The battle for the US Presidency has been a battle of communications, proving again that it is communication and not money that makes the world go round! But, whereas the rival political campaigns in America have been bankrolled by seemingly bottomless pockets, communication for development gets scant funding. However, this all too often neglected aspect of development got a thorough airing in September when the 9th UN Roundtable on Communication for Development drew together many of the most experienced professionals in this neglected field. New Agriculturist presents some of their comments in Points of View.
Neglected crops also get an airing, in Focus on. It's remarkable that human nutrition depends on a mere handful of the many thousands of edible plants available for consumption; the remainder, though often important in small localities, remain unutilised elsewhere and largely ignored by scientific research. Many face an uncertain future, reducing biodiversity and availability of potentially useful foods.
Vanilla is far from neglected but the future of this crop is unclear as rising prices make it too expensive to use; the fascinating history of this spice is the subject of the lead book in In Print, while the spice island of Sri Lanka is our Country Profile. Finally, a range of topics in Developments covers subjects including alternatives to agriculture in rural areas; how the somewhat neglected cereal crop sorghum looks set to enjoy a new lease of life in India, where it offers a more reliable feed source than maize for India's burgeoning broiler and layer poultry sectors; and the work of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation in bringing about a royalty-free transfer of technology to subsistence farmers. Ample to absorb and digest in this month's New Agriculturist!
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