Tag: agriculture

Soil Phosphorus – from feast to famine

Professor Jinshui Wu,
Dr. George Ayaga Kenyan,
Professor Qimei Lin,
Professor Phil Brookes
Summary In the West and in rapidly developing countries, for instance China, the overuse of phosphorus (P) in fertilisers and manures can cause serious eutrophication. In Sub-Saharan Africa the opposite problem – an acute shortage of P- is a more common occurrence. Here we highlight both problems and suggest some possible solutions.  Almost all rivers, streams, ponds or lakes in the UK shows signs of eutrophication. Eutrophication firstly reveals itself as excessive weed and algal …


Is agricultural development still relevant for sub-Saharan Africa?

Professor Peter Hazell
Introduction The situation in Africa is dire. Even before the recent world food crisis, a stag- gering one in three people and a third of all children were undernourished and more than one half of all Africans (about 300 mil- lion people) lived on less than one dollar per day, and the continent was becoming increasingly dependent on relief aid from abroad. As a result of the recent food price increases, the FAO estimates an addition- al 100 million Africans were driven further …


Agroecosystem management in arid areas under climate change: Experiences from the Semiarid Loess Plateau, China

Professor Feng-Min Li,
Dr Rui-Ying Guo
Summary The Loess Plateau is the cradle of ancient Chinese civilization and a place where dryland agriculture originated; it is also one of the world’s most vulnerable ecological systems with the most serious soil erosion problems. The plateau has supported a population of more than 100 million and over 70% of which are rural and are relatively weak. Dryland agriculture has played a key role in providing sufficient food for the inhabitants, as well as , environmental conservation and economic …


Has agricultural biotechnology finally turned a corner?

Ivar Virgin,
Denis J Murphy
Policy proposals Governments, NGOs and other civil society representatives should engage in a comprehensive public debate on how advances in agbiotech, can benefit smallholders in developing countries by producing more sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in view of changing climate and resource scarcity. In particular genome editing in crop and livestock improvement should be accommodated.  Governments across the world should urgently address the issue of how …