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State of the world 2011: Innovations that nourish the planet

State of the world 2011

Edited by Linda Starke
Published by Earthscan
Website: www.earthscan.co.uk
2011, 272pp, ISBN 978 0 39333 880 5(Pb), £14.99

From innovations in rice breeding in Madagascar and grain trading in Zambia to solar cookers in Senegal and wastewater irrigation in West Africa, State of the world 2011 provides practical accounts of innovations that are helping the poorest communities feed themselves. "Africa has among the most persistent problems with malnutrition - it is home to the most nations were more than a third of the people are hungry," the authors write. "In spite of this, the continent is becoming a rich and diverse breeding ground for innovations in agriculture that support farmer income and nourishment for people at the same time."

Concise and accessible, State of the world 2011 clearly outlines 15 innovations from across Africa that have been successful in boosting yields, preventing food waste, building resilience to climate change and strengthening urban agriculture. "By empowering small farmers - particularly women, who dominate farming in Africa - with simple but transformative innovations, rapid and productive change is possible."

To nourish both people and the planet, the book calls on farmers, scientists, donors, agribusiness executives and the global community to: safeguard crop diversity by growing crops other than grains, build soils and make better use of rainfed farms; make better use of the food that is already produced, by reducing waste, improving access to markets and enabling farmers to add value to their agricultural products; and build international solidarity within the global food system.

"We must dispense with simple truths like 'bigger is better' and avoid the search for silver bullet solutions to complex problems," writes Worldwatch Institute president Christopher Flavin. "If we do that, agriculture may once again become a centre of human innovation - and the goals of ending hunger and creating a sustainable world will be a little closer than they are today."

Date published: January 2011

 

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