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In this month's New Agriculturist...


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!

As always, if you have any feedback on this or recent editions, please do get in touch.

Points of view
Communication for development - recognising the need and deciding on its implementation

Focus on Underutilised crops
Local knowledge, global importance
Health through diversity
Nuts about the future
Hidden crops of the Andes
An unintended barrier to EU markets
Indigo: a future far from dark

In Print
Vanilla: Travels in search of the luscious substance
The State of Food and Agriculture 2003-04
Food Wars: The global battle for mouths, minds and markets
Ploughing Up the Farm: Neoliberalism, modern technology and the state of the world's farmers
The Atlas of Water: Mapping the world's most critical resource
Wastewater Use in Irrigated Agriculture: Confronting the livelihood and environmental realities
Restocking Pastoralists: A manual of best practice and decision support tools
Positive Developments
Communication for Rural Innovation: Rethinking agricultural extension

Municipal Forest Management in Latin America

Surviving the Banana Crush
By Marcella Harris, President, WINFA

Latest on the locusts
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
Peace Prize for Wangari Maathai
Russia commits to Kyoto
Organic farming reviewed
A great catch...
... in the CG Science Awards
Avian flu vaccination
Timing is everything in overcoming pesticide resistance
GM wheat for the desert
Tech Museum Awards 2004
US rejoins International Coffee Organisation
Cow coded
Rice fungus goes underground

Unlocking the potential of Africa's farmland
Not by farming alone
Mouldy sorghum finds its niche
Breeding from the bottom up
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation

Country Profile
Sri Lanka

Picture feature
Bolivia: Tibet of the Americas


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Editorial team:
Susanna Thorp, Mike Davison, Susie Emmett, Michael Pickstock and Anne Moorhead.

Patrick Harvey

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