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GEF-funded program on resilient food security targets smallholder farmers in 12 African countries

Africa’s population is expected to double from 1.26 billion today to over two and half billion by 2050, little more than 30 years from now. At the same time, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and the effects of...

What will it take to restore 100 million hectares of land in Africa?

Never before in the history of mankind have we been challenged to shape our own survival —Wanjira Mathai The challenge is massive, but so is the promise. Healing 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested land in Africa...

Success factors for land and water management in Africa

At present, large expanses of land in rural Africa are degraded as a result of over extraction of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal. The problem is exacerbated by poor crop and animal husbandry practices, such as growing...

Smallholder farmers in Malawi are growing fertilizer trees on their farms to improve food production

The adoption of fertilizer trees on farms is a simple and effective way to improve soil fertility, food productivity and therefore contribute to food security. Yet, there is still little empirical research that documents the impact of fertilizer...

While raising crop yields, African thorn tree Faidherbia albida captures large amounts of carbon

A large, old Faidherbia albida tree with a metre-plus diameter stored the equivalent of the CO2 emitted by 8 cars over one year. These useful trees play an important role in carbon sequestration, a critical part of the...

Mapping Malawian farmers’ vulnerability to the impacts of climate shocks

Unprecedented floods experienced in Malawi in early 2015 left a trail of destruction in the central and southern parts of the country. Higher frequency of related incidents together with episodes of drought threaten agriculture-dependent livelihoods and the economy...

The global agroforestry challenge

The world’s leaders have been set the challenge of restoring more than 350 million hectares by 2030. Researchers see agroforestry as the key to making it happen.   ‘Around 20–25% of global land is degraded, affecting 1.5 billion...

The right tree for the right place: vegetationmap4africa v2 includes smartphone app

Tree enthusiasts on the move can now identify species as they go, and at the same time gain a deeper understanding of their natural environment, thanks to a new version of vegetationmap4africa (www.vegetationmap4africa.org). The new version of the...

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...

BLEANSA: The makings of an evergreen agriculture info hub for Southern Africa

At a session of the recent Beating Famine Southern Africa Conference, Isaac Nyoka, Coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) Southern Africa Node, discussed BLEANSA, short for Building a Large Evergreen Agriculture Network for Southern Africa. BLEANSA is a...

The twin promise of food and bioenergy security in Africa

People everywhere have needs that exceed the basics of food and shelter. They seek fulfillment and happiness and a better future for their children. Farmers seek better yields for less labour, and better nutrition for less cash. All...

Catalyzing adoption of trees for food security in southern Africa: Some lessons from eastern Africa

The importance of trees to farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa cannot be overstated. Challenges of soil degradation, low use of inputs like inorganic fertilizers, population pressure, poor agricultural practices and climate change have negatively impacted on food security...

Beating Famine Conference seeks a bold vision for Southern Africa

More than 400 participants from 38 countries are gathered in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on the opening day of the Beating Famine Southern Africa conference, a four-day event that is tackling the region’s widespread crisis of land degradation. “What...

Beating Famine conference tackles food insecurity in Southern Africa

Large tracts of Southern Africa are in the grips of a land degradation crisis that has shaken the foundations of food security in the region. The situation is precarious, but not insurmountable. By widely adopting low-cost and sustainable...