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Agriculture is essential to the economies of East African countries. Climate change, with its effects on temperature and precipitation, threatens this important economic activity.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Eritrea has a long coastline on the Red Sea. The country has varied topography, rainfall, and climate, with altitude ranging from 60 to more than 3,000 meters above sea level. The climate ranges from hot and arid near the Red Sea to subhumid in isolated micro catchments along the eastern escarpment. The central highlands have a semi-arid climate. Most of the year’s rain falls within a short time, resulting in soil erosion and runoff.
by Alexandra Beizan-Diaz
Washington, D.C. -Malnutrition among children under two years of age is one of the leading challenges to reducing global hunger and can causelifelong harm to health, productivity, and earning potential, according to the 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI).
The ten ASARECA member countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda) have adopted, or are planning to adopt, a range of climate change adaptation strategies in agriculture.
Of the 26 strategies mentioned, only two are common to all 10 countries, while five more are common to five or more. The strategies common to all member countries include the development and promotion of drought-tolerant and early-maturing crop species and exploitation of new and renewable energy sources.
Key Trends Since 2000
- Eritrea's overall agricultural research and development (R&D) expenditures contracted by more than 80 percent during 1998-2008, following severe cuts in donor funding, which nonetheless remains the country's most important funding source.
- In contrast, agricultural research staffing levels nearly tripled in Eritrea during 1998-2008 with the graduation of a large number of BSc students from Hamelmalo Agricultural College (HAC), which was established in 2005.
Des Moines, Iowa-Twenty-nine countries around the world have alarming or extremely alarming levels of hunger, and thirteen countries have actually seen increases in their hunger levels since 1990, according to the 2009 Global Hunger Index report. The Democratic Republic of Congo scored the worst, followed by Burundi, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Chad, and Ethiopia.
Washington, DC -Thirty-three countries around the world have alarming or extremely alarming levels of hunger, according to the 2008 Global Hunger Index.
The fight against hunger and undernutrition has been a long-standing component of development efforts. Strategies to improve food security and nutrition are not only worth pursuing for their own sake, but are also key elements of poverty reduction. In spite of this, progress in combating hunger and malnutrition has been lagging for decades. Best practices to combat hunger and undernutrition have been available for a long while, but a lack of political will among leaders and a lack of political power among the poor have hampered their implementation.
Recent trends in agricultural growth and food security in Eastern and Central Africa (ECA) have been discouraging. With very low labor productivity, yields, and growth rates, agriculture is unable to keep up with population growth or achieve the type of pro-poor growth needed to reduce poverty dramatically.Yet agriculture accounts for about half of the region's gross domestic product (GDP) and is the main source of livelihood for the majority of the population. Behind this gloomy picture, however, lies agriculture's potential to be the engine for growth in ECA.
"A 2020 Vision for Food, Agriculture, and the Environment" is an initiative of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to develop a shared vision and consensus for action on how to meet future world food needs while reducing poverty and protecting the environment.