MAKUENI DISTRICT, Kenya
Gadam sorghum was introduced to semi-arid regions of eastern Kenya as a way for farmers to improve their food security and earn some income from marginal land. The hardy, high-yielding sorghum variety has not only thrived in harsh conditions, it has won a place in the hearts - and plates - of local farmers.
As water resources in Southern Africa come under pressure from growing population, climate change and increasing industrial and agricultural use, economic accounting for water is among the tools that could aid better management.
On Apr. 5, the United Nations Children's Fund will launch a report on teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone. Teenage pregnancies account for 40 percent of maternal deaths in the country, and the report comes as public health authorities recalibrate strategy to address a problem that endangers both mothers and children.
Clementine Auma was still living in a displaced person's camp in Gulu district when she acquired the treasure she's gone into the house to fetch. She re-emerges from her home with a white box in her arms: a solar oven.
French economist Esther Duflo thinks poverty can be alleviated or even eradicated with the right policies. All it takes is for politicians to "translate research into action," implementing programmes that have been shown to work.
Post-partum haemorrhage is the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation. A decade of applying research to midwifery practice in one Malawi district demonstrates that PPH is quite easy to prevent.
Talk about foul foundations: the Katwekera Tosha Bio Centre is built on the stuff that goes into toilets. This community centre in the Nairobi slum of Kibera goes well beyond solving sanitation problems - it is a model for green energy, a meeting place for locals, and turning a profit for its operators.
In the early 1990s, a group of researchers set off for a small rural village in the eastern part of South Africa. Their intention was simple: teach the community how to rehydrate sick babies.
Smallholder farmers in Bandundu Province are boosting their harvests with the help of the sweetly-named velvet bean.
Climate change has become an important part of the development agenda. In Africa, farmers and consumers alike are feeling its effects on productivity and food security.
A community-based organisation in the Kenyan slum area of Kibera set out to clean up garbage and deal with waste water; Ushiriki Wa Safi ended up creating a community cooker that turns waste into an energy source.
David Lenamira, watching as usual from a seat outside his compound, has no trouble picking out his sheep as the herd boys drive them home every evening. The red-brown animals are smaller than those in his neighbours' herds, but he's proud of them just the same.
Even while the country has faced civil war and political crisis, innovative research organisations have worked to meet the challenges of food security and rural poverty.
In Zambia, a silver lining has emerged for widespread rural hunger and poverty, thanks to homegrown agricultural research. Local scientists have successfully developed four new, early-maturing and high- yielding cassava cultivars in an ambitious research project conducted in the cassava-rich Luapula Province, under the on-going Root and Tuber Improvement Programme (RTIP).
While China faces grave water shortages, researchers at institutions across the country are working on new water- saving and desalination technologies that they hope can alleviate the crisis in the crucial years to come.