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Required: Smallholder farmer transition through links with private sector

An estimated 500 million smallholder farmers in the developing world produce the majority of food for the earth’s public citizens. Yet these farmers are not in the public sector; rather, they are part of the private sector—like private...

World leaders take note: there is a plan to address climate change in African landscapes

With several high-level international climate meetings underway this week, it is vital to ensure that commitments translate, quickly, into actions that have both climate mitigation as well as adaptation benefits. The newly released African Landscapes Action Plan provides...

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....

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...

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...

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...

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...

Wild fruit tree shows promise for reclaiming drought and salt affected environments and improving food security

Cultivation of the wild indigenous fruit tree, Dobera glabra, could help to achieve greater food security in dry regions of Ethiopia. Dobera glabra has great potential as an agroforestry species in dry areas due to its ability to...

‘Don’t throw money at farmers’, and other lessons in sustainable multi-functional agriculture

To overcome poverty, hunger and malnutrition as well as their close bedfellow environmental degradation, we would all do well to heed the dozen principles discussed in a new article by Roger B. Leakey. Instead of giving farmers cash...

Grow your own pesticidal plants

Active ingredients found in wild flowers, trees and bramble have been used for millennia to control pests and diseases. Different parts of the plants are processed into decoctions or applied directly to crops or livestock, protecting them from...