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Monday, November 30, 2015

A floral hope in tough times

A floral hope in tough times: As drought looms large on the State’s agriculture sector, farmers are struggling to find ways to sustain their lives and livelihoods. Opting for short term crops, which are in good demand, is one of the options considered by farmers. One such effort is made by Udayakumar Basappa Rajura, a farmer in Benakanala village of Koppal district, who has taken up floriculture since 2012.

Africa can reduce poverty, food insecurity through transforming agriculture - ECA - business - News - StarAfrica.com

Africa can reduce poverty, food insecurity through transforming agriculture - ECA - business - News - StarAfrica.com: “African agriculture is in urgent need of an upgrade and fast-track into 21st century productivity,” said Mr. Adam Elhiraika, Director of the Macroeconomic Policy Division at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in a statement on behalf of the ECA Executive Secretary, during the opening of the African Economic Research Consortium biannual research workshop on ‘Agriculture and Structural Transformation in Africa’ held in Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Mr. Elhiraika pointed out that Africa is home to about 60% of the world’s arable land and yet it remains the only region in the developing world where agricultural productivity is both low and falling with per capita output at 56% of the world average.

What will rural populations need to fight unpredictability, uncertainty of climate change? | Devex

What will rural populations need to fight unpredictability, uncertainty of climate change? | Devex: When Heather McGray, director of WRI’s climate resilience practice, thinks about the challenges the world is facing in terms of climate change, “a lot of what we’re facing is unpredictability, uncertainty, new forms of risks that come from not knowing what your weather will be like,” she told Devex.

Innovations in information and information sharing as well as in national policy considerations — the increased use of safety nets for those whose livelihoods are riskier than they used to be, for example — will be crucial moving forward, she said.

Watch the video to find out what McGray is already seeing when it comes to diversity in proposed Intended Nationally Determined Contributions as countries start to think through and determine the priorities that will help them meet their own national vision.

How to secure food under the climate change pressure | Devex

How to secure food under the climate change pressure | Devex: To be more precise, around 90 percent of the Seychelles is forested land, and only 6.5 percent is available as agricultural land. Out of that, about 2.2 percent can be used for farming. The main farming systems in the Seychelles are registered commercial farms and household gardens. The agriculture sector is characterized by rainfed production�and relatively low levels of productivity. It accounts for nearly 1 percent of total exports. Hence, importing food is necessary to feed the Seychellois population.

The Seychelles is, as a low-lying coastal country, inherently vulnerable to climate change, just as the other 51 small island developing states — formally known as the SIDS — spread across the oceans. They all share the same challenges: a hurricane can almost wipe away an entire island, crossing the limits of socio-economic resilience. These small islands do not have the opportunity to create economies of scale, due to a variety of reasons, including high energy and transportation costs, and limited land available for cultivation. Moreover, climate hazards may destroy crops and kill livestock due to either extended droughts or persistent floods.

Red clover genome to help restore sustainable farming

Red clover genome to help restore sustainable farming: Before industrial nitrogen fertiliser production (from fossil fuels), red clover and other legume crops were essential in crop rotation, improving soil fertility. Legumes boost soil nitrate fertility by assimilating nitrogen from the air, recruiting soil bacteria to help - this is considerably more eco-friendly than the equivalent industrial process.
Indeed, environmental concerns and climate change mitigation is putting red clover back in the spotlight. This requires genetic improvements to help boost its performance.

$4 wheat: Will it be $3.30 wheat? Value of the dollar, wheat stocks depress prices

Value of the dollar, wheat stocks depress prices | Wheat content from Southwest Farm Press: Three market factors have the potential to cause Oklahoma and Texas panhandle wheat prices to break $4 on the downside. One is the index of the U.S. dollar against other currencies, and the second is excess wheat stocks. Currently, both are negatively affecting wheat prices — and both could get worse.

U.S. agriculture pays a price to have a relatively strong economy. Since June 2014, the index of the U.S. dollar against major currencies has increased from 80.4 to 100.7.� At this writing, the index is 99.4. When compared to other major currencies, the index of the U.S. dollar has increased 24 percent.

Head to Head: Winter Price Direction | Agweb.com

Head to Head: Winter Price Direction | Agweb.com: The corn market has settled into a sideways range since early September, when the uncertainty of the 2015 corn crop began to decline.�