Dr Happiness Osebele, geneticist and mother of five, one of 29 senior plant breeders from around Africa attending the African Plant Breeding Academy in July 2016 at ICRAF. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Catharine Watson

How Happiness is breeding plants for Africa’s future

  Plant breeders are improving food plants and building a more food-secure future for Africa. One has been working at it all her life despite early challenges.   A plant breeder called Happiness spent 17 months trying to...

Soil inhabitants hold together the planet’s food system

At the launch of the Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas, experts shone a spotlight on the astonishing biodiversity in the soil, which supports food production, clean water, human health, and environmental sustainability. The Global Soil Biodiversity Atlas— the outstanding...

The A to Z of soil biodiversity

The soil is the “living, breathing skin of our planet.” It is the basis of food production and essential for clean water, health, greenhouse gas capture and numerous other functions that support life on earth. Soil biodiversity is...

Coffee growing under forest remnants in Ladalia. Dispersed in crop fields and pastures or planted in lines, trees are a conspicuous element in agricultural landscapes. Photo C Watson/ICRAF

In Nicaragua, a staggering diversity and density of trees on farms

Nicaragua is making progress. Although it is among the poorest countries in Latin America by GDP, its economy has grown by 4% a year for a decade. It is also ranked the sixth-safest country on the sub-continent. To...

An agroforestry view on crop modelling

Global food and development policies are increasingly being supported by crop models, but current modelling approaches are unfit for this purpose. The models in use, many of which were developed in the 1970s and 1980s for high-input monoculture...

Agroforestry offers sustainable alternative to worrying trend in Mekong region

A shift towards monoculture plantations and higher chemical use is of great concern to many in the Mekong region, particularly due to the impact this is having on food security and health. Farmers who have resisted monoculture cropping,...

For more and better-quality food production, take care of pollinators

The evidence is clear: For big gains in crop production, our landscapes must become more hospitable to some of the planet’s littlest creatures— its pollinators. Bees, birds, butterflies, moths and some small mammals transfer pollen from flower to...

“It’s time to stop talking and start acting” : Agroecological farming for people and the planet

Back in 2009, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) issued a clarion call for a deep reform of agriculture globally. “Business as usual is not an option,” the comprehensive, evidence-based global series...

Improving timber and non-timber products in Indonesia

Understanding how to manage timber and non-timber forest products is particularly important for poorer households in Indonesia. Action research to improve farmers’ understanding is underway.   Combining tree planting with management of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has been...

The green alliance that is restoring a national park

In Sukabumi in Indonesia an environmental organization has partnered with a private company, communities and a national park to restore the park’s barren areas.   By Enggar Paramita   When the Indonesian state forestry enterprise Perum Perhutani delineated...

Forest fashion, food and music wows Congress delegates: a photostory

Demonstrating that forests are more than then the sum of their trees, indigenous forest-dwellers showcased high-end fashion, food and orchestral prowess to the delight and edification of World Forestry Congress delegates. A story told in pictures…    ...

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