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Irrigation waters more than crops in Africa

News / August 13, 2013

A new study by Center on Food Security and the Environment researchers finds that smallholder irrigation systems - those in which water access (via pump or human power), distribution (furrow, watering can, sprinkler, drip lines, etc.), and use all occur at or near the same location - have great potential to reduce hunger, raise incomes and improve development prospects in an area of the

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Commentary on "Water and Agriculture in a Changing Africa"

Commentary / July 29, 2013

I was honored and humbled to be asked to serve as a discussant for this final leg of the Gates Symposium Series, and in particular to have the opportunity to share the discussion with John Briscoe. The goal of this series is to understand how lessons from other times and places might inform an effective and sustainable effort to eliminate food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) – the one region in the world where widespread lack of access to sufficient food is still deeply entrenched. Moreover, this series has focused on and featured speakers with extensive on-the-ground work.

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Smallholder irrigation a development priority in sub-Saharan Africa

News / July 24, 2013
FSE study finds smallholder irrigation in sub-Saharan Africa has great potential to reduce hunger, raise incomes, and improve development prospects. But investment is needed to better understand water resources and provide financial services to farmers.
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Stuck in the mud: Stanford’s scholarly farmer on the soggy fortunes of Midwest growers

News / July 16, 2013
FSE deputy director Walter Falcon shares field notes from his farm in Iowa a year after the region experienced its worst drought in decades. Now farmers are recovering from the wettest spring on record, eclipsing the 1892 record. "The riskiness of farming is something to see in real time; it is also very instructive to listen as farmers talk about coping with uncertainty," writes Falcon.
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Swinnen commentary on "How can trade improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa?"

Commentary / July 11, 2013

Johan Swinnen, Visiting Professor at Stanford's Center on Food Security and the Enviroment, comments on Kym Anderson's Global Food Policy and Food Security Symposium paper on "How can trade improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa?".

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World's staple crops to see increasing exposure to extreme heat, say Stanford researchers

News / June 14, 2013
Climate change is already affecting crop production around the world through rising temperatures, changes in rainfall patterns and increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. A new Stanford study published today in Environmental Research Letters examines extreme heat effects on crops during the flowering period and finds the world's staple crops are increasingly at risk.
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Seeds of Sustainability wins 2013 ESA Sustainability Science Award

News / June 6, 2013
The Sustainability Science Award Subcommittee was unanimous in its recommendation that the Seeds of Sustainability team of authors (which included seven FSE affiliates) receive this year's award. The award recognizes a single scholarly contribution published in the last 5 years that represents the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.
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Bringing a green and blue revolution to Africa

News / May 30, 2013
Food and water security in sub-Saharan Africa remain a challenge despite the region’s abundance of arable land and untapped water resources. In FSE’s final global food policy and food security symposium, water expert John Briscoe delivered a personal assessment of the issues facing Africa and suggestions for the way forward.
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Stanford scientists urge action on global climate change

News / May 23, 2013
California Gov. Jerry Brown accepted a consensus statement signed by 520 scientists, including 48 from Stanford, that sounds the alarm on climate change and offers recommendations for solving global environmental challenges.
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FSE Fulbright scholar leads climate adaptation workshops in Colombia

News / May 17, 2013
Sharon Gourdji spent three months this winter down in Colombia at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) as a Fulbright Scholar studying climate impacts on bean production in Central America and adaptation options. During her stay she led a series of Decision and Policy Analysis workshops focused on climate data sources and crop statistical models.
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Water and agriculture in a changing Africa: What might be done?

News / May 16, 2013
Join us for our final Global Food Policy and Food Security symposium Thursday, May 23. John Briscoe, Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Environmental Engineering at Harvard University will lead a lecture on water and agriculture in a changing Africa. FSE fellow Jennifer Burney will provide commentary.
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How to Feed the World Without Deforesting the Planet

News / May 7, 2013
Does feeding the world require decimating forests? Senior Fellow Eric Lambin (Earth Sciences) has a surprising answer with far-reaching implications for policymakers, businesses and consumers. Among the findings of a study Lambin co-authored: There is much less potentially available cropland globally than previously estimated, multiple uses compete for it, and its conversion results in significant social and ecological costs. Lambin and his co-authors point out that we don't need to clear more land, including forests, to plant hunger-alleviating crops.
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Discussant comments on “China’s Agricultural Development and Policies: Are There Lessons for Sub-Saharan Africa?”

Commentary / May 3, 2013

China is indeed an intriguing potential role model for developing nations in quest of rapid economic growth and successful poverty reduction. It has not only sustained an average annual GDP growth rate of 10 percent between 1980 and 2011, it has also been extraordinarily successful at reducing poverty, taking more than 650 million people out of extreme poverty over the period. These are two extraordinary feats. It is, however, often said that China is a unique case, with few transposable lessons due to its exceptional size and past.

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Scott Rozelle on How Agriculture Vitalized China's Economy

News / April 24, 2013
Over the last thirty years, China’s rural income per capita has risen an astounding 20 times. Millions have been lifted out of poverty and have moved from the rural sector to China's thriving big cities. China expert Scott Rozelle credits this remarkable growth to the government's decision to put land in the hands of farmers, deregulate markets, and heavily invest in the agricultural sector.
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Video: Understanding the limits of crops under extreme heat

News / April 16, 2013
FSE associate director David Lobell delivers a lecture on "Understanding the limits of crops (and models) under extreme heat" as part of UC Davis' Climate-Smart Agriculture conference. Lobell's talk begins at 51:00.
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David Lobell talks about heat and hunger at ASU

News / March 26, 2013
FSE associate director David Lobell delivers a lecture on "Heat and Hunger" as part of Arizona State University's Global Institute of Sustainability's sustainability series. He discusses crop adaptation to climate change and what we understand, particularly as it relates to food security.
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Satellite data play critical role in understanding yield gaps

News / March 21, 2013
According to a new study by FSE's David Lobell, satellite data can play a critical role in understanding yield gaps and meeting future crop demand. Satellite data can help overcome spatial and temporal scaling issues that challenge simulation and experiment based analyses of yield gaps, and are more available and affordable than ever.
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Corn getting thirstier with climate change

News / March 5, 2013
A new study led by FSE associate director David Lobell finds water stress may be the main culprit behind diminishing crop yields at higher temperatures. The paper appeared in the March online edition of Nature Climate Change.
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Agricultural climate adaptation can mitigate too

News / February 26, 2013
Adapting to climate change or mitigating climate change – which would you choose to invest your cash in? A new study shows that when it comes to agriculture, adaptation measures can also generate significant mitigation effects, making them a highly worthwhile investment.
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Stanford scientists help shed light on key component of China's pollution problem

News / February 25, 2013
A new study co-authored by FSE affiliated faculty Peter Vitousek reveals, among other findings, that amounts of nitrogen deposited on land and water in China by way of rain, dust and other carriers increased by 60 percent annually from the 1980s to the 2000s, with profound consequences for the country’s people and ecosystems.
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Debating the future of food in Africa

News / February 13, 2013
Africa owns 60% of the world’s uncultivated land suited for crop production, but accounts for 30% of the world’s malnourished and only 3% of global agricultural exports. If there is one thing global agricultural policy experts Paul Collier and Derek Byerlee can agree on, it’s that Africa’s food system is struggling.
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Stanford law professor, security expert to lead FSI

News / February 11, 2013
When Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar takes the helm of FSI in July, he'll oversee the institute's 11 research centers and programs along with a variety of undergraduate and graduate education initiatives on international affairs. His leadership will be marked by a commitment to build on FSI’s interdisciplinary approach to solving some of the world’s biggest problems.
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Benin solar market garden project one of five most hopeful energy projects of 2012

News / January 15, 2013
FSE's Benin solar market garden project was picked as one of the most five hopeful energy stories of 2012 by National Geographic. Jennifer Burney, FSE fellow and lead on the Benin project, is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. FSE began its partnership with the Solar Electric Light Fund in 2007 and continues to work together to spread the technology into new villages in West Africa.
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