What lies behind this persistent famine in the region? This is the question being asked by the AIDA (Agricultural Innovation in Dryland Africa) international project, funded by the European Union and coordinated by CIRAD.
Poverty, trade inequalities and the difficulty of agricultural development top the list of causes, all of which are interlinked. The current drought and climate change are only making matters worse. To reverse the trend, human and financial investment in agricultural development needs to increase. Recent studies have shown that the context is propitious: local populations in agricultural zones are keen to adopt innovations.
The eight partners involved in the AIDA project will be focusing their efforts on sustainable agricultural development. The project aims to pinpoint the determining factors in past failures and current successes. Very few studies are currently available on this issue, and a database of this type, backed up by recommendations, could serve to support policy decision-making and fairer distribution of resources in favour of subsistence farming. The project will involve researchers and farmers, and also decision-makers and local players. In short, the objective is to achieve a clearer understanding of the conditions for sustainable agricultural development in African dryland areas.
The project was launched officially at an international conference held from 22 to 24 January 2007 in Accra, Ghana.
Helen Burford | alfa
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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