The increasing use of groundwater for irrigation poses a major threat to global food security

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Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Panos

Groundwater overuse rising, could hit food prices

Speed read

  • The world has been increasingly extracting groundwater to support agriculture
  • Most of these go to rice, wheat, cotton, corn, sugar and soybean crops
  • Water use efficiency needs to be improved as also monitoring and regulation

The increasing use of groundwater for irrigation poses a major threat to global food security and could lead to unaffordable prices of staple foods. From 2000 to 2010, the amount of non-renewable groundwater used for irrigation increased by a quarter, according to an article published in Nature on March 30. During the same period China had doubled its groundwater use.

The article finds that 11 per cent of groundwater extraction for irrigation is linked to agricultural trade.

“In some regions, for example in Central California or North-West India, there is not enough precipitation or surface water available to grow crops…

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Deforestation in Nigeria (Google Alert / allAfrica)

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Read at :

Google Alert for desertification

allAfrica

http://allafrica.com/stories/200707231729.html

Nigeria: Rich in Oil, Dependent On Firewood

It is a paradox of note: the fact that while Nigerians live in the world’s sixth-largest oil producer, most of them still rely on wood for their fuel. Of the country’s population of over 140 million, about 70 percent live in rural areas and are directly or indirectly dependent on forest resources — especially wood — to meet their domestic energy needs, says Musa Amiebinomo of the national Department of Forestry.  This is leading to destruction of forest cover, a situation aggravated by illegal commercial logging. Figures from the 2005 ‘ State of the World’s Forests’ report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) indicate that between 1990 and 2005, Nigeria lost 35.7 percent of…

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Fuel Wood and Desertification

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Fuel Wood Consumption and Desertification in Nigeria

by Audu, E.B.
Government Secondary School, Lugbe, Along Umaru Musa Yar’adua Way, Abuja – FCT, Nigeria.
ABSTRACT
Uncontrolled population explosion especially in the developing countries, the need and struggle for survival as well as the quest for more comfort are the major causes of environmental resources depletion in the world with particular reference to Nigeria. One of the environmental resources over–exploited in Nigeria without adequate replacement
is vegetation particularly trees.
This paper seeks to look into the degree of fuel wood consumption in Nigeria using data of
the percentage (%) distribution of households by type of fuel for cooking in 2007 , areas of the desert–prone states in km2 and the population figures of the affected states
The results are presented in tables, analyzed using descriptive and comparative methods, discussed with mitigation measures suggested.
The result shows that fuel wood is there about…

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To upscale climate-smart agriculture

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Photo credit: Agroforestry World

A smallholder farm in Tanzania. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Todd Rosenstock

Connecting research, practice and policy to upscale climate-smart agriculture

A group of women in Kamotony area in Kenya were worried that they were unable to provide food for their children in the face of climate change impacts. They would ask themselves, “Sasa sisi tutafanya nini kutoka hali hii?” What can we do to emancipate ourselves from this situation?

Their situation is not unique.  Like most smallholder farmers in developing countries, they face the challenges of food insecurity, poverty, the degradation of local land and water resources, and increasing climatic variability. These farmers rely on agriculture for food and nutrition security, and income. Climate change is a threat to this very important source of their livelihoods.

“If agricultural systems are to meet the needs of these farmers, they must evolve in ways that lead…

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It is time to use historical data to predict drought in Africa to benefit farmers

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Photo credit: SciDevNet

Copyright: Petterik Wiggers / Panos

Time is ripe to predict drought to help African farmers

by Esther Ngumbi

Speed read

  • Drought is ravaging Africa, thus resulting dire need of food
  • One strategy in fighting drought is using historical data to predict the future
  • Such a strategy could help reduce drought risk and aid emergency response

The scorching heat of Kenya’s south coast is causing nightmares to many farmers. Just two months ago, after the rains arrived, Kenya’s south coast was lush with green scenery. The maize fields were thriving and the tomatoes and bell peppers were flourishing. Farmers were happy and looking forward to a bumper harvest.

Today, however, the green is gone, the maize is withered and the situation is grim.  A drought is looming.  Even the drought-tolerant crops such as Syngenta’s Kilele F1 tomato variety and amaranth greens are being affected by the extreme…

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Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) innovations

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Photo credit: ICRISAT

His Excellence Moussa Ousmane distributes plants to women at the project launch. Photo: Mahamane Badamssi, ICRISAT

NEW CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE PROJECT LAUNCHED IN THE POOREST REGIONS OF NIGER

To improve the resilience of poor households to climate risk in the resource-constrained farming systems of the semi-arid ecology of Niger a project funded by the European Union was launched.

The project will use a participatory approach to co-develop and scale out Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) innovations which will include:

  • Short duration crop varieties well adapted to the climate
  • The development of seed value chain to improve access to seeds
  • Improved technologies of soil fertility, water harvesting and agroforestry systems.

A crosscutting objective of the project is focused on sustainable increase of agricultural productivity and nutritional values of agricultural products, reduction of poverty by the strengthening local value chains of high value crops and trees for income generation, especially for…

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Sustainable water bird management for food security

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Photo credit: UN News Centre

A flock of Ruffs in central Sudan. Birds are crucial for food security for the local populations. Photo: FAO/ONCFS

Sahel: UN and French conservation group partner on sustainable water bird management for food security

The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) today announced a new partnership with the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), aiming at adopting sustainable water bird hunting management to protect wetland resources in Africa’s Sahel region which are crucial for food security and economic development.

“Our goal is to adapt water bird hunting by promoting sustainable hunting management and bird conservation policies which will benefit those local communities who rely on birds for their livelihoods,” Eva Muller, Director of FAO’s Forestry Policy and Resources Division, said in a new release.

The newly-signed agreement between FAO and FFEM will co-fund one third of the five million euros project…

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