PARTICIPATE WITH RECIRCULATE- International Sustainable Agriculture Webinar

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To explore the challenges and opportunities for food security in Africa and encourage knowledge exchange between African countries.

About this Event

THEME – Can Africa feed itself?

DATE – October 8th 11.00 BST (UK Time)

DURATION – 2.0 HOURS

Venue: Zoom Webinar - https://us02web.zoom.us/j/95523854139?pwd=dXR6R2dJVEJEZ2VrZ3J6T2FIMG56QT09

THE FOOD & AGRICULTURE WEBINAR

Currently, sub-Saharan Africa’s population is approximately 1 billion people, and it is increasing by 2-4% per year. Already much of this population is food-insecure, with more than 40% living in extreme poverty (poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 a day as defined by the World Bank, 2012). Apart from basic calorie requirements, many are micronutrient-deficient resulting in anaemia, poor cognitive development and night blindness. Economic development imposes additional strains on a broken food system, with changing dietary preferences boosting the consumption of protein-rich foods (eg. milk, meat) which carry significant environmental burdens.

While economic access to food is a clear challenge for many, food production in Africa is often constrained by a lack of fundamental resources. With limited investment in irrigation infrastructure in many countries, much of African agriculture is rain-fed and thus susceptible to devastating drought events. Africa’s soils are old and often nutrient-depleted, resulting in much lower crop productivity and nutritional quality than younger European soils. Pests and diseases result in significant crop losses annually, with few farmers having the means to purchase chemicals for control. Human capital can also be problematic as in many parts of the world, with sustained rural-to-urban migration diminishing the labour force, and many young people wishing to develop alternative (non-agricultural) careers than farming. Despite agriculture being the foundation of many African economies, many governments invest fewer than 10% of their GDP of agricultural research & development.

To tackle these food challenges, Lancaster University co-ordinates the RECIRCULATE (a 7 Million Pounds Capacity Building Project) project in partnership with Nigerian (University of Benin) and Ghana (CSIR and Lancaster University Ghana campus) partners as Phase 1 partners and Phase 2 partners in Kenya (ATPS), Malawi (NCST), Zambia (Copperbelt University) and Botswana (BIUST).

The objectives of the Webinar therefore includes:

1. To highlight the UK Government funded Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) 7 Million Pounds RECIRCULATE project (Work Package 3 – Water for Food Production) and its progress so far in Africa.

2. To explore the challenges and opportunities for food security in Africa.

3. Encourage knowledge exchange between different African countries especially in relation to food security issues

4. To provide an opportunity for current and new stakeholders in different African countries to develop future collaborations, investments and development work.

Brief Programme

11.00 – 11.10 - Introduction of Participants/Stakeholders – Moderated by Dr. Akan Odon

11.10 – 11.20 Introduction to RECIRCULATE - Prof Kirk Semple

11.20 – 11.30 Irrigation management (Prof Ian Dodd, Lancaster University)

11.30 – 11.40 Nutrient sources (Dr Stephen Yeboah, CSIR-Crops Research Institute, Ghana)

11.40 – 11.50 Pest & Disease Control (Prof William Otim-Nape, Africa Innovations Institute, Uganda)

11.50 – 12.00 Human Capital (Dr Patricia-Oteng-Darko, CSIR-Crops Research Institute, Ghana)

12.00-12.30 Break-out Rooms – Specific Questions

12.30 – 13.00 Q/A and Wrap Up – Led by TBC

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