Swarms of food-devouring desert locusts threaten food security for nearly 10 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, said the Food Security and Nutrition Working Group on Monday, describing the infestations as the worst in 25 years in Ethiopia and in 70 years in Kenya. The group, which focuses on central and eastern Africa, said the locust upsurge threatens the coming agricultural season.
Nearly one-fifth of Ethiopia is in need of food aid, as a punishing drought kills off livestock in areas where people — especially pregnant women and children — rely on milk for nutrition, Reuters says.
Coffee growers in Vietnam, Indonesia and India, three of the seven largest coffee-producing nations on earth, will harvest smaller crops — down by a combined 2.5 percent — due to drought magnified by the El Niño weather pattern, according to a USDA forecast. The semi-annual Coffee: World Markets and Trade report said a record crop of Arabica beans in Brazil, the world's largest coffee grower, would lead to a modest rise in global production.
The food security situation in Ethiopia is worsening, says the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and as the main growing season approaches, 10.2 million people are affected by successive crop failures and livestock deaths caused by drought since 2015.
Thanks to a generally favorable growing season, wheat growers in the European Union reaped a record 160 million tonnes of the grain in 2015, part of a record-setting harvest worldwide.
"Extreme poverty, child mortality, and hunger all fell by around half between 1990 and 2015," thanks to the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations in 2000, says the International Food Policy Research Institute in its 2016 Global Food Policy Report.
Millions of Ethiopians will need food aid through 2016 as a result of abnormally low rainfall during the main growing seasons this year, says a monitor funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), aided by a giant U.S. seed company, "are testing a new approach to improve the production of corn among the millions of poor, small-scale farmers who dominate African agriculture," says the...