An interesting, if scary, read is chapter 6 of the recently launched flagship report of IFPRI on reducing and managing food scares, co-written by Delia Grace at ILRI and John McDermott, who directs the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, led by IFPRI.
A major presentation was made at a special side event at the Borlaug Dialogue, in Iowa, on 15 Oct 2014. The side event was hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) as part of a series marking ILRI’s 40-year anniversary this year. The presentation was made by Chris Delgado, who in 1999 led ground-breaking studies showing that a ‘Livestock Revolution’ was taking place in the global South.
Using the Horn of Africa as an example, the maps illustrate different steps in a methodology developed to estimate and map the economic benefits to livestock keepers of controlling a disease (Shaw et al. 2014). Cattle are first assigned to different production systems as shown in Map 1, illustrating for example, where mixed farming is heavily dependent on the use of draft oxen in Ethiopia, areas of Sudan and South Sudan where oxen use is much lower, and the strictly pastoral areas of Somalia and Kenya.
Impacts of climate change on length of growing periods in Africa by Philip Thornton The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has published an atlas illustrating the current state of African smallholder agriculture. The Atlas of African Agriculture Research and Development comprises a series of maps and short analyses that showcase and locate the continent’s diverse agricultural …
An average of less than 1,000 millimeters of rain falls per year across most of Africa (Map 1). Rainfall tends to decrease with distance from the equator and is negligible in the Sahara (north of about latitude 16°N), in eastern Somalia, and in the southwest of the continent in Namibia and South Africa. Rainfall is most abundant on the eastern seaboard of Madagascar; portions of the highlands in eastern Africa; large areas of the Congo Basin and central Africa; and parts of coastal western Africa including Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.
Ruminant livestock are raised across large parts of Africa where environmental conditions allow. Cattle, sheep, and goats are the most widespread, while camels are restricted to drier areas, particularly in the Horn of Africa and the arid parts of western Africa. These maps of ruminant distribution should, however, be used in conjunction with the livestock production systems map to better understand the systems and climate zones where ruminant livestock are found. The role of livestock varies greatly depending on the production system.
Livestock-producing agricultural systems cover 73 percent of Africa and stretch across several climates (Map 1). To some extent, these climates determine what type of farming is practiced. In Africa, livestock-producing systems are broken into two main categories: livestock and mixed crop-livestock. These systems exist in three common African climates: arid/semiarid, humid/subhumid, and temperate/tropical highlands.
Aflatoxins are toxic chemicals produced as by-products by fungi (moulds) that grow on maize, groundnuts and other food crops. These toxins also affect feedstuffs, which then contaminate milk, meat and eggs. The toxins occur everywhere in the world, but pose particularly high risks in tropical developing countries where certain staple foods, such as maize and sorghum, comprise a large part of the diets of the poor.
Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin, are toxins found in food that can cause illness and be lethal in high doses. These toxins are formed by strains of moulds that infest susceptible grains such as maize and sorghum. Dairy cows that eat contaminated feed can yield contaminated milk. Milk is a major food in Kenya. Understanding how, …