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As the crucial role of bees as pollinators of the world’s food supply is increasingly becoming common knowledge, reports about the serious decline of honeybee populations in Europe and the USA have alarmed governments, the private sector and the general public. A similar decline in Africa and Asia has the potential to further threaten the world’s biodiversity, in addition to compromising the food security and livelihoods of millions of rural resource-poor farmers, as well as having negative impacts on the agricultural income of commercial farmers.
Thanks to a clever use of existing procedures, the European Union Delegation to Burkina Faso working in partnership with the government, successfully managed a seamless transition from an emergency intervention by the Commission’s humanitarian body, ECHO, to offering long-term support to more than 100,000 flood victims.
Per capita electricity consumption in Africa is well below the average for residents of the European Union but that doesn’t mean that the continent is short of sustainable power-generating potential, according to a report published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 22 July 2010
The roaming farming practices of nomadic pastoralists may appear to have altered little in hundreds of years, but in today’s unpredictable age of climate change these ancient practices may hold the key to flexible farming in hostile environments and donors should do more to support them, say experts.
The Irish Presidency of the European Union is well underway, with an ambitious development programme and a notable focus on hunger, nutrition and resilience. Gay Mitchell MEP, and Ireland’s Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, gathered development stakeholders together last month to celebrate a remarkable agricultural coalition combating hunger in Sub-Saharan Africa – an Ethiopia-based food security project, centered on the potato.
“The future of food security on the current trajectory is a road to nowhere, and to repeat the statistics that we need to grow 50-70% more food without answering the questions, on what land, with which water and with what kind of seed diversity, is a discussion that merits much greater attention,” said Achim Steiner, the United Nations Environment Programme Executive Director recently in Brussels.  
Current perceptions of agriculture are too limited, according to expert Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, who would like to see donors embrace and harness the resilience and adaptability of small scale farmers. Donors should not overlook the advantages of small scale agricultural production, which offers greater flexibility particularly in times of shifting market demands, economic uncertainty and threats of climate change.
To date, the agricultural sector, as a net green house gas producer, has largely been seen as part of the climate change problem. But Dr Alex De Pinto of the International Food Policy Research Institute wants to see farmers become part of the climate change solution. Whether it’s through livestock rearing, rice production or the drying of peat, the world’s agricultural producers are widely accepted as being responsible for between 10 and 14 percent of the world’s total Green House Gas production and thus a contributor to climate change.
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Isolina Boto
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30 August 2012

An online knowledge platform aimed at exchanging experience and best practices on key priority themes for small island economies

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Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 10 December 2013
There is much discussion in the development arena about the struggle ahead to feed the seven plus billion, of the methods proposed towards food security, building resilience, safeguarding water resources and so on. But few stop to ponder the basic ingredient in all of this: the very land under our feet, and the starting point of all agricultural productivity. At the European Development Days, EuropeAid hosted a Lab session dedicated to the relevance of soils in development policy, featuring the release earlier this year of the first Soil Atlas of Africa.

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