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.
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.
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.

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.