodiversity) leading to and culminating in the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010. The campaign is raising awareness of the role that agricultural biodiversity plays in the lives of people.
To focus the world’s attention on the importance biodiversity plays in sustaining life, the United Nations proclaimed 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). In Africa, where food insecurity threatens the lives of many people in the midst of a large diversity of agricultural biodiversity resources, the year 2010 presents a unique opportunity to highlight the need for the conservation and use of these resources to feed Africa’s populations.
The official celebrations marking the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB),(22nd May,- celebrated worldwide every year) were officiated by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Secretariat of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), National Museums of Kenya (NMK), Bioversity International, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Agriculture of Kenya. National and international delegates to the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological ADVICE (SBSTTA 141) meeting in Nairobi, researchers, students and the general public attended the event.
As part of the celebrations of the IYB 2010 special events were held at the NMK. These included the Guardians of biodiversity exhibition, a tented exhibition and a lecture. The “Guardians of Biodiversity “ comprises photographs and captions on the work of farmers, communities and researchers who are role models in the conservation of agricultural biodiversity resources. It is jointly organised by the CGIAR and Bioversity International and will run for three months at the Museums hall. A similar exhibition is also on display in Italy. The ‘Guardians’ are people who are dedicated to safeguarding and using agricultural biodiversity to improve their lives and those of others. Their passion for agricultural diversity is helping to create a healthier, more food secure world…Read more
This issue of CAN reports on the on-going CGIAR reform, providing an update from the Executive Council Meeting held 03-04 November in Rome. The meeting was attended by Carlos Seré (Director General, ILRI) and Dennis Garrity (Director General, World Agroforestry Centre) who share their views.
In December 2008, the CGIAR launched its Change Initiative to identify how best to fulfill its role as a provider of science-based solutions for agriculture, natural resource management and rural development. A new system was agreed on and over the past 12 months a series of consultations, reports and meetings have been conducted to flesh out how the components of the new system will operate. The recent Executive Council meeting affirmed that all elements of the new system are coming together and that the new CGIAR is quickly becoming a reality. Informal
meetings between donors and centers, before the Executive Council meeting, paved the way for constructive exchange. The Chair of the CGIAR, Kathy Sierra, led the meeting in a “negotiation” format, which helped resolve contentious issues.
The core elements of the new CGIAR will be the Consortium of the CGIAR Centers and the Fund. The Consortium will unite the Centers under one legal entity and provide a single entry point for the Fund to contract Centers and other partners for research products. A Consortium Constitution has been drafted and revised, and the members of the Consortium Board will be announced by the end of 2009. Once the Board is established, it will recruit the new Consortium chief executive officer and set up the Consortium office in the second half of 2010.
Click on the article to download the full report.
Rising food prices in eastern and southern Africa revisited: Lifting trade barriers is still the answer
In the August issue of the Collective Action News, we revisit food price trends across eastern and southern Africa, a topic we focused on in our first issue, in July 2008, just after the global food price crisis had peaked. We also draw attention to policy responses to the food price crisis, and provide an outlook for food prices in ESA for the rest of 2009.
Although the Global Food Price Index (FPI) of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) fell between June 2008 and February 2009, global food prices have been rising slightly since then. Changes in the Global FPI were matched by a persistent increase in FPIs in countries belonging to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), except for Malawi and Comoros, which have experienced very volatile FPIs. On average, the prices of white maize, beans, milk, and non-tradable food items such as bananas, potatoes and yams all increased between January 2007 and January 2009.
White maize is the staple grain in Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia and some parts of Ethiopia. In Uganda, it is grown mainly as a commercial crop for export to the region. Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, and Tanzania have all seen substantial increases in maize prices from early 2007 – and there were no signs of decrease as of March 2009, apart for Zambia. The prices in these countries seem to be linked, perhaps due to cross-border trade and shortfalls of maize production within East Africa. For the season ending March 2009, maize supply in Kenya was constrained by reduced imports from Tanzania and Uganda during 2008/09 due to tightened markets in those countries as well as a trade ban in Tanzania – which led to prices almost 120% above normal. Similarly, from January 2007 to January 2009, bean prices have risen in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia and Tanzania…Read more
In the July issue of Collective Action News, we direct the spotlight into a key aspect of those agricultural systems: Africa’s soils. How can we collectively manage this vital resource? Africa’s soils lose a dollar equivalent of US$ 4 billion in nutrients each year. In the past, single technological solutions were promoted across wide areas, often failing to take the heterogeneity of African soils into account. Today, collective action is developing principles and tools to tackle soil infertility more efficiently, and to enrich the knowledge base of how and where soil constraints manifest themselves in African landscapes and farms. On a continent where 65% of people are directly affected by soil degradation, this has not come a moment too soon.
Our Newsbytes highlight some of the resolutions that experts on agriculture, land and livestock reached at the African ministers meeting in Addis Ababa in April this year. Also featured is the CGIAR Research Map, highlighting the World Agroforestry Centre’s projects – 62 of which tie in with the lead story focus on INRM.
Happy reading and do keep your comments, questions and suggestions coming.