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|Goss margin Calculator: new edition|
|TechTalk has prepared a new and updated version of their successful tool for calculating gross margins to determine how well an enterprise is doing. Click for details. Register free at the TechTalk website.
|New: Soil Atlas of Africa published|
|A team of international experts has drawn up the Soil Atlas of Africa the first such book mapping this key natural resource to help farmers, land managers and policymakers understand the diversity and importance of soil, and the need to manage it through sustainable use. Download the Soil Atlas of Africa (part one, part two, part three). The atlas is also available as a printed copy from the EU's publication office.
|Increase investment in agriculture to end global hunger|
|Parliamentarians urge government to increase investment in agriculture to end global hunger.
See the latest press release by the APPG on agriculture and food for development.
|Call for nominations for TAA Honours|
|Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa: papers|
|What makes African governments invest in agriculture? This Future Agricultures conference brought together key figures from research, politics, donor organisations and civil society. The papers from this international conference (Pretoria, March 2013) are now available online.
|'Farming Matters' Call for articles "Education for change"|
The September 2013 ssue of Farming Matters will focus on the role of education in changing the mindsets of rural communities. We seek contributions that describe innovative education in rural areas. Who are involved? What is being taught? What teaching methods are used? What lessons are learned? And what makes these experiences valuable? We will also look at how educators prepare themselves for their job in a fast changing world, what their aspirations are, how the education system supports and how they connect with different stakeholders in the agricultural system, such as farmers and other value chain actors, fellow educators, researchers and policy makers.
Please send us your contributions to Jorge Chavez-Tafur, editor, before June 1st, 2013.
|Gift Aid - please sign up to boost TAA income|
|Email Alerts by TAA|
|APPG seminar: Small Scale - Big Impact: small scale agriculture and improving nutrition|
|As part of the launch of the "UK Hunger Alliance" a joint DFID-NGO consortium, the APPG on Agriculture and Food for Development (APPG) is hosting a session at the House of Lords, London, on 29th April entitled: Small Scale - Big Impact: The contribution of small scale agriculture to improving nutrition: Is small scale agriculture important to improve food and nutrition security? How can this be achieved and what are the challenges? For more details see Events pages
|Malawi Farmer discusses No-till farming on BBC|
|A farmer from Malawi was on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme yesterday briefly discussing the advantages of no-till farming. Heres the link (takes a couple of seconds to load): Radio 4 Today No Till Farming
|Advice sought on poultry farming in Kenya|
A Kenyan agriculture graduate in Kangari, Kenya, is seeking advice and support from members for his new large-scale broiler poultry enterprise. He particularly seeks advice on breeds suitable to the region, weather conditions, disease resistance and poultry policies (marketing, feeding materials, taxation). If anyone can offer advice, please email John Macharia.
|New Membership List on TAA Website|
| We have completed the revisions to our membership database. Details of all current, paid-up members can be viewed on the Membership page, just enter your membership number and login, and then click to open/download the pdf membership list. The list has been condensed, using smaller font sizes, to 21 pages. Note that the list is accessible only to paid-up TAA members. Please email our Membership Secretary if: a) you are a paid-up member but cannot access the list, b) you have lost your login password, or c) your membership has lapsed and access has been denied.
|Farming Matters on your smartphone!!|
|TAA Convenor needed: Midlands, NW England, Wales|
| The TAA urgently needs a member to take on the role of convenor/ coordinator for the Midlands, Wales and NW England. This requires someone who is resident in the region, who can act a focal point for TAA members, helping to organise field visits, meetings, seminars etc. The Convenor would become a member of ExCo and would receive support from ExCo members. If you would like to help, have a little spare time and lots of interest in supporting TAA, please email Elizabeth, our General Secretary
|Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture|
| Please note that in the email alert the APPG breakfast meeting on "Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture" the web link was incorrect. Click here for the correct link and see the event details.
|8th Hugh Bunting Memorial Lecture 17th June|
|Guest speaker Dr J.D.H. Keatinge,
Director General, AVRDC - The World Vegetable Center, Taiwan. The topic will be 'Horticulture The Key Ingredient in the Developing World for Nourishing Families, Empowering Women and Commercializing Small Holders'. University of Reading. Finger Buffet and Reception, free of charge. See 'Events' for details.
|SRI-System of Rice Intensification|
| The results of trials in eleven countries show that yields increased by an average of 60 percent, although they varied sharply between states, from an 11 precent increase to 220 percent. Changing the way rice is grown, from planting it in flooded paddy fields to drier soil cultivation, is dramatically increasing yields and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.A paper published in the Geographical Journal (March 2013) by Amir Kassam and Hugh Brammer (both TAA members) says that the System of Rice Intensification, or SRI, is having such success that 50 countries are now adopting it. See more
|French Soil Science Journal now in full open-access|
The French soil science journal (Etude et Gestion des Sols) is now entirely available free of charge on the web, click here. There is no charge for publication or handling of the papers. Papers must be submitted in French, with an abstract in English. Captions to tables and figures must be provided both in French and English. Papers are released on the web as soon as they are accepted and edited. A Spanish translation of the abstract is offered for free by the editorial board. Please submit your papers to Dominique Arrouays
|The Physical Geography of Bangladesh: new book by Hugh Brammer|
|The Physical Geography of Bangladesh, by Hugh Brammer (a TAA member). 2013. 548 pp. ISBN 978 984 506 049 3. www.uplbooks.com . In his eighth book on Bangladeshs physical environment and agriculture, the Hugh draws together his long experience in surveying, observing and studying the countrys physical geography and provides a revised map of the countrys physiographic regions. He draws attention to the interrelationship between geomorphology and soils, and to the countrys dynamic geomorphology, particularly changes in river courses and the impacts of earthquakes.|
|Cover Cropping for Soil Health|
This is the follow-on from the previous film about 'Food on your table' and organic farming. This one provides the answer to how to preserve soil health. Click to view.
|Sustainable Table: What's On Your Plate?|
Sustainable Table: What's On Your Plate? Worth an hour to watch this film (pity about the short intervening adverts). The focus is on 'organic' farming: why did they miss the next step of conservation agriculture and save the soil too? Bhutan has recently become the first country to be 'organic'.
Over nine months, director Mischa Hedges and his crew traveled the west coast of USA to learn more about our food system. While interviewing farmers, agricultural experts, nutritionists and activists, Mischa and his team learned that the standard methods of producing food do not take environmental or human health costs into consideration.
|For our younger members: DFID's new Graduate Scheme|
The DFID Graduate Recruitment Scheme 2013 will open for applications on Tuesday 15th January 2013 until 12th March 2013.
DFID's Graduate Development Scheme offers a diverse range of work experience in key teams across DFID, all united by a single goal: to tackle poverty and help people in developing countries improve their lives.
|New book: Sustainable Food Production Practices in the Caribbean|
| "Sustainable Food Production Practices in the Caribbean" by Wayne Ganpat and Wendy-Ann
Isaac (Editors) has just been released. US$ 50.00. Order from the publishers or on Amazon. Wendy-Ann is a member of TAA.
|NRM research: can CGIAR raise its game?|
A lot of people whose opinions matter not least because they hold the purse-strings think that the CGIAR system "could do better in research on natural resource management (NRM). New from the systems Independent Science and Partnerships Council (ISPC) is a green paper that points possible ways forward Read more
|New research to investigate virus damage to yam crops|
"Poor farming communities to benefit from new research into viruses that damage yam crops"
The Natural Resources Institute (NRI) has won a grant from the Gates Foundation to support research to detect damaging viruses which can reduce the yield of valuable yam crops for smallholder farming communities in West Africa and other parts of the developing world. Click for details.
|NEW: DFID Entry Scheme for Advisers (DESA)|
After nearly 12 months of deliberation DFID have launched their DESA scheme with a very short deadline of 25th Jan. Click on this link ."Would you like to help DFID rise to the challenge of reducing world poverty and do all that we can to achieve the Millennium Development Goals? DFID is pleased to announce a new DFID Entry Scheme for Advisers (DESA). This is a great opportunity to join DFID and launch a career in development as an adviser.
We welcome applications from anyone meeting the eligibility requirements of the DESA scheme. Please click on www.civilservice.gov.uk/jobs to see full details, download an application pack and submit your application. Closing date for applications: 12 Midnight UK time on 25 January 2013"
|eSci Journal of Crop Production|
eSci Journal of Crop Production is a peer-reviewed, open access journal publishes original research articles, short communications, research notes reporting experimental and theoretical contributions to crop science in the field of crop production. Click for details. Submit your articles to EJCP@escijournals.net or click here to submit your manuscript.
|Documentary films on CA in Lebanon|
Two documentaries on Conservation Agriculture from Lebanon, which were accomplished with farmers and researchers: CA in Lebanon ; CA in Orchards Systems in Lebanon. Click on the Youtube "Captions button and select "English: CA in Lebanon to display English subtitles.
|AgriTechTalk International advisory services|
AgriTechTalk International CIC is a Community Interest Company, created to improve food security in poorer, marginalized communities through the provision of technical support through projects and programmes funded by grants and donations. Register for TechTalk's Advisory Service by clicking here. AgriTechTalk is operated by AA International, a corporate member of TAA.
|Video about Soil Biology, Australia|
| An interesting video about investigating soil biology and crop responses in S Australia. From IUSS Alert 90, Dec. 2012.
|New book: "Amazon Forest and Savanna Lands: a guide to the climates, vegetation, landscapes, and soils of central tropical South America|
TAA member Thomas Cochrane writes to introduce this book, which he initiated during studies as a member of the British Tropical Agricultural Mission to Bolivia in the 1960s, and has subsequently added to and updated over the years. Now available in both English and Spanish versions. The book is primarily about the Amazon region but it has an extensive series of appendices which would be of interest to most agronomists and soil scientists working in under-developed countries. Editors: Thomas T. Cochrane and Thomas A. Cochrane, University of Canterbury, UC Design, Publisher: Amazon.com, ISBN 10: 1452866376, Published: 2011, Pages: 190. Cost: $49. Additional information on "AGTECA" web-site or from Thomas (Director, Agrotecnologica Amazonica).
|New 'Fodder Machines' in India|
The machines reportedly can produce 100 kg of grass by using 14 kg of seeds put into it. They can produce fodder in a matter of weeks. The technology has been tested and used successfully in Haryana and Gujarat. The fodder produced by the machines was not different from fodder grown on fields. Since there was no soil involved in the cultivation process, cattle could even feed on the roots. In arid lands dependent on rainfall, such machines could be of great help to farmers, especially during dry days. Click here for more details
|TAA Accounts 2012-13|
The draft accounts for 2011-12 are now available on the website, just click on Accounts. These will need to approved at the AGM on November 28th. We invite members to check the accounts ahead of the AGM.
|Global Agenda of Action in support of sustainable livestock sector development|
FAO is preparing a Global Agenda of Action, through a participatory process which focuses on consensus building among key stakeholders in the livestock sector, for a subsequent operational phase. Initially, a Global Agenda of Action will focus on the improvement of resource-use efficiency in the livestock sector to support livelihoods, long-term food security and economic growth while safeguarding other environmental and public health outcomes. For more details, email or check the website 20.10.12
|VIDEO: How Zambia scaled up Conservation Agriculture|
|How has Zambia scaled it up".... a new release from World Bank Institute, in collaboration with TerrAfrica program and partners".
(1) English short version
(2) French short version
The short version (9 min) is less detailed than the long version (15 min), but essential messages are there.
|AA International (a TAA member organisation) has recently created a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (limited by guarantee) called AgriTechTalk International www.agritechtalk.org. Its mission is to improve food security in poorer, marginalized communities through the provision of free at-point-of-delivery technical support to projects and programmes. AgriTechTalk International CIC encompasses the TechTalk's Advisory Service and a Joint Action Scheme for NGOs and community organisations wishing to work jointly with AA International in the implementation of food security / rural development projects and programmes. Click here to read more about AgriTechTalk International. Contact Lisa if you have any further enquiries.|
|Younger members joining? What is the age structure of TAA now?|
| Since the new website was set up we have had younger people joining. And thanks to our new Membership Secretary membership on our new on-line database have been updated. Now we are keen that each member checks their membership profile and adds their date of birth. Then we will be able to analyse the age structure of members. Moreover, if you are over a certain age, you may be due a discount! Please help us to update your details - it is easy to do on-line. Go to the membership page. Enter your membership number and password and logon. Click on "View your Member profile" to see the details that we hold on you, correct any errors, add missing data (eg: date of birth dd/mm/yyyy). For first time login, follow the instructions on the website. If you cannot find your membership number, email the membership secretary . Please help us to keep the membership details accurate and complete!
|A new initiative, founded by the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture , has been launched as AgPartnerXChange (www.apxc.org). This has a mission to change the enabling environment for public-private partnerships that adds value for smallholder farmers. AgPartnerXChange's mandate is to improve our capacity to catalyze more and better PPPs, and to evaluate the impact of PPPs on smallholder farmers. Working with GATD Foundation, Syngenta Foundation is putting into action the results of 2+ years of consultation with private and public sector partners. [13.9.12]|
|Drought in the US : a contribution by Argentina|
Argentina is a country that has gone through similar drought situations as the US, and today, more than 80% of its arable area is under no-till farming systems. Roberto A. Peiretti, Argentina No-Till Farmers' Association, offers a paper that illustrates how No Till Improves Soil Functioning and Water Economy and a PowerPoint on No-Till's role in increasing Productivity, Profit and Sustainability [Amir Kassam, FAO, reports]
|Annual Reunion, RMM Lecture & AGM, London|
|A note for your diary, the Annual Reunion, AGM and ralph Melville Memorial Lecture will be held at the Roayal Over-seas League, Piccadilly, London on 28th November. Details and application procedures for tickets given under 'Events' page|
|Conservation Agriculture in Zambia|
|A new web site for anybody interested in the promotion of Conservation Farming and Climate-Smart Agriculture. In many parts of Africa, stagnant productivity, population pressure, environmental degradation and the threat of climate change suggest an increasingly bleak future for millions of African families whose livelihoods depend on farming. Take a look at the solutions or contact the Conservation Farming Unit.|
|New global alliance for research in animal diseases|
You may be interested to know that a TAA member has recently established a global network of the major research funders on animal diseases, which involves partners from the Americas, Asia, Australasia, Africa (just AU-IBAR so far) and Europe. Global Strategic Alliances for the Coordination of Research on the Major Infectious Diseases of Animals and Zoonoses. Read more
|CGIAR will speak with one voice|
"CGIAR will speak with one voice". That's the first tenet of the revised CGIAR Branding Guidelines and Toolkit released recently. There's a new tagline "Science for a food secure future". The acronym CGIAR has morphed into a name and is no longer to be spelled out or used with the definite article. The guidelines and toolkit are being rolled out by individual centres and programmes.
|Conservation Agriculture: National Statistics|
|For FAO's latest statistics on the uptake of Conservation Agriculture around the world, click here|
|How to end hunger in times of crises|
|New book: How to End Hunger in Times of Crises.|
|The book by Ignacio Trueba & Andrew MacMillan (TAA Member) is now available: "How to End Hunger in Times of Crises. Let's start now!" on Amazon/Kindle as an e-book. Either go the Amazon books and type in the title or see www.endofhunger2025.com . When you buy a copy, you will support education in Kenya (www.gotmatar.org).|
|2014 to be the International Year of Family Farming|
|The UN General Assembly has declared 2014 to be the International Year of Family Farming and has invited FAO to facilitate implementation of the International Year, in collaboration with its partners. Among its initiatives for the International Year, FAO is planning to publish a major study on family farming and Agricultural innovation systems (AIS) in 2014 in the State of Food and Agriculture series, which is FAOs major annual flagship publication.|
|ELLA Guide: Improving Small Farmers' Adaptive Capacity in Semi-arid Regions|
|DFID's Research for Development (R4D) provides digests of current research worldwide, such as this ELLA Guide for Brazil. Click here to sign up for regular research digests.
|African agriculture: Dirt poor|
News Feature from Nature 28 March 2012: The key to tackling hunger in Africa is enriching its soil. The big debate is about how to do it. Click here.
|Iraq Salinity Project|
| Iraqi and
international research team looks at causes and solutions to salinity that
threaten agriculture in the Tigris-Euphrates river basin. http://iraq.icarda.org/
|Young Professionals in Agricultural Research for Development|
GFAR reports on the revised set of skills needed by young graduates to
address new challenges in agriculture. The Young Professionals Platform in Agricultural Research
for Development (YPARD) has contributed to the debate on change in formal
higher agricultural education with the study "Working towards a new generation of Young Professionals
in ARD. This study focused on tertiary level
education, asking young professionals to identify those competencies that they
were not adequately provided adequately during their education. This differs
from previous studies, by focusing on the perspective of young professionals
|ICARDA News Update: Conservation Agriculture|
| Conservation Agriculture strategies and policy options for optimal
food production in the dry areas. ICARDA shares their new report that presents recent research
and trials on adopting conservation agriculture in dry areas and low income
countries. It presents results of recent work with farmers in several countries
and provides examples and options for decision makers considering evaluating and
scaling-up a conservation agriculture approach.
|TAA Agribusiness Group and British Expertise|
Interested TAA members can join the Agribusiness Group simply by contacting Jim Turnbull (firstname.lastname@example.org). Membership of the Agribusiness Group gives TAA members access to British Expertise services and events. This will be of particular value to younger TAA members who are in active employment. So, what is British Expertise and what services does it offer? British Expertise is a trade association for British consultancy and professional services companies wishing to develop their businesses internationally. It is multi-sectoral, but a large number of members have interests in the agriculture and rural development fields. Read more
| Dr Samran Sombatpanit requests people to send their digital work in the fields
of degradation/ rehabilitation/ restoration/ conservation/ improvement of
soil/land/water. These will be included in the 'LANDCON e-LIBRARY' that will be widely distributed in 2012. www.waswac.org
|Empowering women in agriculture|
Empowering women in agriculture: rethinking agricultural needs and actions
through the eyes of women. GFAR reports on Global Conference on
Women in Agriculture, held in Delhi, March 2012 with 760 participants from 50 countries. For the summary: GFAR_e-news_empowering_women_in_agriculture.pdf
|Agriculture and eradicating poverty: towards a new approach|
Now loaded: 29th Annual Ralph Melville Memorial Lecture delivered at the Annual General Meeting Held at the Royal Overseas League on 23rd November 2011 Agriculture and eradicating poverty: towards a new approach, Dr Andrew Shepherd, ODI. Click to read
|Report on African Agriculture|
| See a recent Montpellier Panel report on African agriculture, click here.
|NEW: Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index|
|Women play a critical and potentially transformative role in agricultural growth in developing countries, but they face persistent obstacles and economic constraints limiting further inclusion in agriculture. The Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index (WEAI) measures the empowerment, agency, and inclusion of women in the agriculture sector in an effort to identify ways to overcome those obstacles and constraints. The Index is a significant innovation in its field and aims to increase understanding of the connections between women's empowerment, food security, and agricultural growth.Click for details.|
|New report on UK agricultural research|
Understanding the UK Agricultural Research Contribution to International Development and Food Security. Co-produced by UKCDS and the London International Development Centre, this report sets out a comprehensive overview of the past, present and possible future for UK investment and collaboration in agricultural research for development since 1973. Read more
|Contested Agronomy: agricultural research in a changing world|
| This book, edited by James Sumberg and John Thompson of IDS, explores the basis for a much needed political agronomy analysis that highlights the impacts of problem framing and narratives, historical disjunctures, epistemic communities and the increasing pressure to demonstrate success on both agricultural research and the farmers, processors and consumers it is meant to serve It is a fascinating and thought-provoking read for professionals in the Agriculture and Environmental sciences, it will also appeal to students and researchers in agricultural policy, development studies, geography, public administration, rural sociology, and science and technology studies. To be published March 2012. Click for details.
|Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways|
| Wellbeing and Poverty Pathways is an international research partnership exploring the links between poverty and wellbeing through research in rural communities in Zambia and India. For details click here
|Norman Borlaug Institute for Global Food Security (NBI)|
|Rothamsted and Nottingham University recently re-launched the Norman Borlaug Institute for Global Food Security (NBI). The institutes objectives are likely to interest many TAA members: click for details|