Africa

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Health in Transition

It is no longer rare for inhabitants of the Global South to die from cancer or diabetes. In these regions, non-communicable diseases now cause more deaths than infectious ones. This is due to changing diets and new—more urban and industrialised—lifestyle habits. Populations must also cope with the...

The Challenges of the Sub-Saharan Urban Explosion

Sub-Saharan African cities are presently growing at a size and speed unprecedented in human history. This region of the continent, which was always very rural up to now, is becoming predominantly urban. Small, medium-sized and large cities are doubling in size year on year, with some growing by 1...

Leaving poverty behind: microcredit or unconditional gifts?

Sujet
During the International Year of Microcredit in 2005, the World Bank presented microcredit as an effective tool for fighting hunger and extreme poverty. Thirteen years later, what can we say on the subject? Does microcredit help raise people out of poverty? If not, what are the gaps in its...

4 per 1000 initiative

Capturing carbon in the air and storing it in the ground to fight climate change: this is the goal of the ambitious 4 per 1000 strategy. This initiative, the subject of an international research programme , is mobilising several teams at the IRD.
trois-jeunes-indiennes-vues-de-dos

How the world deals with abortion

Voluntary termination of pregnancy is the subject of ideological debate as well as health policies. Demographer Agnès Guillaume, co-author with Clémentine Rossier of an extensive review of the subject*, sheds light on the right, access to and practice of abortion in the world today.
black-bass

Biodiversity of freshwater fish in turmoil

In the last few centuries, 15% of new fish species have been introduced by Man into rivers across the world. Researchers have found that these introductions alter the ecosystem to a much larger extent than originally anticipated.
Fruit trees and legumes combined with food crops

Carbon storage: what matters is the input!

After 15 years of climate smart agricultural practices in Madagascar, researchers are categorical: while these alternative methods help increase soil carbon storage, their effectiveness varies substantially. The assessment must therefore be carried out on the scale of the territory.
Wild form of millet in the Sahara

Genetic diversity in millet: a past and future adaptive advantage

Having sequenced the millet genome, an international consortium involving French researchers from IRD, Indian, Chinese researchers and numerous laboratories from the North and South, studied different wild and cultivated varieties. This allowed them to trace the history of cultivated millet and...
Root nodules of Discaria (Order: Rosales), a non-legume species capable of nitrogen-fixing symbiosis.

Nitrogen-fixing symbioses reveal themselves

Recent research has revealed the origin and evolution of symbiotic relationships between certain plants and soil bacteria in order to use atmospheric nitrogen. This knowledge could ultimately contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture minimising the use of chemical fertilisers.
Water run-off on degraded soil and gully erosion due to flooding, in the Mélé Haoussa basin in Niger

New hydroclimatic conditions in the Sahel

The latest figures on soil and climate help explain the enigmatic ups and downs observed in Sahelian hydrology for decades. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved paves the way for practical solutions to adapt agriculture to new environmental conditions.
plat-de-fos-rotis

Larvae on the menu

According to an FAO report, there will be 9.7 billion human beings on the planet in 2050. Food production must increase by 70% to feed everyone. In this context, insects appear to be a possible source of alternative food. But what is their nutritional value? We focus on that of palm weevil larvae.
The fruit clusters of Coccoloba uvifera give it its nickname of sea grape.

Unwavering symbiosis

Research conducted on the introduction of a tree from extreme environments into the sand dunes of Senegal shows its solid relationship with a fungus. This fungus naturally accompanies the tree from its environment of origin, on the other side of the Atlantic.

Cultivating land for carbon

Soils from cultivated areas in tropical regions constitute largely underused carbon sinks. Increasing carbon stocks in soil has become critical to mitigate the effects of climate change but also increase soil fertility. What are the options?
Cowpea roots bear nodules which contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Lipids that boost symbiosis

Certain legumes form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria! Tucked into their roots, these bacteria increase the crop yield of these plants. These bacteria, capable of producing lipid molecules known as hopanoids, therefore seem to provide a distinct advantage.
Aedes aegypti takes the most from fertilisers to develop faster.

Fertilisers beneficial to… mosquitoes

Fertiliser application promotes the proliferation of mosquitoes, notably in rice fields and food crops. The concomitant use of insecticides increases the risk of resistance. New strategies to combat these disease-transmitting insects are required.