Category Archives: Farming

How private investment in food production can make the world less hungry

By Max Johnston

Food finances are tricky.

Funding food production in developing countries has been difficult for a number of reasons, according to Rebecca Toole, a policy expert in economics.

“Farmers may seem like risky borrowers,” Toole said. “They often don’t have a established credit history, they also might not have stores of capital they could use as collateral for loans.”

Heifer International, a global non-profit organization, uses something called impact investing. That’s where you have the private sector invest in food production, with a smaller relative return to their investment. Continue reading How private investment in food production can make the world less hungry

Professor wants to give farmers “magic wands”

By Max Johnston

If you had a magic wand that could make the world less hungry, what would you do? That’s the question David Kramer, professor of Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics at Michigan State University, is trying to answer. Kramer and his team have made a magic wand of sorts, the MultispeQ, a handheld device that measures a plant’s health.

98 percent of farms are less than ten acres, according to David Kramer, professor of Photosynthesis and Bioenergetics at Michigan State University. Continue reading Professor wants to give farmers “magic wands”

Herding up grasshoppers and locusts – to eat

The Kenyan researchers in this video are investigating the large scale use of insects as a source of protein.

The idea is to turn a food threat into a food source. They hope to  feed the insects to chickens that in turn provide eggs and meat to people. But they’re also investigating how to put a protein powder made from the insects directly into human food.

The supplement could help severely malnourished children and nursing women  while providing jobs for youth.  The insects mature quickly and contain amino acids essential to proper nutrition.

Related stories:

 

Zero-waste cassava processing improves nutrition, family life

Worldwide more than 800 million people consume cassava.

This project by the  Tanzania Industrial Research and Development Organization works to use every bit of the popular root vegetable that requires minimal rain.

Even cassava waste is used to produce bio gas to dry the plant’s flower during the night. It’s an energy source that supplements solar drying during the day.

The project benefits women  who are often responsible for growing and processing crops while caring for families.

Improving vegetable farming with community-driven irrigation tech in Uganda

Farmers installing an irrigation system . Photo provided by: Abraham Salomon

 

In Uganda, farmers in rain-fed agricultural communities depend on irrigation. Without irrigation, they battle with fluctuating and
unpredictable weather conditions, droughts and flooding. Crops don’t do well and yields are low.

Abraham Salomon. Photo: Lizzy LaFave

Researcher Abraham Salomon, of the University of California-Davis, is working in eastern Uganda, collaborating with local farmers, social advocates, and engineers on flexible and community-managed irrigation interventions. They’ve been installing and maintaining adaptable irrigation systems that allows tomatoes, cabbage, beans and other vegetables to thrive in the dry seasons and the unpredictable rainy seasons.

Listen to the our interview to Abraham here