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More money and less risk for African eco-farmers

  A Greenpeace study in Malawi and Kenya has revealed that chemically-intensive farming hurts the bottom line of small-scale farmers; agroecological farming is more profitable. Agroecology refers to a suite of sustainable farming practices that use few or...

Buol, villagers, landscape

Can poor villages improve their livelihoods and protect their environment?

A new law in Indonesia gives funds for development but villages don’t have the capacity to carry it through. A workshop identified rewards-for-environmental-services’ schemes as potential capacity builders   The Government of Indonesia’s recently promulgated Law no. 6/2014...

farmer's nursery, AFLI, Northwest Viet Nam

Participatory, on-farm research in Viet Nam is a challenge!

Participatory, on-farm research has long been acknowledged as an approach with great potential for increasing the adoption of research results for development purposes. However, sometimes there can be unexpected obstacles, including the farmers themselves.   In participatory, on-farm...

Dr Rob Cramb, SEARCA, Agriculture and Development Seminar

The past, present and future of swidden agriculture

Swidden practices have often been viewed as highly destructive and only used by poor, upland farmers. However, that perception is changing as the practice itself changes.   Part 2 of the changing story of swidden agriculture. Read parts...

Easier and faster processing of njansang heralds opportunities for local development

Ricinodendron heudelotii, locally known as Njansang (or njansa), is a forest tree found in Cameroon and other countries along Africa’s tropical belt. Women and children traditionally collect njansang fruit in the forest and undertake the labourious, time-intensive job...

oil palm, seedlings, Sulawesi, Photo Nichola Mitakda

Indonesian agriculture isn’t as ‘green’ as planned

Indonesia’s agricultural policies aim to reduce the environmental footprint but actions are incomplete, creating a gap between aspirations and reality   Indonesia has embraced sustainable agriculture through a variety of national strategies, such as National Agenda 21, national...

Field visit, Doan Ket village, Son La, Northwest Viet Nam Photo Tran Phong

New coordinated research initiative launched in Viet Nam

The Humidtropics’ Research for Development Platform for Northwest Viet Nam will help focus national and world attention on the region to address major challenges   The Humidtropics’ Research for Development (R4D) Platform in the Northwest of Viet Nam...

agroforestry trial, Northwest Viet Nam

Agroforests set to replace monocrops in Northwest Viet Nam

Land degradation owing to monocropping is the main reason for reduced agricultural productivity in Northwest Viet Nam. But after four years of agroforestry research, results show positive signs for farmers.   Monocropping of annuals—such as maize, rice and...

Linking fertilizer subsidies to sustainable farming with trees

A proposed new platform to link Southern Africa’s fertilizer subsidies to sustainable farming practices could be key to reversing the region’s land degradation crisis. The platform – which would be jointly sponsored by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)...

Delia C. Catacutan (left) and Nguyen Thi Thanh An

Australian support for agroforestry development in Viet Nam

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research is working with ICRAF to test new agroforestry systems in Northwest Viet Nam, explains Nguyen Thi Thanh An   The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) has a mission to...

tree domestication, grafting, AFLI, Viet Nam

Viet Nam needs a tree-domestication strategy

Despite extensive forest restoration since the wars, quality remains low and indigenous species are underutilised. A comprehensive national strategy would speed increases in timber supply, farmers’ livelihoods, biodiversity and environmental security.   Over the last 25 years, planted...

A national agroforestry policy is an imperative for Viet Nam

Despite clear evidence of agroforestry’s potential to address environmental degradation, food insecurity and poverty, there is no national agroforestry policy in Viet Nam. One is sorely needed, say researchers   Numerous agroforestry systems have been tested in Viet...

Farmer, Thai, tree management, Northwest Viet Nam, Mai Thanh Tu

Farmers in Viet Nam committed to developing agroforestry systems

Despite challenges, farmers in the northwest of Viet Nam are persisting with agroforestry trials to claim the long-term benefits   Spending time taking care of their young agroforestry systems is one of the challenges faced by farmers in...

Empowering farmers with knowledge and skills changes lives

To visit with Cameroonian farmer Louis-Marie Atangana is to witness first hand how farmers’ empowerment with knowledge and skills can change lives and landscapes. Until 4 years ago Atangana, 45, was a cassava farmer struggling to feed his...