New book in the library: Handbook of land and water grabs in Africa: foreign direct investment and food and water security

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in New Acquisitions

Edited by Tony Allan, Martin Keulertz, Suvi Sojamo and Jeroen Warner

According to estimates by the International Land Coalition based at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), 57 million hectares of land have been leased to foreign investors since 2007. Current research has focused on human rights issues related to inward investment in land but has been ignorant of water resource issues and the challenges of managing scarce water. This handbook will be the first to address inward investment in land and its impact on water resources in Africa.

 The geographical scope of this book will be the African continent, where land has attracted the attention of risk-taking investors because much land is under-utilised marginalized land, with associated water resources and rapidly growing domestic food markets. The successful implementation of investment strategies in African agriculture could determine the future of more than one billion people. An important factor to note is that sub-Saharan Africa will, of all the continents, be hit hardest by climate change, population growth and food insecurity. Sensible investment in agriculture is therefore needed, however, at what costs and at whose expense?

 The book will also address the livelihoods theme and provide a holistic analysis of land and water grabbing in sub-Saharan Africa. Four other themes will addressed: politics, economics, the environment and the history of land investments in sub-Saharan Africa.

The editors have involved a highly diverse group of expert researchers, who will review the pro- and anti-investment arguments, geopolitics, the role of capitalist investors, the environmental contexts and the political implications of, and reasons for, leasing millions of hectares in sub-Saharan Africa. To date, there has been no attempt to review land investments through a suite of different lenses, thus this handbook will differ significantly from existing research and publication.

The editors are Tony Allan, (Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography, School of Oriental and African Studies and King’s College London); Jeroen Warner (Assistant Professor, Disaster Studies, University of Wageningen); Suvi Sojamo (PhD Researcher, Water and Development Research Group, Aalto University); and Martin Keulertz (PhD Researcher, Department of Geography, London Water Group, King’s College London).

New book in the library: Diversidade e inovacoes na cadeia produtiva de milho e sorgo na era dos transgenicos

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in New Acquisitions

Diversidade e inovacoes na cadeia produtiva de milho e sorgo na era dos transgenicos

Maria Elisa Ayres Guidetti Zagatto Paterniani, Aildson Pereira Duarte and Alfredo Tsunechiro
ISBN: 978-85-85564-26-1
Instituto Agronomico
780 pages

São 48 capítulos que apresentam conhecimentos básicos, opções de cultivos e inovações que estão em processo de adoção pelos produtores. Foi elaborado por renomados pesquisadores, professores e extensionistas, do país e do exterior, que ministraram palestras no Congresso de Milho e Sorgo – 2012, sobre assuntos diversificados, como melhoramento genético, qualidade de grãos, fitotecnia, fisiologia vegetal, fitossanidade, biotecnologia e mecanização agrícola, bem como sobre o ensino universitário.

New book in the library : The genome generation

Posted by Carelia Juarez on , in New Acquisitions

The genome generation

Elizabeth Finkel
ISBN: 978-0522856477
Melbourne University Press
xiv, 274 pages

The year 2001 marked the moment when scientists first read the 3 billion letters of DNA that make up the human genome. This breakthrough begged questions such as What have we learned about evolution? How has it changed the way we practice medicine, grow crops, and breed livestock? and Is the genomic revolution an overhyped flop? Answering these and many other queries, this account covers revolutionary genetic developments in areas as diverse as medicine, agriculture, and evolution. From Botswana to Boston and from Australia to Mexico, the contributors to this work reveal what it means to be part of the genome generation.

New book in the library: Climate change mitigation and agriculture

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Climate change mitigation and agriculture

Edited by Eva Wollenberg, Marja-Liisa Tapio-Bistrom, Maryanne Grieg-Gran, Alison Nihart
Published by Routledge
456 pages

This book reviews the state of agricultural climate change mitigation globally, with a focus on identifying the feasibility, opportunities and challenges for achieving mitigation among smallholder farmers. The purpose is ultimately to accelerate efforts towards mitigating land-based climate change. While much attention has been focused on forestry for its reputed cost-effectiveness, the agricultural sector contributes about ten to twelve per cent of emissions and has a large technical and economic potential for reducing greenhouse gases. The book does not dwell on the science of emissions reduction, as this is well covered elsewhere; rather, it focuses on the design and practical implementation of mitigation activities through changing farming systems.Climate Change Mitigation and Agriculture includes chapters about experiences in developed countries, such as Canada and Australia, where these efforts also have lessons for mitigation options for smallholders in poorer nations, as well as industrialising countries such as Brazil and China. A wide range of agroecological zones and of aspects or types of farming, including livestock, crops, fish farming, fertilizer use and agroforestry, as well as economics and finance, is included. The volume presents a synthesis of current knowledge and research activities on this emerging subject. Together the chapters capture an exciting period in the development of land-based climate change mitigation as attention is increasingly focused on agriculture’s role in contributing to climate change.

New book in the library: Crop Stress Management & Global Climate Change

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Crop Stress Management and Global Climate Change
CABI Climate Change Series

Edited by J L Araus; G A Slafer
224 Pages
ISBN : 9781845936808

Climate change is a diverse, multifactorial phenomenon, meaning that the agronomic strategies needed are case-specific and will have regional differences. This book provides an integrated view of the challenges and opportunities that will face agriculture in the future as a result of climate change. It discusses how the stresses resulting from climate change can be overcome by assessing, measuring and predicting environmental changes and stresses, identifying opportunities and adapting to change and responding to multifactorial change. Challenges and potential strategies that might be taken to overcome these are illustrated using a number of case studies. Climate change will pose many challenges to agriculture in the future, but by taking an integrative approach to predicting and adapting to change, this book will inspire researchers to turn those challenges into opportunities.

New book in the library: The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics

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The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics

B. S. Everitt & A. Skrondal
Cambridge University Press.
4th edition
ISBN 978-0-521-76699-9

If you work with data and need easy access to clear, reliable definitions and explanations of modern statistical and statistics-related concepts, then look no further than this dictionary. Nearly 4000 terms are defined, covering medical, survey, theoretical, and applied statistics, including computational and graphical aspects. Entries are provided for standard and specialized statistical software. In addition, short biographies of over 100 important statisticians are given. Definitions provide enough mathematical detail to clarify concepts and give standard formulae when these are helpful. The majority of definitions then give a reference to a book or article where the user can seek further or more specialized information, and many are accompanied by graphical material to aid understanding.

New book in the library: Statistical Theory and Methods for Evolutionary Genomics

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Statistical Theory and Methods for Evolutionary Genomics

Xun Gu
ISBN: 9780199213269
Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213269.003.0010

Evolutionary genomics is a relatively new research field with the ultimate goal of understanding the underlying evolutionary and genetic mechanisms for the emergence of genome complexity under changing environments. It stems from an integration of high throughput data from functional genomics, statistical modelling and bioinformatics, and the procedure of phylogeny-based analysis. This book summarises the statistical framework of evolutionary genomics, and illustrates how statistical modelling and testing can enhance our understanding of functional genomic evolution. The book reviews the recent developments in methodology from an evolutionary perspective of genome function, and incorporates substantial examples from high throughput data in model organisms. In addition to phylogeny-based functional analysis of DNA sequences, the book includes discussion on how new types of functional genomic data (e.g., microarray) can provide exciting new insights into the evolution of genome function, which can lead in turn to an understanding of the emergence of genome complexity during evolution.

New book in the library: Choosing and Using Statistics: A Biologist’s Guide

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Calvin Dytham
ISBN: 978-1-4051-9839-4
John Wiley & Sons
320 pages

“Choosing and Using Statistics remains an invaluable guide for students using a computer package to analyse data from research projects and practical class work. The text takes a pragmatic approach to statistics with a strong focus on what is actually needed. There are chapters giving useful advice on the basics of statistics and guidance on the presentation of data. The book is built around a key to selecting the correct statistical test and then gives clear guidance on how to carry out the test and interpret the output from four commonly used computer packages: SPSS, Minitab, Excel, and (new to this edition) the free program, R. Only the basics of formal statistics are described and the emphasis is on jargon-free English but any unfamiliar words can belooked up in the extensive glossary. This new 3rd edition of Choosing and Using Statistics is a must for all students who use a computer package to apply statistics in practical and project work. Features new to this edition: * Now features information on using the popular free program, R * Uses a simple key and flow chart to help you choose the right statistical test * Aimed at students using statistics for projects and in practical classes * Includes an extensive glossary and key to symbols to explain any statistical jargon * No previous knowledge of statistics is assumed”–

New Book in the Library: Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution in Agriculture

Posted by Jose Juan Caballero on , in New Acquisitions

Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution in Agriculture

Edited by Pamela Matson

ISBN: 978-1-59726-525-6

Seeds of Sustainability is a groundbreaking analysis of agricultural development and transitions toward more sustainable management in one region. An invaluable resource for researchers, policymakers, and students alike, it examines new approaches to make agricultural landscapes healthier for both the environment and people.

The Yaqui Valley is the birthplace of the Green Revolution and one of the most intensive agricultural regions of the world, using irrigation, fertilizers, and other technologies to produce some of the highest yields of wheat anywhere. It also faces resource limitations, threats to human health, and rapidly changing economic conditions. In short, the Yaqui Valley represents the challenge of modern agriculture: how to maintain livelihoods and increase food production while protecting the environment.

New Book in the Library: The world wheat book: a history of wheat breeding. Volume 2

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The world wheat book: a history of wheat breeding. Volume 2

Alain Bonjean, William Angus, Maarten van Ginkel 

Lavoisier  September 2011 �
1201  pages
ISBN 2743011025

It is ten years since Volume 1 of The World Wheat Book was completed and the intervening years have seen many changes in the world economy, in agriculture in the countries where wheat is grown, and major developments in the techniques of wheat breeding.

This second volume therefore updates the first volume by adding to the countries discussed, giving an update on agronomy and cropping practices, and reviewing the technological advances in wheat breeding techniques.

The opening chapters summarise the history of wheat growing, the development of wheat breeding, and the current status of breeding in the countries covered. The next set of chapters looks at agronomy and cropping practices in a wide range of wheat growing regions across the world. The third set of chapters records the latest advances in wheat breeding, looking at concepts and strategies as well as current and developing techniques. The fourth set reviews the developing end uses. The final group of chapters examines specific biotic and abiotic threats from viruses, insect pests and diseases.

This book is subtitled A History of Wheat Breeding. It would be even more accurate to say that it records and discusses the continuing history of wheat breeding.