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Science and technology for sustainable food security, nutritional adequacy, and poverty alleviation in the Asia-Pacific Region










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    Booklet
    Climate-Smart Agriculture in Guinea-Bissau 2019
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    The climate smart agriculture (CSA) concept reflects an ambition to improve the integration of agriculture development and climate responsiveness. It aims to achieve food security and broader development goals under a changing climate and increasing food demand. CSA initiatives sustainably increase productivity, enhance resilience, and reduce/remove greenhouse gases (GHGs), and require planning to address trade-offs and synergies between three pillars: productivity, adaptation and mitigation. The priorities of different countries and stakeholders are reflected to achieve more efficient, effective, and equitable food systems that address challenges in environment, social, and economic dimensions across productive landscapes. The country profile provides a snapshot of a developing baseline created to initiate discussion, both within countries and globally, about entry points for investing in CSA at scale. The agricultural sector is the main stay of the economy of Guinea-Bissau. In the absence of other resources, the sector despite being underdeveloped plays a leading role in supporting food security and job creation. Presently it contributes about 46% of national gross domestic product (GDP) with 84% of the population actively employed in primary production agriculture largely dominated by women. The majority of these farmer are small scale farmers farming on less than two hectare (2 ha). More than half (58%) of the total land in Guinea-Bissau is used for agriculture with area under forest heavily degraded by rapid exploitation. However, there are huge potentials for agricultural and forestry land including arable land estimated at about 1.5 million hectares. Farmers engage in the production of diverse crops and livestock such as cashew, rice (country’s staple food), sorghum, maize, etc largely cultivated by subsistence farmers. Women usually take up horticulture in the urban areas. Livestock production concentrated mainly in the north and east of the country is one of the main economic activities supporting food security and thousands of livelihoods. The country is divided into three agroecological zones based on ecological, climatic and demographic characteristics. Agriculture is mainly rainfed with very limited irrigated farming practised. About 82% of water withdrawn is used for agricultural purposes impelling a necessity for huge investments in irrigation to support agriculture production. The projected population growth and food demand is expected to have serious implications on food security with a potential to affect the agricultural sector. Despite the agro-forestry-pastoral potential and fisheries resources of Guinea-Bissau, many studies have shown that, the current food situation in the country is very precarious with poverty identified as the underlining cause. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emission from the agricultural sector has been identified as very high with the country indicating reforestation as the major action for mitigating GHG emissions in its nationally determined contribution (NDC). Some challenges for the agricultural sector identified include (i) growth in population and food demand, (ii) land use change and natural resource depletion, (iii) limited marketing opportunities of agricultural commodities, and (iv) climate change and variability. Guinea-Bissau has a typical hot, humid monsoon-like tropical climate with two well-defined seasons. Agriculture is exposed to the effects of climate change with the country vulnerable to droughts, floods and sea level rise. The projected changes in temperature and rainfall are expected to have substantial impact on water resources which are already limited in their capacity to provide sufficient water for the agriculture sector. CSA technologies and practises present opportunities for addressing climate change challenges as well as for economic growth and development of the agriculture sector. Identified CSA practises in use in the country include (i) use of organic manure, (ii) use of weather information, (iii) water supply through drip irrigation, (iv) anti-erosion arrangement, (v) forage/fodder production, (vi) crop rotation, and (vii) rainwater harvesting through the Zai technique. There are a number of institutions and policies aimed at supporting and increasing agriculture productivity and advancing CSA practises in Guinea-Bissau. These include government, private sector, the national institute for agrarian research and general directorate of rural engineering with each most of the institutions profiles having CSA-related activities that deliver on all three pillars of CSA. The Ministry of environment which serves as the country’s UNFCCC focal point and Nationally Designated Authority to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Adaptation fund, Climate Investment Fund and Global Environment Facility is responsible for the country’s climate change plans and policies. The food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations, the United Nations development programme and the international union for conservation of nature play instrumental roles in the promotion of sustainable agriculture and environmental sustainability. Most of the climate change and CSA-related funding have come from international sources with the UNDP being of great support through its signature programmes.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Focusing small-scale aquaculture and aquatic resource management on poverty alleviation 2002
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    Living aquatic resources play a fundamental role in sustaining the livelihoods of many of the rural poor in Asia, providing crucial buffers to shock and food insecurity, and offering opportunities for diverse and flexible forms of income generation. As with any production-based intervention, the poorest groups face significant constraints to entry into aquaculture. However, aquaculture offers many opportunities for livelihood benefits that other sectors do not. Aquaculture technologies appropria te for poor people are now largely in place. Emphasis must therefore be given to more effective extension of low-cost technologies, appropriate management practices and securing rights of access and control, rather than technical research. This report provides a background to the issues of focusing aquaculture on poverty alleviation based on the conclusions of an expert consultation which was organized in order to provide field-level professionals in Asia with a unique opportunity to come togeth er to share experiences on working in the field of poverty alleviation and aquaculture, and to prepare a platform for future networking.
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    Document
    The status of application, capacities and the enabling environment for agricultural biotechnologies in the Asia-Pacific region: Regional background study 2019
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    The study found that agricultural biotechnologies are well entrenched in the Asia-Pacific region and their use is expanding, as are the capacities and enabling environments needed to support their use. There are, however, significant differences among countries in their application of biotechnology in all four agricultural sectors: crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry. Small island states and many least developed countries (LDCs), such as Afghanistan and Mongolia, are yet to benefit appreciably from the biotechnology revolution. Multiple factors such as low capacity and the small size of their markets constrain them from reaping the benefits of biotechnology. Some countries, such as Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Uzbekistan, are in the initial stages of applying biotechnology but they have the potential to move forward. A few, such as Sri Lanka and Nepal, have not yet started to apply biotechnology but have the potential capacity and a good policy framework to move ahead. Recent changes in Viet Nam and Myanmar indicate the establishment of an enabling milieu that can take the countries forward in agricultural biotechnology. Larger and emerging economies, such as China, India and the Republic of Korea, are using biotechnology extensively in all four sectors.

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