Agriculture & Food Security

UN Secretary-General on President Obama's Inauguration: Towards a New Era of Strong Partnership [viewed]

21 January 2009: In a statement issued in New York, US, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Barack Obama on his inauguration as US President. He underlined that, increasingly, the challenges faced by the community of nations are global in scope and require collective responses, citing, inter alia, climate change, the food and energy crises, and human development.

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World Water Forum Prepcom Highlights Impacts of Climate Change on Water Scarcity [viewed]

Agriculture is by far the biggest water user

21 January 2009: The Third Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meeting of the Ministerial Process of the Fifth World Water Forum, hosted by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and co-organized by the World Water Council, is being held at UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) headquarters in Rome, Italy, from 21-23 January 2008. The meeting has gathered delegates from over 60 countries to continue negotiations on a global plan of action for adapting to global changes that affect the management of freshwater resources.

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UN Prepares for High-Level Meeting on Food Security for All [viewed]

David Nabarro, coordinator of the Secretary-General's High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis

19 January 2009: UN officials and representatives of international agencies belonging to the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, ministers and several Heads of State will convene from 26-27 January 2009, in Madrid, Spain, for a High-Level Meeting on Food Security for All. Hosted by the Spanish Government, the meeting will review progress since the “High-Level Conference on World Food Security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy,” held in June 2008, during which 181 States and the European Community pledged to alleviate the suffering caused by soaring food prices, stimulate agricultural development and food production, and address obstacles to food access.

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Climate Change, Energy and Food Security UNU Website Wins Best Design Award [viewed]

UN University Internet blogging site wins industry acclaim with best design award

16 January 2009: The UN University (UNU) “World 2.0” blog has been awarded the prize for the best designed site by the world's largest Internet blog competition.

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IFPRI Releases Paper on Climate Variability and Maize Yield in South Africa [viewed]

December 2008: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has released a discussion paper entitled “Climate Variability and Maize Yield in South Africa: Results from GME and MELE Methods.” The paper investigates the impact of climate variability on maize yield in the Limpopo Basin of South Africa using the Generalized Maximum Entropy (GME) estimator and Maximum Entropy Leuven Estimator (MELE).

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ICRISAT's BioPower Initiative Develops Biofuels from Sweet Sorghum [viewed]

ICRISAT's Principal Sorghum Breeder BVS Reddy in a field of sweet sorghum.

December 2008: The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), published an overview of achievements, research needs and outlook for sweet sorghum as resource for pro-poor biofuel development. The article, published in ICRISAT's newsletter on the State of the Art on Semi-arid Agriculture (SASA), describes the work of ICRISAT's BioPower Initiative on the use of sweet sorghum for food, fodder and as feedstock for ethanol production in different countries.

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IFPRI Publishes Discussion Paper on Causes and Consequences of Surging Food Prices [viewed]

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

December 2008: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), published a discussion paper entitled “Anatomy of a Crisis: The Causes and Consequences of Surging Food Prices,” which provides a comprehensive review of causes and consequences of recent increases in international food prices.

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CGIAR's CIAT to Create Digital Map of Africa's Depleted Soils to Enhance Food Production and Cope with Climate Change [viewed]

African Soil Information Service (AfSIS). Photo credit, Dr Peter Okoth/TSBF-CIAT

13 January 2009: The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), will produce a detailed digital soil map of 42 sub-Saharan countries. The project, named the African Soil Information Service (AfSIS), will provide information necessary to overcome soil depletion and improve crop production through better soil management.

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UNEP Reports Successful Testing of Jatropha-Fuelled Flight [viewed]

Safe landing for Air New Zealand's jatropha-fuelled flight 31 December 2008: The UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) Climate Neutral Network has reported that Air New Zealand successfully tested a new jatropha-fuelled jumbo jet. The airline said the experience demonstrated that jatropha biofuel is suitable for use in airplanes without the need for engine modifications.

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IFPRI Publishes Discussion Paper on Opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa in Global Carbon Markets [viewed]

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) December 2008: The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has published a discussion paper entitled: “Global Carbon Markets: Are There Opportunities for Sub-Saharan Africa?” The paper investigates the constraints that prevent Sub-Saharan countries from fully participating in global carbon markets and suggests policies for better integration.

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