Archive for 03/07/2015

One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?

By Emily Alpert

Smallholder farmers in Africa are no strangers to climate change. The first impacts can already be felt. Erratic rainfall, shorter growing seasons and prolonged droughts mean that crops suffer, as do the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. To meet the demands of a growing global and African population, crop productivity will have to be increased. Under climate change conditions, this will have to be achieved with fewer resources and smarter interventions. Seeds, superfoods, and soils all offer some solutions.


Farmer resilience to climate change can be strengthened in many ways: income diversification, secure land rights or better access to insurance policies are all examples. Resilience can also come in the form of a seed.

Drought-tolerant maize varieties hope to do just that. These seeds are bred with the ability to withstand periods of low and erratic rainfall. The public-private partnership Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA)

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Leaf And Twig

DSC02072 - Version 2
soft as down
the bumblebee’s coat
silken fur of black and yellow

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Architecture, Design & Innovation


Green has been the in-vogue colour for new developments for several years and it looks like it will remain that way. Of course it’s not the colour green, but the concept of adding living foliage to buildings which, due to the increasingly accepted fact that we need to be more sustainable in our buildings, has become increasingly an increasingly commonplace technique.

With open green spaces in urban conurbations reducing as buildings, roads and hard surfacing increase, it is crucial that we find ways to ensure that flora is incorporated in some way. Plants have a vital role to play in tackling pollution, reducing ambient temperature, and encouraging insects, birds and animals that are important to even the urban environment. But with lack of floor space, one obvious solution is to think vertically instead of laterally, because we have a great deal of square footage of wall space that can, and…

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