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Farmers in Rwanda
In the first of our user-submitted stories, we present a think piece from the EU Delegation to Rwanda on the key lessons from the development of the country’s new strategic framework for the agriculture sector.
Women collecting wood Uganda
The health of Uganda’s wetlands impacts everything from the livelihoods of surrounding communities to rates of gender-based violence. The proper management of this unique ecosystem can help address root causes of conflict while empowering women at the same time.
Rome
The EU‘s longstanding partnership with UN agencies – including the Food and Agriculture Organization – has allowed for marked successes, including the eradication of a virulent livestock disease and the development of global forest mapping technology. We sat down with Willem Olthof, First Counsellor to the EU Delegation in Rome, to look back over 10 years of EU-FAO collaboration.
Securing nutritious food for the world’s growing population is essential to ensure health and quality of life. But beyond that, it can be a driver for development. It creates rural employment, which can reduce migration. It boosts education through better school attendance and concentration, which develops human capital and helps break the cycle of poverty. In addition, sustainable agriculture methods can combat climate change. Everything begins with food, and achieving these goals will require cooperation between governments, local authorities and private sector organisations.
By 2050, the world’s farmers will have two billion more mouths to feed. Significant improvements to agricultural productivity are needed - particularly on the small farms of less than two hectares which produce nearly 70% of the world’s food. Supporting and promoting these smallholder farmers is increasingly urgent.
Women breaking stones
Sand, gravel and salt may have a low price per tonne, but their value for domestic development and their potential for local employment creation is significant, especially when compared to the more talked about minerals like copper and gold. With 70% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, these humble ‘Development Minerals’ will play a crucial role in building homes and urban environments. The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, supported by the EU and UNDP, have initiated a capacity-building programme to develop this sector sustainably and improve livelihood opportunities.
Capacity4dev Team created a new Article 10 July 2015
"For many communities in Myanmar who grow opium, for them opium is not the problem, it is the solution to their problems," said local project consultant, Tom Kramer, from the Transnational Institute. And therein lies one of the greatest challenges for policy makers in the fight to eradicate the scourge of drug crops in developing countries.
Twelve years after the European Union launched a plan to tackle illegal logging, independent evaluators are assessing progress and shortcomings. Their findings could contribute to the definition of any future EU forest policy.
As soon as the seedlings are ready for planting, women in brightly coloured clothes wrapped at the waist load the new disease resistant varieties of coffee seedlings into the back of a truck. Developed at the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute, these small plants promise to increase coffee production while reducing costs of production for growers across the country and farmers can’t buy up the new coffee plants fast enough.
Agriculture accounts for two-thirds of Africa’s labour force yet less than 20 percent of its gross domestic product. In the developing world, agricultural and rural nonfarm activities are usually simple and labour-intensive, with little capital and few purchased ‘inputs’, such as fertiliser. As a result, a 2012 study for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) found productivity, income and returns for families remain low.

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