Cécile Ndjebet of REFACOF, Cameroon speaks at ICRAF HQ, Nairobi 10September2014. Photo by Anne Kamadi/ICRAF

Positive action on gender supports sustainable development

“Women produce up to three-quarters of the food crops grown in West and Central Africa, and their actions, for better or for worse, affect natural resources, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and ultimately shape the trajectory towards sustainable development. Cécile Njebet, an advocate for women’s rights and currently president of the African Women’s Network for Community […]

CGIAR Development Dialogues

The CGIAR Development Dialogues 2014 and Living Data competition

The year 2014 marks an historic opportunity to communicate the importance of research on sustainable agriculture to people involved in the policy processes on climate change and development. An online competition is intended to spark wide interest The CGIAR Development Dialogues is an invitation only, high-level, one-day event intended to focus global attention on the […]

Young agroforest on sloping land

Which agroforest for which farm under changing climates?

Agroforestry systems, as demonstrated in studies around the world, can help smallholders adapt to climate risks and at the same time mitigate climate change. However, to identify the best system there is a need to look closely at the benefits and trade-offs, say Rodel Lasco, Rafaela Jane Delfino and Marya Laya Espaldon   By Amy […]

Farmers, coffee, Kertamandala, Indonesia

Not everyone benefits from community forest management

On the slopes of Mt Sawal in the district of Ciamis, Indonesia, farmers have small plots of land that don’t produce enough to meet their needs. A community-based forest management scheme was supposed to solve that problem but ended up benefiting the wealthiest and the state-owned company that runs the scheme   By Sébastien de […]

Farmers in Côte d’Ivoire learn about improved cocoa agricultural practices through the Vision for Change partnership project.

Bringing business savvy to agroforestry

Public research organizations are increasingly realizing the benefits of collaborating with the private sector, yet this potential is still largely untapped. In the newly released and comprehensive Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, a chapter has been dedicated to analysing public private partnerships in agroforestry. It includes 6 case studies from a range of countries […]

Experiments under a shea tree with a termite mound. Photo by Aida Bargués Tobella/SLU

Native trees in African drylands serve as water harvesters

Native trees that dot African dryland areas bring a welcome respite from the tropical sun. In addition, and contrary to old assumptions, they “… may function as water harvesters, contributing to deeper drainage and recharge.” They might thereby help recharge groundwater bodies. These findings by researchers from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and […]


What needs fixing – our broken food systems, our attitudes to food, or both?

Our food systems are broken, we were told during the Crawford Fund’s Annual Parliamentary Conference in Canberra, Australia from 26-28 August 2014. So how do we fix them? Is it through climate-smart agriculture, which aims for a triple win of increasing agricultural productivity, reducing emissions and helping farmers adapt? Certainly this is needed in the […]

Women farmers in Malawi. Photo: Charlie Pye-Smith / World Agroforestry Centre

If you don’t pay attention to gender you will fail

To feed the estimated 9 billion people who are expected to inhabit our planet by 2015, we need to invest in women. “It’s not enough to say we are gender neutral,” said Catherine Bertini, as she delivered the Sir John Crawford Memorial Address in Canberra, Australia on 27 August 2014. “We need to constantly ask […]

Contemplating the yield and resource-use-efficiency gaps in Dien Bien province, Viet Nam. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Robert Finlayson

Can one GAP reconcile two other gaps?

Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), which is enforceable in world trade to control hidden subsidies, could help make food systems globally efficient and locally sustainable by closing two other important gaps   By Meine van Noordwijk and Lijbert Brussaard   Agriculture has a substantial spillover that affects the Earth’s ecosystems, resulting in an ‘ecological footprint’ of […]

Terracing controls soil erosion on sloping land. Photo by Daisy Ouya/ICRAF

Sustainable land management depends heavily on a farmer’s overall income

Faced with the unreliable weather patterns in a changing climate, high population, and shrinking farm sizes, subsistence farmers in Africa are turning to various coping mechanisms in order to ensure a crop and some income. A survey in Western Kenya found that sustainable land management methods, such as terracing to control soil erosion, agroforestry, and […]



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