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Arab Spatial launches Food Security Blog

arab spatial blog pic


A great collection of 4 inaugural stories of the new Arab Food Security Blog launched today to become an integral part of the Arab Spatial platform. With this valuable addition, the online atlas becomes not just a unique open-access information tool on development and food security in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, but a real forum for discussion, learning, and knowledge-sharing.


Why rural women are integral in the upcoming climate change negotiations

Sustainable coffee farming

Photo: Flickr, Nestlé

We know more and more about what our planet faces as climate change intensifies and greenhouse gas emissions lead us on a probably irreversible path of global warming and uncertain rainfall patterns, at least for the next four decades. As policymakers prepare for another round of climate change negotiations in December in Lima, Peru, they are no longer only discussing climate change prevention, or “mitigation.” It is imperative that we also turn our attention to “adaptation”; learning to adapt to climate change now is critical because climate change is affecting livelihoods, particularly in rural areas.

Growing evidence suggests that men and women experience climate change impacts differently and have different needs for adaptation. read more...

How to build resilience to conflict: The role of food security

FPR-Conflict_FoodSecThis Food Policy Report explains why there is a need to place even higher priority on food security–related policies and programs in conflict-prone countries, and offers insights for policymakers regarding how to do so.

This paper is one of the key products of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded project Decreasing Vulnerability to Conflict in the Middle East and North Africa through Rural Development, co-financed by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM).


Smallholder agriculture: “It’s a cool business!”

CGIAR Development dialogue logo - Final Expert panel discussed expanding commercial opportunities for the poor at recent CGIAR Development Dialogues

Today nearly 450 million farmers work on less than 2 hectares of land.  Collectively, these farmers and their families comprise about half the world’s undernourished people and more than half of people living in absolute poverty. Even amid rising global rates of urban migration, many countries are also experiencing rural population growth, and experts expect both trends to continue in the coming decades.

What can policymakers, development practitioners, NGOs, researchers, and farmers themselves do to improve the ability of the world’s small farmers to contribute to food security—their own and that of the world?  Speakers in the CGIAR Development Dialogues’ session on expanding commercial opportunities for the rural poor each brought his and her own perspective but agreed on one thing: agriculture of smallholders is business, just as is the case for large commercial producers. It does need to be supported, but in a smart way. read more...

How much food do women produce?

This blog was originally posted on the CGIAR Development Dialogues 2014 website and is an entry for the "Talking Science" competition.

CD blogWomen play important roles in all smallholder farming systems. Advocates for women farmers often claim that “women produce 60-80% of the world’s food.” Occasionally, we are told that this statistic refers to food produced in developing countries, or food crops in sub-Saharan Africa; the reference point is vague. But the idea is clear – women produce more food than men.

Every bit of available evidence, however, suggests that the statistic is wrong – and indeed that the underlying claim is simply a myth. read more...

CTA-ILRI African dairy value chain seminar closes with colourful results

Cross-posted from ILRI News

Crossbred dairy cow

An improved, crossbred, dairy cow made available in Rwanda by an East African Dairy Development project, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and led by Heifer International; the International Livestock Research Institute is a partner in this project (picture credit: ILRI/EADD).

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) organized the CTA-ILRI African dairy value chain seminar from 21 to 24 September 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. This event was made possible thanks to funding support from CTA, the CGIAR Research Programs on Policies, Institutions, and Markets and on Livestock and Fish.

Around 80 participants came from all over Africa and beyond to share their experiences, lessons learned, dairy value chain development models and analytical tools to study dairy value chains. read more...