Atlas of African agriculture research and development: Revealing agriculture's place in Africa

Intl Food Policy Res Inst

The Atlas of African Agriculture Research & Development is a multifaceted resource that high­lights the ubiquitous nature of smallholder agriculture in Africa; the many factors shaping the location, nature, and performance of agricultural enterprises; and the strong interde­pendencies among farming, natural resource stocks and flows, rural infrastructure, and the well-being of the poor.
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About the author

Kate Sebastian (ksebconsult@gmail.com) is a consultant with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, and the project manager of the eAtlas initiative. She has worked in the field of geographic information systems and agriculture research for a number of organizations including IFPRI, the US Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the HarvestChoice team, and the CGIAR Consortium. Her focus is on mapping and spatial analyses of data related to agricultural land use, poverty, and food security.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Intl Food Policy Res Inst
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Published on
Jun 30, 2014
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Pages
109
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ISBN
9780896298460
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Agriculture & Food
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Aflatoxins are a naturally occurring carcinogenic byproduct of common fungi on grains and other crops, particularly maize and groundnuts. They pose a significant public health risk in many tropical developing countries and are also a barrier to the growth of domestic and international commercial markets for food and feed. In recent years the aflatoxin problem has garnered greatly increased attention from both policy and donor communities around the globe.

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The nineteen briefs in this set thus provide different perspectives on aflatoxin risks and solutions. The analyses fall under four broad themes: (1) what is known about the health risks from aflatoxins; (2) how to overcome market constraints to improved aflatoxin control by building new market channels and incentives; (3) what is the international policy context for taking action in developing countries; and (4) what is the state of research on new aflatoxin control technologies, including new methods for aflatoxin detection, crop breeding, biological control, food storage and handling, and postharvest mitigation.

These briefs collectively provide a much clearer picture of the state of current efforts at combatting aflatoxins. They also identify what gaps loom particularly large—including the need for contry-specific risk analysis and for testing integrated solutions for the entire supply chain—in our global efforts to effectively reduce human exposure to aflatoxins and increase the economic returns to smallholders in agriculture.

 

The world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. Climate change, population, and income growth will drive food demand in the coming decades. Baseline scenarios show food prices for maize, rice, and wheat would significantly increase between 2005 and 2050, and the number of people at risk of hunger in the developing world would grow from 881 million in 2005 to more than a billion people by 2050. Food Security in a World of Natural Resource Scarcity: The Role of Agricultural Technologies examines which current and potential strategies offer solutions to fight hunger.

The type and effectiveness of agricultural technologies are highly debated, and the debates are often polarized. Technology options are many, but transparent evidence-based information has been inconclusive or scarce. This book endeavors to respond to the challenge of growing food sustainably without degrading our natural resource base. The authors use a groundbreaking modeling approach that combines comprehensive process-based modeling of agricultural technologies with sophisticated global food demand, supply, and trade modeling. This approach assesses the yield and food impact through 2050 of a broad range of agricultural technologies under varying assumptions of climate change for the three key staple crops: maize, rice, and wheat.

Geared toward policymakers in ministries of agriculture and national agricultural research institutes, as well as multilateral development banks and the private sector, Food Security in a World of Natural Resource Scarcity provides guidance on various technology strategies and which to pursue as competition grows for land, water, and energy across productive sectors and even increasingly across borders. The book is an important tool for targeting investment decisions today and going forward.

 

Michael Pollan, the bestselling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, Food Rules, and How to Change Your Mind, explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen in Cooked. 

Cooked is now a Netflix docuseries based on the book that focuses on the four kinds of "transformations" that occur in cooking. Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and starring Michael Pollan, Cooked teases out the links between science, culture and the flavors we love.

In Cooked, Pollan discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.

Each section of Cooked tracks Pollan’s effort to master a single classic recipe using one of the four elements. A North Carolina barbecue pit master tutors him in the primal magic of fire; a Chez Panisse–trained cook schools him in the art of braising; a celebrated baker teaches him how air transforms grain and water into a fragrant loaf of bread; and finally, several mad-genius “fermentos” (a tribe that includes brewers, cheese makers, and all kinds of picklers) reveal how fungi and bacteria can perform the most amazing alchemies of all. The reader learns alongside Pollan, but the lessons move beyond the practical to become an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships. Cooking, above all, connects us.

The effects of not cooking are similarly far reaching. Relying upon corporations to process our food means we consume large quantities of fat, sugar, and salt; disrupt an essential link to the natural world; and weaken our relationships with family and friends. In fact, Cooked argues, taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable. Reclaiming cooking as an act of enjoyment and self-reliance, learning to perform the magic of these everyday transformations, opens the door to a more nourishing life.
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