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News Headlines

UN agriculture agency warns of threat to food security from overuse of antibiotics

10 February 2016 – The overuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents is impacting rural livelihoods and food security, and requires globally coordinated efforts, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

News Headlines

Agricultural policies in Africa could be harming the poorest

Agricultural policies aimed at alleviating poverty in Africa could be making things worse, according to new research.

News Headlines

Iran hopes for agricultural boom post-sanctions

Iran plans to turn itself into a major food exporter, hoping the lifting of sanctions will boost international trade and allow investment in the agricultural sector, an official in Iran's state grain buying agency said.

News Headlines

How 'more food per field' could help save our wild spaces

Agricultural expansion is a leading cause of wild species loss and greenhouse gas emissions.

News Headlines

Commission promotes smart farming to mitigate climate change

SPECIAL REPORT / The European Commission wants to build “bridges” between agriculture and the ICT sector in order to better address the environmental challenges of farming.

News Headlines

Science: Not Just a Western Sector, It Can Help Africa Too

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Jan 20 2016 (IPS) - Small-scale farmer Augustine Sibanda has grown resilient tradition sorghum varieties passed down through generations but has increased his yields after he adopted improved seed varieties developed through research.

News Headlines

Study: First ever to quantify crop by crop where African farmers obtain seed

NAIROBI, KENYA (20 January 2016)--Small, family farmers in Africa purchase more than half of their seeds every year through local markets and other informal sources--neglected outlets that present a major opportunity for improving access to better crop varieties crucial to dealing with climate, ...

News Headlines

Africa: Ecosystem-Based Farming Comes of Age

A new FAO book out today takes a close look at how the world's major cereals maize, rice and wheat - which together account for an estimated 42.5 percent of human calories and 37 percent of our protein - can be grown in ways that respect and even leverage natural ecosystems.

News Headlines

Ethiopia: Tremendous Outputs of Sixth NRCCDC

This year, the Sixth National Resource Conservation and Catchment Development Campaign ( 6th NRCCDC) kicked off in Oromia and Harari States and at North Gondar Zone of Amhara State.

News Headlines

An organic way to beat the drought

A DECISION more than 10 years ago to go organic has seen a farm thrive, while others are scrambling as a result of the drought. Tierhoek organic farm in Robertson, 160km from Cape Town, is expecting a good season, while others are counting the mounting costs of drought.

News Headlines

Agroecology in Africa: Mitigation the Old New Way

OAKLAND, California, Jan 11 2016 (IPS) - Millions of African farmers don’t need to adapt to climate change. They have done that already.

News Headlines

A high quality bread wheat reference sequence will be available in less than two years

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) announced today the production of a whole genome assembly of bread wheat, the most widely grown cereal in the world, significantly accelerating global research into crop improvement. The project consisted of producing a whole genome as ...

News Headlines

Potential of agroforestry can no longer be ignored

The decision to plant agricultural land with trees can be a difficult one for many farmers and most will only ever be tempted to plant marginal land. Agroforestry is changing that practice in many countries and it is beginning to gain overdue attention here.

News Headlines

Namibia: Need to Promote Communal Areas Crop Farming

DESPITE the importance of local seed systems to the agricultural sector, national laws do not recognise this system. This is contained in the just released Namibian National Strategic Action Plan for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (NNSAP-PGRFA), which was validated at a stakeho ...

News Headlines

The role of dung beetles in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from cattle farming

Agriculture is one of the largest anthropogenic sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs), with dairy and beef production accounting for nearly two-thirds of emissions.

News Headlines

The end of agri research?

ANAHEIM, California – UP president Fred Pascual had an unusual Christmas card he posted on Facebook during the holidays. He announced the gift of health that comes from a rice-corn blend. The Institute of Plant Breeding at UP Los Baños has come up with a 70:30 blend of rice and QPM (quality prot ...

News Headlines

The Top Agriculture Stories of 2015

Many of the world’s greatest challenges – climate change, poverty, natural resource depletion, and hunger – intersect on the fields of the world’s farmers. These global challenges provide the backdrop to our top agriculture stories of 2015.

News Headlines

Why we’re losing foods we love, why it matters, and how we can stop it

The following is about food, but it’s really about love. It’s about that moment when you find yourself savoring something so wholly and intently ,you never want to let it go. I thought this love, at least in the culinary sense, could be found only in superlative places: a secret supper club in L ...

News Headlines


As we celebrate holidays defined by feasting, one question comes to mind: What truly nourishes us? The world is hungry. Amid staggering amounts of food waste (30-40 percent of what we cultivate) and increasing numbers of people suffering from health problems that are the result of being overwei ...

News Headlines

Beekeeping Helps Pakistan Farmers Cope with Crop Losses

CHAKWAL, Pakistan, Dec 15 2015 (IPS) - Farmers in the rain-dependent district of Chakwal in Punjab province of Pakistan are finding relief in beekeeping as the groundnut crop suffers a blow from shifting rainfall patterns.

News Headlines

Bananas facing extinction, scientists warn

Researchers from the Netherlands have published a study to show that the most widely consumed banana variety could be wiped out by a fungus in the near future.

News Headlines

Beekeeping Helps Pakistan Farmers Cope with Crop Losses

CHAKWAL, Pakistan, Dec 15 2015 (IPS) - Farmers in the rain-dependent district of Chakwal in Punjab province of Pakistan are finding relief in beekeeping as the groundnut crop suffers a blow from shifting rainfall patterns.

News Headlines

COP 21 Should be making People Ask: ‘Where Does My Turkey Come From?’

PARIS, Dec 15 2015 (IPS) - As the festive season begins, some farmers say that consumers should be asking about the origins of their food, and thinking about who produces it, especially in light of the historic accord reached at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) on Dec. 12 in ...

News Headlines

Grow your own way: Trade may not help a warming planet fight its farming failures

A new study co-authored by an economist suggests that international trade will do little to alleviate climate-induced farming problems.

News Headlines

Aflatoxins: Poisoning Health and Trade in Sub-Saharan Africa

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.

News Headlines

'Good' and 'bad' bacteria in the fight against citrus greening disease

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 ...

News Headlines

Zimbabweans Align with Climate-Smart Agriculture Amid Food Deficits

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.

News Headlines

Sowing the seeds of Syria: farming group rescues plant species threatened by war

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

News Headlines

Faced with climate change, Ethiopia rediscovers an ancient staple crop

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.

News Headlines

Agricultural Practices That Caused Dust Bowl Continue To Impact Nation's Soil Quality, Researchers Say

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?

News Headlines

New UN-Supported Rice Management Standard Sets Benchmark for Environmentally Sustainable and Socially Responsible Rice Cultivation

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

News Headlines

Terrace Farming – an Ancient Indigenous Model for Food Security

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 ...

News Headlines

Africa seeks agricultural transformation

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 ...

News Headlines

Reformed CAP aims to respond to global food security challenge

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.

News Headlines

Rice genetics placed in global data pool to help develop sustainable crops – UN agency

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 ...

News Headlines

Could 'rewilding' allow crops to fight pests without chemicals?

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.

News Headlines

Africa's agriculture needs young blood, says report

Modernising Africa's agriculture sector to attract young people will help tackle youth unemployment and food insecurity, a report has suggested.

News Headlines

UN study warns agricultural subsidies are threatening forests and conservation programs

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.

News Headlines

Farms Harvest Cuts in Carbon Dioxide via Soil

FALLON, Calif. —Fourth-generation rancher Loren Poncia calls himself a soil geek, and California wants to pay him for it.

News Headlines

Bats perform 'vital pest control' on crops

Bats provide a service worth an estimated US $1bn (£649m) globally by controlling pests on corn crops, a study has suggested.

News Headlines

Earthworms helping smallholders increase crop yields

[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.

News Headlines

Weak links hamper knowledge sharing in agriculture

Agricultural extension services are part of most countries’ rural administrative structure, helping to deliver information and development projects.

News Headlines

Intensifying agriculture threatens soil diversification

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.

News Headlines

Can open data prevent a global food shortage?

With the world’s population set to grow to nearly 10 billion by 2050, pioneering farmers look to open data for eco-friendly solutions

News Headlines

The dark side of coffee: an unequal social and environmental exchange

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.

News Headlines

Soya monocultures overshadow small-scale farmers

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.

News Headlines

Green light of hope to overcome Striga-triggered food insecurity in Africa

A molecular approach has been used to identify the protein responsible for germination of Striga seeds through visualization by green fluorescence.

News Headlines

New open-access database aims to get water-scarce countries ‘more crop per drop’ – UN agency

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 ...

News Headlines

Pesticides linked to bee decline for first time in a countrywide field study

Landscape-wide research by former UK government agency on oilseed rape fields in England and Wales shows link between neonicotinoids and honeybee colony losses

News Headlines

Four Ways Mexico’s Indigenous Farmers Are Practicing the Agriculture of the Future

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 ...

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