Agriculture & Food Security

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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WMO Helps Bangladesh Strengthen its Agrometeorological Services [viewed]

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

17 December 2008: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is helping the Bangladesh Meteorological Department to upgrade and strengthen its network of agrometeorological observatories, as announced at the opening of a national seminar on agrometeorology taking place in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Other international organizations such as the World Bank, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme are also participating in the seminar to discuss the country's need for improved weather and climate data in support of agriculture.

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African Ministers Pledge to Develop the Continent's Water Resources for Agriculture and Energy [viewed]

Water for Agriculture and Energy in Africa: the Challenges of Climate Change

17 December 2008: During the ministerial conference “Water for Agriculture and Energy in Africa: the Challenges of Climate Change,” held from 15-17 December 2008, in Sirte, Libya, ministers from 53 African countries adopted the Sirte Declaration, in which they pledge to promote water development throughout the continent to fully exploit Africa's agricultural and hydroenergy potential.

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UN Secretary-General Highlights South-South Cooperation's Role in Combating Climate Change [viewed]

15 December 2008: In a message to mark the celebration of the UN Day for South-South Cooperation, observed on 19 December, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that the global financial, food and climate change crises call for greater cooperation among developing countries.

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