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Mapping the Earth’s surface from above is no longer the exclusive privilege of map producers or the military. Meteorologists can also make good use of satellite images, and channel the data into agricultural planning and production.

At a week-long FAO training session starting today in Budapest, international experts on meteorology, remote sensing and climate issues will forge ties and exchange knowledge with representatives of Central and Eastern European countries. The expected result is better weather and climate information – especially drought monitoring and management – for the benefit of food producers and water managers.

Peter Sotamaruti’s 2-acre farm near Bungoma, a village in western Kenya, is minuscule by the standards of the developed world. But it’s double the acreage he tended five years ago. Sales of surplus corn have allowed the 49-year-old farmer and his family to trade up from a mud hut to a three-room brick house with solar-powered lights. His modest profits also cover school fees for his four high school-age children and pay for health insurance, a luxury among farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. “We now treat our farm as a business,” says Sotamaruti, who plans to expand to 4 acres in the next year.

The threat of famine has added fuel to a long-running debate over whether African governments, working in concert with nongovernmental organizations, should do more to promote commercial-scale agriculture and ease the continent’s dependence on subsistence farming. Africa is facing the world’s most severe food crisis since World War II, with some 20 million people at risk of starvation because of a combination of drought conditions and armed conflict.

"The Young Africa Works Summit 2017 was a very exciting learning platform that enlightened us on opportunities and options to increase the role of youth in the future of agricultural development in Africa by improving their skills, knowledge and experience”, Bamlaku Asmare, ICIPE’s youth delegate from Ethiopia.


From authors to chefs, business owners to activists, this list is a collection of changemakers in every industry working to fix inequalities and problems in the food system all over the world. Their examples have inspired movements and changed minds. We hope their stories and work will inspire you as much as it has inspired us here at Food Tank.

1. Vandana Shiva
Scientist and activist Dr Vandana Shiva is at the forefront of the sustainable food movement. Fighting against the spread of industrial agriculture, she believes high-yield production is hurting more than helping problems of nutrition and hunger in the world. Her NGO, Navdanya, has been a proponent of biodiversity since 1991 and is currently fighting the development of Golden Rice, a Vitamin A-rich variety, claiming it’s not as beneficial as it seems and could have a heavy impact on the environment.

Agribusiness; Harvesting wheat

No region of the world has ever moved to industrialised economy status without a transformation of the agricultural sector. Agriculture, which contributes 16.2% of the GDP of Africa, and gives some form of employment to over 60% of the population, holds the key to accelerated growth, diversification and job creation for African economies.

EU-funded scientists are developing dedicated biomass crops that are drought tolerant so that they can be grown on land unsuitable for food crops. This will help sustainable bio-based energy and raw materials to succeed in Europe without applying pressure on food resources.