Category: Commodities and Markets

Sander Van de Moortel

Sander Van de Moortel

After obtaining his master’s degree in linguistics and, later, journalism, Sander Van de Moortel chose to  leave his native Belgium for more adventurous lands. After a stint as a product manager for a German IT firm, he landed in China in 2011 after taking a wrong turn on a bike trip through Viet Nam.

Comfortably trapped in Yunnan by his linguistic ambitions and his somewhat complicated relationship with China, Van de Moortel has been responsible for communications at the World Agroforestry Centre’s East and Central Asia office, and is now assisting the communications unit in the Southeast Asia office. His research is almost exclusively focussed on exploring Southeast Asia’s colourful patchwork by bicycle.

Biodiesel from palm oil: finding the sweet spot between ecology and economy

Scientists at ICRAF The World Agroforestry Centre have struck the golden mean between intensification and environmental health for oil-palm plantations. Their analysis shows that sustainable systems can significantly boost production but not as high as some analysts believed....

Synchronous influence and partnerships: keys to research on Livelihood Systems

We have three main types of partnerships in the livelihood systems flagship – those with donors, those with upstream research providers and those with the users of our research outputs – the organizations that implement development, including national...

Black pepper: a climate-smart solution for homegardens?

Farmers in Central Viet Nam are learning how black pepper can help their agroforests and homegardens be more resilient to climate change. Quite rarely do we enter a restaurant that doesn’t have a black-pepper grinder on the table....

In Kenya, farmers see early rewards from adding legumes and trees to their farms

Less than a year after supplying farmers with legume seeds and fertilizer tree seedlings, the Legume CHOICE project team caught up with farmers and traders in Kisii and Migori counties of Kenya. The farmers were already enjoying the...

Alex Oduor and Malesu Maimbo, water engineers from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), talk with Khat farmers in Embu. Khat cultivation is severely impacting water availability yet is lucrative for farmers. Photo D Odhiambo/ICRAF

Resolving the khat conundrum: when a profitable crop has downsides

With European markets closed to the khat grown in one Kenyan county, khat grown in another county is making inroads into coffee, tea and forest. Environmental damage is escalating. Fortunately, researchers from the World Agroforestry Centre have a...

Promoting early-maturing, oil-rich shea trees and holding off the charcoal threat

In Europe and the US, shea butter or oil is a famous skin cream. But shea is even more important as the main cooking oil for the band of 21 African countries that stretches West to East from...