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Ending hunger - facing the hard questions

Boitshepo Bibi Giyose, Food and Nutrition Security Advisor, NEPAD secretariat.

Boitshepo Bibi Giyose, food and nutrition security advisor to NEPAD, believes that hunger and malnutrition are not being taken seriously. Countless meetings and initiatives have been organised to tackle food insecurity over the last 30 years, but too often, once the talking is done there is a failure of action. Governments need to realise that ending hunger is everyone's business, and much better coordination is needed between ministries and departments. Yet the rewards of tackling hunger are huge, not only for individuals, who are thereby more likely to reach their potential, but for economies, societies and nations.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=217
Article: Boitshepo Bibi Giyose, NEPAD

Africa needs investment, but what sort?

Despite fears of a world recession, African agriculture could be a wise investment (credit: IRIN)

In Mozambique, foreign interests have bought up huge areas to grow crops for their own domestic markets. It's a pattern that is becoming more common across sub-Saharan Africa. But what will this do for Africa's rural populations? What will happen to those who lose their access to land? Africa needs investment, but according to Rustom Masalawala of the Millennium Promise organisation, that investment will only reduce poverty if it follows the right model. The Millennium Village project has been exploring how to make rural investment work, but sound governance and a change in global economic thinking may also be needed, if rural Africans are to escape the poverty trap.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=219
Article: African agriculture - prime time to invest?

New Agriculturist podcast 2008-6

New Agriculturist podcast 2008-6

In this edition's podcast for New Agriculturist, Susie Emmett reports on an innovative scheme in southern Kenya by Maasai pastoralists who are managing traditional lands with a more modern approach. Also from Kenya we hear from participants at the recent Banana 2008 conference, who give their views on the potential of banana production for improving livelihoods in Africa. When it comes to the wider problem of global hunger, Sheila Sisulu of the World Food Programme is well placed to comment. She tells Susanna Thorp that the recent global food price crisis is a wake-up call for the world to invest more in agriculture. As usual, Mike Davison has a nose for a good story, and he talks to Anselme Vodounhessi of CREPA in Burkina Faso, who is behind an innovative new project to collect human waste in the capital Ouagadougou for processing into fertiliser for growing crops.
Audio link: http://wrenmedia.jellycast.com/files/audio/new-ag08-6.mp3
Article: Common land, shared success in Kenya, Editorial, Sheila Sisulu, World Food Programme, Ancient traditions, modern relevance

Food crisis - short and long terms solutions

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The rising cost of food is exacerbating poverty and stretching the resources of relief organisations like the World Food Programme (WFP). But what measures are needed in the short, medium and long term to address the food crisis, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa? Sheila Sisulu, deputy executive director of the WFP, and Adewale Adekunle of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa offer their views on the challenges ahead, and where governments should be focussing their attention, in order to feed the hungry and build food security in the future.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=177
Article: Fighting hunger in a time of crisis

Climate change - can potato stand the heat?

Potato production is already migrating to higher, cooler altitudes

Potato is one of the most important food crops in the world and is grown in many parts of Africa. But climate change means farmers will have to change the way they produce this much-loved staple. The effects of climate change on potato production are already being felt in Africa and beyond. So what exactly is happening and what can be done to protect the potato? Potato experts from Kenya and Mauritius discuss the pressures facing the crop and an agricultural meteorologist gives his perspective on what needs to be done.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=179
Article: Climate change - can potato stand the heat?

Protecting forests - local voices

Protecting forests - local voices

Mabira forest in Uganda receives rainfall that supplies five major rivers, and helps maintain water levels in Lake Victoria and the Nile basin. Recently, the Ugandan government has been hoping to use up to a third of the forest area for sugar cane production, threatening both the environmental services the forest provides as well as the resources it provides to local people. However, the National Forestry Authority, which has been encouraging forest protection and replanting by local communities, has opposed the plan. A parish chief and a farmer give their views on the importance of forest protection.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=129
Article: Struggling to conserve the Mabira Forest

Nutrient recycling includes 'human manure'

Containers for urine and ecosan fertiliser collection

In much of Africa, farmland soil degradation is threatening agricultural livelihoods. Meanwhile in Africa's cities, sewage treatment is unable to cope with the volumes of waste being produced. Is there a way that urban human wastes could be recycled back to the rural fields, in a safe and acceptable way, thereby killing two birds with one stone? Maimbo Malesu, of the World Agroforestry Centre's water management unit offers his opinion on this controversial, but increasingly important priority.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=180
Article: Human fertiliser - closing the nutrient loop

The Arborloo - speeding up nutrient recycling

Containers for urine and ecosan fertiliser collection

The Arborloo is a simple, fast way for villagers to turn human toilet waste into highly fertile soil, suitable for tree planting, vegetables or whatever they choose to grow. Using full pit latrines for planting trees is common in parts of Africa. The Arborloo, which can be easily built using local materials and at very low cost, refines the concept. Arborloo pits are shallower and easier to dig. Adding soil or ash after using the toilet dramatically speeds up the transformation from toilet waste into fertile compost. Within 3-6 months a family may start a new pit, and the old one will soon be ready for planting. In The Arborloo: speeding up nutrient recycling Alex Oduor and Peter Morgan, passionate advocates of the Arborloo, explain all.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=199
Article: Human fertiliser - closing the nutrient loop

Top marks for school feeding

Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme.

The global community has set itself the target of halving the number of people suffering from hunger by 2015. But how can this be done? One way, according to Sheila Sisulu, Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), is through school feeding. Evidence shows that providing one free meal a day to school aged children greatly increases school attendance and performance. In particular, it improves attendance rates among girl children, reducing the frequency of early marriage and contributing to better maternal and child health. The WFP has recently innovated to improve its work, sourcing food from local farmers and beginning to provide meals during school holidays. See Top marks for school feeding.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=197
Article: Sheila Sisulu, World Food Programme

Safe fertiliser from toilet waste

Containers for urine and ecosan fertiliser collection

Human faeces and urine contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, the same ingredients as chemical fertilisers and animal manure. And while human defecation is a taboo subject in many areas, farmers in parts of Burkina Faso are learning that human manure is actually a rich resource. Under a pilot project in Ouagadougou, households have been given specially designed toilets which separate the solid and liquid elements of human waste. These are collected by a private sector organisation and converted into a safe, affordable fertiliser which is now proving popular with farmers. The pilot scheme may be extended across the country, and could also be introduced in Benin and Mali.
Audio link: http://www.agfax.net/radio/detail.php?i=181
Article: Human fertiliser - closing the nutrient loop


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