Greetings and welcome to our weekly report on the state of the global agricultural sector. As an essential pillar of the world economy, agriculture is indispensable in meeting the food demands of our rapidly expanding population. In this piece, we’ll delve into the latest updates and notable events from the past week in the agricultural realm.
1. Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board Unveils Plan to Increase Annual Fish Production
Rwanda is set to experience a significant boost in its fish production, with the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Board (RAB) unveiling a new plan to increase the country’s annual yield from 4,000 tonnes to 80,620 tonnes by 2035.
This goal is to be achieved through the implementation of the ‘National Aquaculture Strategy for Rwanda 2023-2035,’ which is in its final stages. The strategy aims to produce a total of 106,000 tonnes of fish in Rwanda by 2035, with 80,620 tonnes being sourced from aquaculture and the remaining 26,000 tonnes from wild fisheries. Read more
2. FAO Report Reveals Gender Inequalities in Agrifood Systems
A new report by the FAO reveals that gender inequalities in agrifood systems account for a 24% productivity gap between male and female farmers on farms of equal size, with women also earning almost 20% less than their male counterparts in the agricultural sector.
Over one-third of the world’s working women are employed in agrifood systems, but the FAO says that limited access to resources and knowledge, coupled with a higher unpaid care burden, contribute to these disparities. Addressing these gender inequalities could potentially increase global gross domestic product by almost $1 trillion and reduce the number of food-insecure people by 45 million, said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu. Read more
3. Study Reveals Some Ground Beetles May Not Adapt to Climate Change, Posing Threat to Agricultural Pest Management
According to a new study, some ground beetles may not be adapting to climate change, which could pose a significant threat to agriculture, forestry, and conservation efforts. Ground beetles, also known as carabids, are an essential part of the biological pest management system due to their robust mandibles, making them effective predators.
The Carabidae family, to which they belong, is one of the largest insect families globally, with over 40,000 species, including 2,000 in the United States. These insects are generalist predators, capable of consuming various pests such as beetle larvae, mites, aphids, and moth larvae, while a few species specialize in feeding on snails, using specialized mouthparts. Ground beetles’ importance in controlling pests in agriculture is immense, and their inability to adapt to climate change may have significant implications for this sector. Read more
4. IFAD invests $604.6m in Nigeria's agriculture sector, benefiting over 5 million people
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has invested $604.6 million in Nigeria’s agriculture sector from 2016 to 2023, according to Abdulhameed Girai, the Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser for FGN/CPAT-Country Programme Advisory Team.
The investments have supported viable interventions such as the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP), the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Programme (LIFE-ND), and the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), among others. Read more
5. Researchers identify genetic origins of herbicide-resistant blackgrass, threatening Europe's agriculture industry
Blackgrass, Europe’s most economically damaging herbicide-resistant weed, has developed resistance to herbicides through genetic variants that predate the use of herbicides, according to a team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen and the University of Hohenheim.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Plant Biotechnology Journal published their findings, which explain that blackgrass, originally from Eurasia, competes with crops such as wheat and barley, resulting in significant reductions in harvest yields.
The weed’s rapid adaptation to herbicides targeting specific plant proteins has caused an estimated annual damage of nearly half a billion euros in the UK alone, posing a challenge to innovation in chemical weed control. Read more