Paris, 13 December 2010

EFITA newsletter / 491 - European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

To read this newsletter on the web site...

Do not forget two submit your papers for the 8th EFITA and 8th WCCA conferences
11 - 14 July – PRAGUE
The key topic for EFITA/WCCA 2011 congress will be Rural Digital Agenda for 2020 and
ICT- technologies, and knowledge management for integrated and sustainable farm management in the whole world.

EGS-ABG: European Graduate School in Animal Breeding and Genetics
EGS-ABG offers high quality training in the field of animal breeding and genetics and provides fellowship opportunities for doctoral candidates (non-EU and EU).

13th International GCIRC Rapeseed Congress
5-9 June 2011 – PRAGUE
With some 650 abstracts submitted, the Scientific Committee is now working on the abstract evaluation which shall be finalised by end of this month.
The abstract acceptance notifications will thus be distributed to all authors by end of November 2010.
> Due to abstract evaluation still being in progress, the early registration deadline was moved to December 15, 2010. While registering, please make sure to confirm attendance of the social events included in your Registration Fee.
Please feel free to use the Online Registration.
New information is now published on the official website for both scientific and accompanying programme. Some of the menu content was changed and you will find the Congress Information tab now filled with all details necessary.

> The Preliminary Scientific Programme is available online and for download together with list of Confirmed Invited Speakers.
Please feel free to check section Preliminary Scientific Programme for further details.

> Detailed information on Specialised Trips are now published both for the Pre-congress Farm Trip (prior to the Congress) and Field Trip (upon conclusion of the Congress).

To get to know the magics of the city of Prague or the surroundings, One Day Excursions are now scheduled.
For those wishing to spend more time in the country or wishing to visit the neighbouring Germany, Two Day Excursions of Prosperous Saxony (Germany), Karlovy Vary and Cesky Krumlov (both Czech Republic) were prepared.
Please see the details of all trips and tours in section Accompanying Programme.

Due to high demand, new hotels were added to the website to provide the best Accommodation options.
Please see List of Hotels for more details on availability.

Contact: Laurencine LOT
E-mail: lot(a)

How Can Africa Grow More Food? The Guardian (UK) - 03-Dec-2010
Rising food prices are focusing minds on Africa's agricultural output, and on whether or not technology is the best way to boost production

African agriculture has become the focus of extraordinary attention and interest. Yesterday a big report was launched by the Harvard academic Calestous Juma with the backing of several African presidents, and next week Chatham House in London is hosting a major conference on food security where the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (Ifad) is launching a new report on rural poverty.

Meanwhile Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, warned that the current UN climate summit in Cancun needs to launch a "Green Marshall Plan for Agriculture" or risk a possible 40% increase in emissions by 2030 if current agricultural methods are extended.

Rising food prices and terrible future scenarios of the impact of climate change on food production, are focusing minds on what is perceived as Africa's huge untapped potential for agriculture. This week yet another report from the International Food Policy Research Institute warns that climate change could push prices up by 130%, and calls for unprecedented human ingenuity to meet the challenge of feeding a burgeoning population.

Some of this renewed interest from around the world is self interest; countries eyeing Africa as a source of food, which is prompting an unprecedented rush to buy or lease land. But the foreign interest is matched by that of many African countries keenly aware that improving agricultural productivity is key to entrenched problems of poverty on average 64% of Africans depend on agriculture for their income and hunger.

Central to all the discussion is the assertion that Africa could produce far more food than it currently does. In contrast with Asia, which has seen huge increases in agricultural yields in the last 40 years, sub-Saharan Africa's track record has been abysmal. Food production is actually 10% lower today than in 1960, yet over this time period the aggregate world food production has increased by 145%.

The reasons are not hard to find. The use of fertiliser is strikingly low only 13kg per hectare in sub-Saharan Africa compared with a north African average of 71kg. Only 24% of cereal is using improved seeds compared with 85% in east Asia. The lack of investment in nutrients has led to a catastrophic depletion of soils; 75% of farmland in sub-Saharan Africa has been degraded by overuse. As soil fertility has fallen, farmers have expanded into forests to maintain incomes, leading to deforestation which in turn leads to more problems, for example with soil erosion such as I saw in my visit to Mali recently.

But if there is widespread agreement on the causes of the problem, there is an extraordinarily polarised debate about the best strategy to tackle the problem. On one side there is a powerful lobby which argues that biotechnology, massive investment in irrigation and mechanisation are the way forward, and on the other side are those who argue that these kinds of investments are usually tied up in big corporate deals in which local smallholder subsistence farmers lose out either they lose their land or access to water, and often both.

Evaluating India: Realizing Potential, Understanding Challenges (USGC)
The U.S. Grains Council’s latest look at India illustrates both the long-term export potential and the constraints on grain sales.

“A middle class of 100 million that is growing in size and income represents a huge future demand for meat, milk and eggs,” said Erick Erickson, USGC special assistant for planning, evaluation and projects.

Just back from a food security conference in New Delhi, Erickson reports that India’s private broiler industry and commercial dairy industry are growing by 12-13 percent annually. India’s agriculture and food systems are responding in significant ways to the country’s economic growth – and over time that may offer opportunities to trade partners.

“India has the possibility of increasing its own corn production, but limits on land and holdings suggest that within the next decade they could become a consistent, major importer,” he said.

As the Council looks to increase efforts in India, its approach will be to help the poultry and dairy sectors with their own development agendas. By becoming a trusted, credible partner, the Council will be in a position to help when the Indian industries are ready to take on the policies that restrict corn imports, and those sectors will be better organized to work together on issues of common interest.

“This capacity-building takes time,” Erickson said, noting for comparison that the Council began working in China in 1983, and China is just now becoming a regular importer of corn.

“We’ve been involved in India since the mid-’90s, but there’s a new impetus to our work now,” he said. “Because India’s economy is growing rapidly and India is a more open society, changes in India’s market dynamics should happen more rapidly than in China.”

According to the Council, if India’s economy continues to grow as it has in last decade, it will need soybean oil, distillers grains and perhaps corn in three to five years.

Las cifras son alarmantes: Por favor cuídate…

Un reciente estudio realizado por el Área de control y estadística del Ministerio de Salud, afirma que el 23% de los accidentes de tránsito (sí, leíste muy bien, el 23 %) son provocados por el consumo de alcohol.

Esto significa que el otro 77% de los accidentes son causados por pelotudos e hijos de puta que toman agua, jugos, refrescos diet, yogurt, cafecitos y todas esas bebidas!

Por lo tanto; cuídate de estos abstemios criminales en potencia!

ATENTAMENTE, alguien que se preocupa por ti!


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