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Improving farmer livelihoods through better cocoa bean fermentation

We can support small farmers by using science to understand cocoa bean fermentations, ensuring more consistent beans, and better incomes, write David Salt, David Gopaulchan, and Gabriel Castrillo Cocoa is a significant global commodity, generating income, export revenues, and employment for producing countries. Cocoa is grown across the equatorial belt, by some six million smallholder …

Supporting small scale farmers in developing countries

Diversifying agriculture away from limited cereal crops is important for surviving and building resilience to climate change. It also enables small-scale farmers to build socio-economic flexibility, and food and nutritional security, argue Sean Mayes and Festo Massawe. Our current reliance on three major cereal crops for 60% of plant-based calories worldwide is risky. Climate change …

The nutritional quality of crops and the impact of climate change

Today at COP26, discussions are focused around public empowerment and education in climate action. Galvanising public action is difficult but not impossible. Today, Grace Kangara explains how promoting locally available organic nutrient resources to farmers is key to both improving soils and ensuring the availability of micronutrient-dense foods at the farm-level. Climate change has a …

Adaptation and resilience in the Yucatan: an ode to farmers – by Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar

Karla G. Hernandez-Aguilar is a PhD student on the Palaeobenchmarking Resilient Agricultural Systems (PalaeoRAS) project I described the challenges of conducting fieldwork in the middle of a pandemic in my blog on 16 April 2021 so now I would like to take this opportunity to reflect upon the qualities of adaptation and resilience that I observed on a daily basis …

Global trading: the good, the bad and the essential

This post is written by Lucy McCarthy (QUB), Anne Touboulic (University of Nottingham), and Lee Matthews (University of Nottingham). In our last post, we began our journey considering food supply chains in times of pandemic and we touched upon their history. Here, we further consider some of the flaws in our globalised food systems and …

Understanding more about oil palm farmed by smallholders

This post is written by Dr Thomas D Alcock and Dr Christina Vimala Supramaniam During a recent trip to Malaysia, including visits to the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus, Dr Thomas D Alcock and Dr Lexi Earl stopped by some smallholder oil palm plantations to get a feel for production practices. This is what they …

Global-local knowledge systems for innovation and entrepreneurship in the developing world: An international workshop in Nottingham, 2-3 May 2019

This post was written by Dr Bin Wu and Dr Peter Noy. About 2 billion people (two thirds of the population) in the developing world live on about 500 million small farms, defined as plots of land smaller than 2 hectares. Smallholder farmers are “knowledge-rich, but economically poor” and there is a significant gap in …