Rapid population growth and crippling economic problems in many African countries have reduced living standards and adversely affected eating habits, causing widespread malnutrition. In Nigeria, a faltering economy has led to declining imports of costly protein-rich food. Moreover, currency devaluations in other countries have resulted in drastically reduced imports of oil and animal feed.
In the semiarid zones of west and central Africa, farmers cultivate different cowpea varieties. Some are for grain for human consumption and others for animal fodder. The aboveground parts of cowpeas, except pods, are harvested for fodder.
Traditionally, farmers cultivate two main types of cowpea: early maturing varieties, grown for grain and late maturing varieties that are grown for fodder production. The dry season is characterized by scarcity in good quality fodder and hence there is a need for dual purpose varieties that give reasonable grain and fodder yields, and, thereby, maximize the output from land and labor.
The Negros Rainforest Conservation Project (NRCP) is a joint programme of co-operative, research, education and training between the Negros Forest and Ecological Foundation Inc. (NFEFI) and Coral Cay Conservation (CCC). The NRCP is based on the North Negros Forest Reserve (NNFR), Negros Occidental, Philippines.
A recently published report, Shifting Sands: The Commercialization of Camels in Mid-altitude Ethiopia and Beyond, describes a relatively new trend in pastoralist livestock marketing that is a dynamic response to increasing demand for camels in mid-altitude areas of Ethiopia and in neighboring Sudan.
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on Thursday, October 15, 2009 will urge governments, donors, researchers, farmer groups, environmentalists, and others to set aside old divisions and join forces to help millions of the world's poorest farming families boost their yields and incomes so they can lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Gates will say the effort must be guided by the farmers themselves, adapted to local circumstances, and sustainable for the economy and the environment.