Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, Nov 20 2015 (IPS) - Aflatoxin contamination is a growing threat to trade, food and health security in sub-Saharan Africa, where smallholder farmers are challenged by food production and now climate change, researchers said.
New research from the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), the USDA Agricultural Research Service and the University of Washington finds that helpful bacteria living inside the insect that transmits the bacterial pathogen associated with citrus greening disease -- -an outbreak that is devastating Flo ...
HARARE, Zimbabwe, Nov 17 2015 (IPS) - With droughts wreaking havoc in vast areas of Zimbabwe, a majority of people here are fast falling in line with climate-smart agriculture (CSA) as food deficits continue.
The Experimental Farm Network seeks to preserve the world’s biodiversity one seed at a time. The best case for a plant’s survival is for people to grow it widely
Often dubbed the false banana, the giant enset is a staple crop in certain parts of Ethiopia. As climate change brings increasingly frequent droughts, the plant's versatility and resilience could help fight hunger.
Are farming practices similar to those that led to the Dust Bowl –- the decade-long drought and agricultural-production declines that occurred during the 1930s and plagued the Plains states – still negatively impacting our U.S. soil?
The Standard for Sustainable Rice Cultivation uses environmental and socio-economic benchmarks to maintain yields for rice smallholders, reduce the environmental footprint of rice cultivation and meet consumer needs for food safety and quality
CASPANA, Chile, Oct 21 2015 (IPS) - Terrace farming as practiced from time immemorial by native peoples in the Andes mountains contributes to food security as a strategy of adaptation in an environment where the geography and other conditions make the production of nutritional foods a complex un ...
On the first World Food Day in 1945, people around the world celebrated the creation of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and the launch of the first co-ordinated global action to combat hunger. This year, on the 70th World Food Day, countries are mobilising behind the Sustainable Develo ...
According to the European Commission, boosting innovation and research in the agricultural sector is key if EU farmers are to produce more with less, and feed billions.
7 October 2015 – The genome sequences of thousands of rice varieties have been placed with a United Nations-backed treaty on plant genetics by the world’s leading rice research institute to help boost plans to set up a global data exchange for crop genetic resources, according to the Food and Ag ...
Wild plants can protect themselves from pests, but scientists think this immune system has been bred out of domesticated crop plants. Now, they're trying to figure out how to bring it back.
Modernising Africa's agriculture sector to attract young people will help tackle youth unemployment and food insecurity, a report has suggested.
Lurking in the law books and policy annals of many countries around the world, subsidies aimed at helping farmers produce food more efficiently often end up leading to the loss of forests, according to a report released by the United Nations earlier this month.
FALLON, Calif. —Fourth-generation rancher Loren Poncia calls himself a soil geek, and California wants to pay him for it.
Bats provide a service worth an estimated US $1bn (£649m) globally by controlling pests on corn crops, a study has suggested.
[HARARE] A project in Zimbabwe is promoting the use of earthworms to enable the country’s small-scale farmers improve soil fertility and boost crop yields.
Agricultural extension services are part of most countries’ rural administrative structure, helping to deliver information and development projects.
New research suggests that soil biodiversity is on the decline. 2015 is the International Year of Soils and the U.N. General Assembly hopes to increase awareness of soil's important role.
With the world’s population set to grow to nearly 10 billion by 2050, pioneering farmers look to open data for eco-friendly solutions
The humble coffee bean is one of the most important and actively traded commodities in the world. It doesn’t take more than a glance at American coffee consumption stats to understand why.
While the rise of soya monocultures is changing the face of rural Paraguay, small-scale farmers are fighting back with traditional and environmentally friendly agriculture.
A molecular approach has been used to identify the protein responsible for germination of Striga seeds through visualization by green fluorescence.
24 August 2015 – At the start of the World Water Week conference in Stockholm, Sweden, the United Nations agriculture agency today announced that it would develop a new open-access data portal that uses satellite imagery to provide insights into more efficient and productive use of agricultural ...
Landscape-wide research by former UK government agency on oilseed rape fields in England and Wales shows link between neonicotinoids and honeybee colony losses
Affectionately called “Professor” by his neighbors, Josefino Martinez is a well-respected indigenous farmer and community organizer from the remote town of Chicahuaxtla, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He watched with patient attention as I showed him photographs of Soul Fire Farm, my family’s o ...
There was a moment last year when beekeeper Jim Doan was ready to concede defeat. He stood in the kitchen of his rural New York home, holding the phone to his ear. Through the window, he could see the frigid January evening settling on the 112-acre farm he'd just been forced to sell two weeks ea ...
BERKELEY, Calif., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- In the wake of a 2006 outbreak of E. coli -- spread via packaged spinach harvested on a farm in Central California -- farmers began clearing wild vegetation around growing fields.
We eat only around 200 of the earth's 300,000 edible plant species. Some say that's because many are toxic - but in his book "The Nature of Crops," botanist John Warren argues some plants are just too kinky to be crops.
HARARE, Aug 5 2015 (IPS) - Hillary Thompson, aged 62, throws some grains of left-over rice from his last meal, mixed with some beer dregs from his sorghum brew, into a swimming pool that he has converted into a fish pond.
Biodiversity performs critical ecosystem functions that cannot be replaced indefinitely by technology, such as pesticides and herbicides. This includes a diverse population of insects on farms.
Yaounde — Marking a shift away from the growing trend of abandoning sustainable life styles and drifting from traditional customs and routines, Joshua Konkankoh is a Cameroonian farmer with a vision - that the answer to food insecurity lies in sustainable and organic methods of farming.
The World Bank’s view that we need to grow 50% more food by 2050 to feed 9 billion people, while finding ways to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture at the same time, ignores one very simple fact – we already grow enough food for 10 billion people.
In a recent experiment, where investigators made a small change to planting, not only did they find that tall narrow rows grow the same amount of vegetables, they retained more fertilizers – reducing what would have leached into groundwater – and they would need half the amount of water. In addi ...
We have the expertise, the technology, and the resources to feed every person in every country. Yet there are still more than 840 million people whose lives are wrecked by hunger. This is an unforgivable development failure - and the single greatest obstacle to creating the inclusive, sustainabl ...
Researchers previously traced maize's roots to a weedy teosinte variety native to a valley in southwestern Mexico. Now they've identified the vital genetic mutation that happened there.
Around the world, humans have razed billions of hectares of forests, grasslands, and other ecosystems in our pursuit of land on which to grow our food and expand our infrastructure.
Agricultural and food industries are an important part of the Australian economy and national identity. They are set to remain so as global demand for food rises over the next four decades.
Land use is dominated by agriculture and forestry, which is affecting biodiversity in Northern Alberta, according to two reports released by the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
To protect natural ecosystems in the long term, some conservationists advocate "land sparing," in which farmers intensify agricultural practices to boost yields, theoretically enabling them to forgo expansion into natural areas. Others advocate "land sharing," in which farmers take over more lan ...
The stand-out metric in the Government’s latest 10-year strategy for the agri-food sector is the 85 per cent increase in exports to €19 billion.
We are trapped in a vicious cycle: we will need to grow 50% more food by 2050 to feed 9 billion people but agriculture, which is paradoxically vulnerable to climate change, generates 25% of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change.
Almost 80% of crop pollination by wild bees is provided by just 2% of the most common species, say scientists.
The worldwide demand for legumes, one of the world's most important agricultural food crops, is growing; at the same time, their production has been adversely affected by drought.
8 June 2015 – José Graziano da Silva, two days after his re-election as the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for another four years, today announced that eradicating hunger, raising levels of nutrition and addressing climate change are among the agency’s top pri ...
With a growing body of evidence pointing to the environmental damage inflicted by large-scale agriculture — from rainforest clearing and other forms of habitat destruction, to high carbon outputs and the ecological impacts of pesticides — exploring more eco-friendly farming systems is a high pri ...
Organic farmers earn 22% to 35% more than their non-organic counterparts. Growing organic food can be significantly more profitable than traditional farming, netting organic farmers 22% to 35% more than their conventional counterparts, according to new research published in the journal PNAS.
Human interventions increasingly threaten the habitat of many plant and animal species. A project funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF now aims to provide fundamental insights for countering the loss of biodiversity and preserving ecosystems in agrarian regions.
MUMBAI -- Almost 70 years after India's independence, over 100 million acres of land falls under the definition of "common lands": territory occupied jointly by rural communities in the hinterland. But deforestation, waste of natural resources and over-irrigation risks turning it all into wasteland.
The next time you order that "wake up" cup of Joe or reach for a sweet treat, you may want to consider whether those coffee or cocoa beans were grown in the shade or open sun.