Posts Tagged ‘Nigeria’


Rio+20 and the Role of Nigerian Women in Sustainable Development

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Today, Daily Times Nigeria published an op-ed co-written by Jill Sheffield, president of Women Deliver, and Danielle Nierenberg, director of the Nourishing the Planet project at the Worldwatch Institute.

The article focuses on women in Nigeria and their role in sustainable development. The piece highlights the need for women’s rights to be a core issue at Rio+20, a conference marking the twentieth anniversary of the first Earth Summit in Rio. In Nigeria, one-third of women have an unmet need for contraception, and nearly 80 percent of Nigerian farmers are women. Recognizing the important role of women as food producers, business owners, care givers, and mothers is key to creating a sustainable future for all.

Click here to read the full article.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one-minute book trailer, click HERE.


12 Steps to Go Green for the Developing World

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Check out our latest op-ed, co-authored with Sue Edwards, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development, which was published in Nigeria’s Punch, the country’s largest and most widely read daily newspaper.

The article discusses 12 steps that people in developing countries can take to be more green in 2012.

Click here to read the full article.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.


A Brighter Future for Cassava

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By Yassir Islam 

Yassir Islam is the Head of Communications at HarvestPlus, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that is working to address global micronutrient deficiency, by adding nutrients to staple crops and making those crops more accessible.

Cassava is possibly the most adaptable of all tropical food crops. It tolerates drought, does not need much land preparation or weeding, and thrives in poor soils without chemical inputs.  The leaves are nourishing, and the thick fleshy roots are used to make many different types of foods from cassava flour to tapioca pearls.

A girl enjoying yellow cassava. (Photo credit: International Center for Tropical Agriculture)

So what’s not to like?

Well, no matter how cassava is prepared, one fact remains: it is a good source of calories but provides few other nutrients.  Could this food that is so popular in the tropics, and a lifesaver in times of drought, be made more nutritious?   Scientists began investigating this question in 2003, focusing on a critical nutrient: vitamin A.

Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is common in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, VAD afflicts almost 20 percent of pregnant women and about 30 percent of children under five. VAD lowers immunity which can increase the chances of getting ill or infected with disease. It can also lead to impaired vision, blindness, and even death. While Nigeria has mandated that foods such as wheat and maize flours be fortified with vitamin A since 2000, and provides vitamin A supplements to young children during national immunization day, coverage is low and vitamin A deficiency has decreased only marginally.



Airwave Agriculturist

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Check out this article in the Guardian about a Nigerian radio host, who uses his show to teach sustainable farming practices, including crop rotation and rainwater harvesting techniques, to smallholder farmers.

Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu (Photo credit: the Guardian)

“The most simple ideas can solve the greatest challenges,” said Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu, who also believes in locally applicable solutions, such as seed sharing between farmers. The station reaches about 250,000 listeners each day.

Click here to read the full article.

Holiday offer: To purchase a copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet at a 50 percent discountplease click HERE and enter code SW1150. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.


Nourishing the Planet TV: School Feeding Programs Improve Livelihoods, Diets, and Local Economies

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In this week’s episode, we discuss school feeding programs that are helping children and their families in many parts of Africa, where 60 percent of children come to school in the morning without breakfast, if they attend school at all. But, programs such as the The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), are helping to provides school meals for about 20 million children in Africa.


To purchase your own copy of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

Star Apple: Prized Fruit and Timber

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By Kim Kido

Each year in the town of Ekwulumili, Nigeria, a potluck feast is held at the base of an udala tree to celebrate the women and children of the village. “Udala”, Ibo for white star apple (Chrysophyllum albidum), is a feminine symbol of fertility and generosity.

A star apple of unknown species with seeds arranged in the classic star pattern. (Photo credit: Forest and Kim Starr)

In addition to being the center of the town’s festival, the tree produces a fruit so delicious that children sometimes wait for the fruit to fall. The fruit is usually allowed to ripen on the tree and fall to the ground before it is collected and eaten since the immature fruit contains unpalatable sticky latex. In the same family as chicle, udala is picked immature in some places by children and chewed like gum. Besides children, Nigerian women sometimes eat the fruit to ease birthing. The fruit has a hundred times more vitamin C than oranges, and ten times that of guava.

Throughout West Africa, the fruits are also sold in local markets, fermented into wine, or made into jam. In Nigeria, the pit of the fruit is used to make a musical instrument. In some parts of West Africa, the oil is extracted from the seeds for cooking or to make soap. The seeds are also strung together to make anklets worn when dancing, or collected for children’s games. Latex is tapped from the tree trunk to make rubber, and the wood is used to make many things, including furniture, flooring, toys, and cabinets.



Nourishing the Planet TV: It’s All About the Process

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In this week’s episode, research intern Jenna Banning discusses the benefits of processing. By providing the right tools and services, organizations such as the Community Markets for Conservation (