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  OCTOBER 2017 

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A Message From IFA's Chairman, Rakesh Kapur

As IFA’s recently appointed chairman, I am excited to present our entirely revamped Fertilizer & Agriculture newsletter, now in a modernized format and enriched with multi-media content and links for those of you who want to dig deeper into the array of topics.

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Around the World

Revitalizing Indonesia's Cocoa Production Industry

When most people think of cocoa, Indonesia is probably not the first place that comes to mind. But the country is actually the world’s third biggest producer after the Ivory Coast and Ghana. A key crop for many Indonesian smallholder farmers, who own more than 90 percent of the country’s cocoa plantations, declining yields have left numerous farmers in a downward spiral of poverty, with some ready to give up growing it entirely despite increasing global demand.

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IPNI Research Supports Uruguay’s Growing Agriculture Sector

Nestled between Argentina and Brazil, Uruguay is a small country of 3.5 million inhabitants and 12 million cattle. Despite its size, the country feeds around 30 million people annually, with agriculture representing 70% of all exports.

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Hunger Increasing as Third Consecutive Rainy Season Fails in East Africa

A lack of rain in East Africa has exacerbated hunger and is killing crops and livestock. An estimated 16 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia.

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Infographic: OFRA's Fertilizer Promotion Achievements in Africa

From optimizing fertilizer use for 37 different crops and cropping systems to creating 74 different fertilization use tools, this handy infographic shows some of the Optimising Fertilizer Recommendations in Africa (OFRA) project's key achievements.

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Environment & Sustainability

Can Solar Powered Irrigation Change the Farming Landscape in Africa?

With less than 4% of farmland in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) currently under irrigation, increasing access to water could play a huge part in supporting Africa’s productivity, allowing farmers to grow crops three seasons a year, increase their nutrient intake and produce a surplus to sell. Over the last few years a new generation of solar-powered pump startups have sprung up in Africa and they’re beginning to make an impact.

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Supporting Smallholder Farmers: Social Lending Continues to Grow

With no access to formal banking systems, the so-called ‘missing middle’ of agriculture is generally unable to get the credit they need to support their operations. For a group of social investors, lending to SME agribusinesses in low to middle-income countries is both a way to support smallholders and an investment opportunity.

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A Key Milestone for Global Sustainable Soil Management is Reached

Sustainable Soil Management is an important aid for adapting to climate change and a way to protect the world’s ecosystems and biodiversity. The Voluntary Guidelines for Sustainable Soil Management (VGSSM) are designed to be a practical reference featuring technical and policy recommendations for a broad range of stakeholders.

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Video: The Future of Food in a Climate Changing World

Experts and leaders share their insights into the connections between climate change and food systems, their visions of the food systems we need today and tomorrow and how to chart potential pathways to get there.

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Innovation

Future Thinking: How Drones Could Help Close the Global Yield Gap

Drones are making a lot of headlines these days, but they’re much more than just a novelty. Predicted to disrupt a range of industries, their potential for agriculture has also been hotly tipped, with the market expected to be worth $3.77 billion by 2024. Drones might just be a key innovation for increasing crop yields around the world. Already one of the most effective analytical tools in precision farming, they also have considerable potential for distribution and application.

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How Big Data Can Help Fight Malnutrition in Africa and Beyond

Chronic malnutrition affects one in four people in sub-Saharan Africa and is hampering development. CIAT's Nutrition Early Warning System leverages big data and uses machine learning to forecast potential malnutrition dangers and suggest measures to reduce them.

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A New Generation of Satellites offers Opportunities for Precision Farming

A new generation of competitively priced satellites, from companies such as Planet, DigitalGlobe and Astro Digital, that offer regular coverage and higher resolution, easy-to-access images are becoming available, offering an attractive alternative to drones.

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Video: Enabling Precision Agriculture with AI, IOT and Drones

Microsoft’s innovative FarmBeats project focusses on using low cost sensors, cameras and drones with Artificial Intelligence and special high bandwidth routers to give farmers in remote and poor areas information such as soil moisture, temperature and PH levels.

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Impact Makers

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina: A Pioneer of Africa’s Green Revolution wins the World Food Prize

With almost 70% of Africa’s population dependent on agriculture, improving agricultural productivity is an excellent way to boost the continent’s living standards. For the past two decades, the winner of this year’s World Food Prize has been focussed on doing just that. From promoting fertilizer use and growing Nigeria’s food production to increasing credit to smallholder farmers and making agricultural progress a political priority, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has been instrumental in developing African agriculture.

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In Memoriam: Professor Tekalign Mamo, 2016 IFA Norman Borlaug Award Recipient

It is with great sadness that IFA learned of Professor Tekalign Mamo’s passing on September 7. Professor Mamo, a distinguished soil scientist and former Ethiopian State Minister of Agriculture, was IFA’s 2016 Norman Borlaug Award winner.

 
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IFA News & Events