Long feared, it’s now finally happened. African swine fever (ASF), an infectious and highly lethal viral disease of pigs, has for the first time reared its head in China. Just two weeks ago, African swine fever was confirmed as the cause of death of pigs on a small farm in Shenyang City, in Liaoning Province, located in the northeast, bordering North Korea and the Yellow Sea.
Farmers who participate in the breeding programs and collect routine data on their cows’ health, growth and productivity receive personalized coaching and advice from livestock outreach specialists via routine visits and SMS messages on their phones.
Agricultural researchers working to enhance traditional pasture conservation by Tanzania’s pastoral Maasai communities are systematically addressing gendered norms and roles to ensure that they don’t end up hurting more than helping these communities.
Food systems must be transformed to produce more nutritious food with a lower environmental footprint. There are a number of initiatives around the world working towards this end. Here are just five that use different kinds of science—from smart approaches to breeding livestock and crops to recycling wastewater—that could help humans settle their growing debt to the planet.
Driven by rising incomes, demand for animal-source foods in Africa and Asia is expected to increase up to 200% by 2030. Efficient crop and livestock production and natural resource use will drive employment, environmental, nutrition and income gains in a subsector likely to be dominated by smallholders.
Important sources of meat, milk, traction and manure across Africa, cattle will become even more significant as demand for meat and milk is expected to more than double in sub-Saharan Africa from 2000 to 2030.
The minister’s speech extolled the benefits of a sustainable livestock sector and affirmed the government’s commitment to raising the profile of animal-sourced foods