Feeding a growing world poses complex challenges for which new technologies can help provide solutions.   We share information on improved food production that is balanced with issues related to international trade, certification, animal welfare and health.  We also share information on areas such as deforestation.

Rwanda: Biogas in prisons saves millions of dollars

It’s been 21 years since the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, such devastating tragedy there are always losses in most areas of a country life. One of the biggest issues was that there were almost 100,000 prisoners in prisons who were all waiting for their trials. There have been a lot of environmental issues related to the prisons’, one being that the wood from neighboring forests was used for cooking to feed the prisoners, which was accelerating deforestation until the time Rwanda Correctional Service started using biogas. 

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Watered By Sunlight

Less than 2 per cent of the Kenya's agriculture is irrigated, largely due to the prohibitive cost of equipment and diesel. This leaves farmers extremely vulnerable to drought and puts the country’s food security at great risk. The Sunflower water pump hits all the right environmental notes - running on clean and renewable energy. It retails at around USD 400 which, in comparison to its diesel-fuelled counterparts - costing roughly USD 2,800 - is a near night and day difference. Furthermore, as there are no fuel costs, the initial investment can be recouped in 1-2 years. As such, Sunflower presents a compelling economic case.

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Growing At The Wavelength Of Light

BioLumic has developed a UV lighting technology called Smart Light Array technology, which manipulates the quantities of UV light at different wavelengths. Using what they call "light recipes", BioLumic's technology can accelerate or slow down certain growth characteristics in plants. This has numerous potential applications from bolstering disease resistance to enhancing flavour.

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Unmanned Agriculture

An unidentified object hovers over Nairobi's Nyayo Stadium during 2014's Jamuhuri Day celebrations. In a country that has had it's fair share of terror attacks, this sighting is met not so much with wonder as anxiety. The Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces immediately sets out to find who is behind it. It turns out to be a Kenyan media house capturing some aerial shots of the proceedings in advance of the President's arrival. Orders follow that the device be landed immediately. It is brought safely to the ground. What was the cause for all the fuss? A drone. Referred to in other quarters as an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs). A vehicle that could drive Kenyan agriculture into the future.

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Sustainable Steps in Sierra Leone

Orphfund is a small hardworking NGO where 100% of funds given go directly to their projects within Africa and Asia. Their focus is on helping children who are in the most need, orphans with no-one to care for them. They do this by building and developing Children's Villages which offer housing, schooling, water, sanitation, and training facilities. Working in areas like Sierra Leone Orphfund employ a number of cleanleap technologies to provide basic services like water and sanitation, through to solar power used to teach the children computers and sewing, through to farming to generate food and income.

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Food Growing Up

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. One of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Attributed to King Nebuchadnezzar II and described by writers of the time as a pensile paradise. Resembling large green mountains constructed of mud bricks; these gardens were the pride of the ancient Babylonians. Legend has it that the King created the gardens for his queen who missed the green hills and valleys of her homeland. Who would have thought that this gesture of affection would set the trend for modern agriculture today? Vertical farming, the act of growing food in high-rise buildings, could change the way we produce food in the future.

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African Food Security Prospects Brighter Than Ever

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) recently launched an inaugural report providing an overview of the state of food security in Africa, as part of their State of Food Security in the World Series. The report provides some good indicators of food security and how Sub-Saharan Africa is tracking, whilst the statistics show some great positive trends there are still a large number of people that are undernourished. 

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Biofuels, their benefits and challenges for developing countries

Biofuels can help developing countries reduce carbon emissions, reduce over dependence on fossil fuels and increase energy security. However, this alternative must be pursued with care to reduce possibility of environmental degradation, deforestation, food shortages and high food prices. One way is to pursue second generation feedstocks. Limiting use of some food crops in biofuel production and mapping out areas for biofuel crop production can also prove helpful.

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Could the mobile phone become a farmer's most important tool?

One evening, as Calvince Okello -the creator of M-shamba - was watching the news at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where he studied biomechanical and processing engineering, a particular feature left him at his wits end. The Eastern part of Kenya was suffering from severe famine while the Western part had registered a bumper harvest with maize even rotting on farms. This stark contrast of pockets plenty amidst areas of serious lack was enough to push Calvince to think of a solution. He attended a lecture the following day that would set M-shamba in motion. 

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WorldBank launches report on impact of Greenbonds

The World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD) launched the Green Bond Impact Report in June 2015, with detailed information about the environment and social results expected from projects supported by its green bonds. The report provides an update on the progress of the 100 green bonds (US$8.4 billion) that have been issued to support projects aiming for low carbon and climate-ready growth in IBRD’s member countries.

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