Yearly Archives: 2017

Sustainable Land Management Practices: A focus on Parkland Agroforestry

World Bank Group President Calls for Urgent Action on Hunger Crisis

Originally published on the World Bank Group website.
















World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim issued the following statement on the devastating levels of food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and Yemen:

“Famine is a stain on our collective conscience. Millions of lives are at risk and more will die if we do not act quickly and decisively. 

We at the World Bank Group stand in solidarity with the people now threatened by famine. We are mobilizing an immediate response for Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Our first priority is to work with partners to make sure that families have access to food and water. We are working toward a financial package of more than $1.6 billion to build social protection systems, strengthen community resilience, and maintain service delivery to the most vulnerable. This includes existing operations of over $870 million that will help communities threatened by famine. I am also working with our Board of Directors to secure the approval of new operations amounting to $770 million, funded substantially through IDA’s Crisis Response Window. 

The World Bank Group will help respond to the immediate needs of the current famine, but we must recognize that famine will have lasting impacts on people’s health, ability to learn, and earn a living. So we will also continue to work with communities to reclaim their livelihoods and build resilience to future shocks.

We are coordinating closely with the UN and other partners in all areas of our response. We know that resolution to this acute crisis will not be possible without all humanitarian and development actors working together. We call on the international community to respond robustly and quickly to the UN global appeal for resources for the famine.

To prevent crises in the future, we must invest in addressing the root causes and drivers of fragility today and help countries build institutional and societal resilience.”



A famine means that a significant part of the population has no access to basic food, suffers from severe malnutrition, and death from hunger reaches unprecedented levels. Children under five are disproportionately affected. A famine can affect the well-being of a whole generation. Famine was officially declared on February 20 in South Sudan, impacting approximately 100,000 people, and there is a credible risk of other famines in Yemen, Northeast Nigeria, and other countries. Ongoing conflicts and civil insecurity are further intensifying the food insecurity of millions of people across the region, and there is already widespread displacement and other cross-border spillovers. For instance, food insecurity in Somalia and famine in South Sudan are accelerating the flow of refugees into Ethiopia and Uganda. The UN estimates that about 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are on the “tipping point” of famine. Drought conditions also extend to Uganda and parts of Tanzania. The last famine was declared in 2011 in Somalia during which 260,000 people died.




Women in Agriculture: The Agents of Change for the Global Food System

Originally published on the World Bank Group website.


















Women are the backbone of the rural economy, especially in developing countries.  They make up almost half of the world’s farmers, and over the last few decades, they have broadened their involvement in agriculture.  The number of female-headed households has also increased as more men have migrated to cities.  As the primary caregivers to families and communities, women provide food and nutrition; they are the human link between the farm and the table.

As the global community works toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — among them, SDG2, which aims to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030 — women can be the key agents of change in agriculture, nutrition and rural development.  With better access to information, training, and technology, women can alter food production and consumption so that land and resources are used sustainably.

For International Women’s Day, the World Bank is shining a spotlight on women who exemplify this year’s theme: #BeBoldForChange.  In field visits and projects, we have met women who are the change agents in their villages and communities.  Whether they work on a farm or in a lab, women around the world are transforming agriculture to be more resilient and sustainable..

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Breaking Ground: Akhter Ali helps transform agriculture sector in Pakistan

Originally published on the CIMMYT website.






























Akhter Ali always knew he wanted to have an impact on the livelihoods of farmers in Pakistan. “I come from a farmer family – the poverty and inequality of rural communities always disturbed me,” said Ali, who was born in Multan district, Pakistan. “I knew from a young age I wanted to do something to help my community and the rural poor throughout my country.”

Ali, an agricultural economist at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), is working to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers through the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP), an initiative funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development to build up the country’s agriculture sector through the development and dissemination of new agriculture technologies.

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Breaking Ground: Xuecai Zhang prepares future generation of crop breeders

Originally published on the CIMMYT website.





























Xuecai Zhang wants to merge traditional maize breeding methods with new software and other tools to help improve farmers’ yields faster than ever. “In the next three decades we need to increase agricultural production by 70 percent to meet projected food demand,” said Zhang, a maize genomic selection breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). “However, crop yields, while improving, are not increasing quickly enough to meet this challenge. We must explore new methods and technologies that can speed up our crop breeding processes if we hope to feed a world with over 2.3 billion more people by 2050.”

Zhang first arrived at CIMMYT in 2009 while completing a doctorate in applied quantitative genetics. He subsequently returned as a postdoctoral fellow in 2011 to undertake molecular breeding and coordinate CIMMYT’s maize genomic selection program. Since his return, he has focused mainly on helping breeders and statisticians work together to create new tools that can help accelerate the breeding process through genomic selection.

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China Making Progress on Climate Goals Faster than Expected

Originally published on the World Resources Institute Website












China recently released its first climate change update report, indicating progress made toward its 2020 climate goals, which the country originally set in 2010. The Biennial Update Report (BUR) indicates that of its four goals, China has already exceeded one, is close to meeting another, and is more than halfway toward achieving the remaining two. This is encouraging progress from the world’s largest emitter. The BUR also sets new goals to tackle non-CO2 emissions, building on better, more transparent greenhouse gas data.

China’s 2020 climate goals include: reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per unit of GDP (known as carbon intensity) by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels; increasing the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 15 percent (from 9.4 percent in 2010); increasing forest stock volume by 1.3 billion cubic meters; and increasing forest coverage by 40 million hectares relative to 2005 levels, an area twice the size of Uganda.

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