In the drier areas of southern Africa, farmers experience drought once every two to three years. Relief agencies have traditionally responded to the resulting famines by providing farmers with enough seed and inorganic fertilizer to enable them to re-establish their cropping enterprises. However, because of the lack of appropriate land and crop management interventions, vulnerable farmers are not necessarily able to translate these relief investments in seeds and fertilizer into sustained gains in
productivity and incomes.

To restrain the growth of Kruger's elephant population, 14,562 animals were culled from 1967 to 1995, when South Africa banned the practice. "It was extraordinarily traumatic," says Ian Whyte, the park's longtime elephant specialist, who witnessed many of the culls. "You had to shut your mind to it, otherwise you'd go mad." Now elephant specialists are being forced to consider culling again. While poaching continues to threaten elephants in Kenya and elsewhere, in southern Africa conservation measures have been so successful that populations are booming.

Mining group Anglo American has held secret talks with Zimbabwe's opposition, that could see Anglo Platinum, its majority-owned subsidiary, regain lucrative concessions recently ceded to the regime of Robert Mugabe, the president.

In a sign of how the convulsions in Zimbabwe could affect some of the world's most coveted resources, two senior figures in the Movement for Democratic Change told the Financial Times that the party had held discussions with the mining company, which has a 76 per cent stake in Anglo Platinum.

Analyses of in situ station data and satellite observations of precipitation of eastern and southern African nations viz., Ethiopia, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania, Malawi,

MILLIONS of Zimbabweans face starvation after the widespread failure of the latest harvest brought on by the Government's mishandling of land redistribution, and shortages in the shops caused by hyperinflation.

The United Nations said hundreds of thousands of people required food aid immediately because they had harvested little or nothing in recent weeks.

It has warned that up to 5 million will need help in coming months

In a move that potentially puts India's elephants at risk, China was on Tuesday approved as trading partner for stockpiles of ivory from Africa by the 57th Standing Committee meeting of the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) in Geneva. A decision was taken to allow 108 tonnes of ivory, from Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe to be sold to China as a possible partner; before this, Japan was approved as a trading partner, which means an auction will be held to decide which country purchases the ivory.

RUSUTSU: The leaders of top industrialised countries focused on two of the world's main concerns on Tuesday

Maize streak virus (MSV; family Geminiviridae, genus Mastrevirus), the causal agent of maize streak disease, ranks amongst the most serious biological threats to food security in subSaharan Africa. Although five distinct MSV strains have been
currently described, only one of these

In the face of an economic meltdown, Zimbabwe has suspended import duty on basic commodities for 90 days, with effect from May 12. The cost of imported basic commodities has sky-rocketed since

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