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News Headlines

What’s Really ‘Green’? A Look Beef Finishing on Feedlots

In my last post, I used a science-based green purchasing framework to evaluate sustainability of cattle grazing operations. The first two steps were to identify (1) key impacts of poorly managed ranches, and (2) solutions to each impact. Here I repeat this exercise for beef feedlots. Given the d ...

News Headlines

Pre-Columbian people spread fruit species across Latin America

Prehistoric humans helped spread edible fruit species across Central and South America, even as they wiped out the megafauna that had done so previously. In the process, we maintained and even expanded the plants’ habitats, increased biodiversity, and engineered ecosystems on two continents. Tod ...

News Headlines

A global conflict: Agricultural production vs. biodiversity

Smart land-use planning could ease the conflict between agricultural production and nature conservation. A team of researchers from the University of Göttingen, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the UFZ and the University of Münster integrated global datasets on the ...

News Headlines

Écologie : L'importance De La Préservation De La Microfaune Des Sols

Se reposer sur la biodiversité serait-il le secret de sols fertiles ? Si l’on en croit cette démonstration probante, la nature fait vraiment bien les choses : il n’y a qu’à patienter et la laisser faire son travail. Contre les pesticides, une vidéo qui vaut mieux qu’un long discours.

News Headlines

The Connections Between Coffee And Biodiversity

More good news for coffee drinkers? We already know about coffee’s health benefits. Now a study led by researcher Krithi Karanth has found that coffee cultivation may be beneficial to biodiversity.

News Headlines

I train organic farmers in Ethiopia and they depend on charities’ support

Among crops, cotton is notorious for the high volumes of hazardous pesticides used to grow it. Pesticide poisoning of smallholder farmers is all too common and indiscriminate use is a major cause of water pollution and biodiversity loss. For years, the accepted wisdom around the world has been t ...

News Headlines

10,000 coffee seedlings

A hundred coffee farmers in the Windsor Forest and Richmond Gap communities in St Thomas who lost millions of dollars worth of crops to a bush fire in the summer of 2015, are slowly making a recovery.

News Headlines

Promoting food production that values ecosystems

Kenya is looking to develop agricultural activity that recognizes the benefits of biodiversity and climate-friendly land management.UN Environment and the National Museums of Kenya have agreed to work together to develop policy reforms in agriculture that take into account the value of ecosystem ...

News Headlines

Sustainability: 2050 food challenge

GLOBALLY, 800 million out of 7.6 billion people suffer from hunger. Although the number has decreased in recent decades, roughly one in 10 people goes to bed hungry every day, many of them from developing countries.

News Headlines

Integrated management of the Fall Armyworm on maize. A guide for Farmer Field Schools in Africa

Faced with the infestation of millions of hectares of maize, most in the hands of smallholder farmers, and the relentless spread of Fall Armyworm (FAW) across most of Africa, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched today a comprehensive guide on the integrated pest management of ...

News Headlines

Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East

In Rojava, a region in Syria also known as North Kurdistan, a groundbreaking experiment in communal living, social justice, and ecological vitality is taking place. Devastated by civil war, Syria is a place where a cessation of hostilities often seems like the most that can be hoped for. But Roj ...

News Headlines

Slow Food and IFAD take the lead: Indigenous crops bring climate solutions for farmers in Brazil’s Caatinga

Against this background of water shortages across the Caatinga, IFAD has focused on reducing rural poverty through income generation, increased production, better nutrition, and the creation of agricultural and non-agricultural employment opportunities.

News Headlines

Sustainable soil management challenges

Sustainable soil management (SSM) is fundamental to effective soil function, particularly in intensive production systems where optimal plant growth is required to deliver maximal crop yield and quality. However, across the UK and Europe, soil degradation threats such as soil compaction, erosion ...

News Headlines

Critical Role of Grazing Animals in an Ecosystem

The sight of animals—horses, cattle, sheep, and goats—grazing in a field or pasture is pleasantly bucolic. But in addition to being picturesque, these herbivores play a critical role in local and global ecosystems. For example, the presence of grazing herbivores is known to have an effect on pla ...

News Headlines

Towards natural capital accounting in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a densely populated country, with a high standard of living and a world-renowned agriculture and food industry. However, intensive land use is putting pressure on the local environment, causing the degradation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

News Headlines

Biodiversity and Food Security: the Dual Focus of the World Potato Congress

Potatoes were first taken out of Peru, where they originated, 458 years ago to feed the world. Half a millennium later, potatoes have spread throughout the planet but there are challenges to preserve the crop’s biodiversity as a source of food security, as well as the rights of the peasants who ...

News Headlines

Biodiversity for Resilience Against Natural Disasters

Climate change is increasingly putting pressure on farmers and the global food systems, according to researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the transdisciplinary International Panel of ...

News Headlines

Bees Gone Wild

As winter bears down, thoughts of summer and flowers might seem far off, but now is the time to turn our attention to the plight of pollinators and make critical changes to how we manage our environment, and the crops that feed us.

News Headlines

History on your plate

This harvest season we explore heirloom rice, which is gaining popularity as people rediscover its intriguing flavours and learn how to cook with it. If millets have been the fad for some years now, a quiet revolution of sorts has been taking place alongside.

News Headlines

Farmers adopt climate-smart agriculture to combat drought

In her twilight years, 59-year-old Pabitra Tiwari of Kuleni Rajahar still remembers how it used to be like living in the village during her youthful days. “Our farms were fertile. The yields were good. Water scarcity was virtually unheard of,” she recalled. “Most of our problems were petty.”

News Headlines

Sustainable yam systems in West Africa

Yams are tuber crops and an essential staple food in West Africa. But the traditional cropping systems are unproductive and degrade soil. The YAMSYS project seeks to change this in cooperation with local actors working along the yam value chain.

News Headlines

Farmers invited to take part in diverse cropping project to increase yields

A leading research charity is inviting farmers to participate in a new project which is investigating how to maximise the performance of crop mixtures to improve yields while reducing the reliance on inputs.

News Headlines

France tops global food sustainability index

More than 30 countries are ranked across the three pillars of sustainable agriculture, nutritional challenges, and food loss and waste, in a league table created by The Economist Intelligence Unit with the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition.

News Headlines

Want to save the world? Start by eating less beef

Cows are like the Humvees of the animal world; they're not very efficient, at least when it comes to producing food for humans. A hectare of land that would be able to grow 1,500 or 2,000 pounds of protein from peanuts or soybeans per year can only support about about 82 pounds of beef protein. ...

News Headlines

Soil Preservation Highlighted During Celebration Of World Soil Day In Tura

The annual World Soil day was celebrated by KVK Indian Council of Agriculture Research in collaboration with the state agriculture department at the DLRSL research centre in Sangsanggre, Tura on Tuesday with experts stressing on the need to protect the soil from pollutants such as pesticides.

News Headlines

World Soil Day: tips on how to improve soil quality and fertility

The Soil Association is calling on smallholders, allotmenteers and gardeners to come to the aid of soil this World Soil Day. One third of the world’s arable soils are degraded and 75% of that is severely degraded.

News Headlines

Finding ways to manage soils, improve farming

THE EDITOR: TT joins the international community, and in particular the Global Soil Partnership, in observing World Soil Day today. We do well to note that this year, the Partnership has chosen to focus on the following theme: “Caring for the Planet starts from the Ground.” This has tremendous s ...

News Headlines

New Healthy Soil Guide Gives Cooks a Better Recipe for Climate Change

December 5 marks the United Nations’ World Soil Day, which recognizes the crucial role soil plays in human health, food production, and climate change mitigation. To mark the occasion, Diana Donlon, director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS)’s Soil Solutions program, spoke with Anthony Myint a ...

News Headlines

IUCN Red List: Wild crops listed as threatened

Wild relatives of modern crops deemed crucial for food security are being pushed to the brink of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. More than 20 rice, wheat and yam plants have been listed as threatened on the latest version of the IUCN's Red list.

News Headlines

World Soil Day: Reflecting on Soil Health’s Growing Recognition

Today, on World Soil Day, I reflect on my years growing up in agriculture. My family’s dairy farm relied on our precious soil to grow the feed for the cows and keep us in business year after year. This was not easy in South Eastern Wisconsin, due to our heavy, clay soils, highly erodible hills a ...

News Headlines

The Ethiopian Banana That Flourishes In Drought and Heat

At first glance, Ensete ventricosum may look like a banana plant, with huge green fronds and a towering, thick brown pseudostem. But if you peel these orange, banana-cousin fruits, watch out: Instead of a pale, mushy interior, this banana-like fruit consists almost entirely of large, teeth-crack ...

News Headlines

Animal agriculture is choking the ​Earth and making us sick. We must act now

Our collective minds are stuck on this idea that talking about food’s environmental impact risks taking something very intimate away from us. In fact it’s just the opposite. Reconsidering how we eat offers us hope, and empowers us with choice over what our future planet will look like. And we ca ...

News Headlines

The economics of your dinner plate

In India, the food we ate and cooked was always linked with local biodiversity, regional food habits and changing seasons. Over the last decade and a half, a boom in the fine-dining sector led us towards homogeneity in ingredients and a standardization of menus across generic European café-style ...

News Headlines

Vandana Shiva and the struggle to take back control of seeds

Crop varieties have been selected and reproduced over thousands of years by farmers, creating great diversity. India, for example, used to have 200,000 varieties of rice. Seeds were kept each year for replanting and exchanging in what was a free or low-cost system for many farmers.

News Headlines

Where Corn Is King, A Renaissance in Small Grains Is Stirring

To the untrained eye, Jeremy Gustafson’s 1,600-acre farm looks like all the others spread out across Iowa. Gazing at his conventional corn and soybean fields during a visit in June, I was hard-pressed to say where his neighbor’s tightly planted row crops ended and Gustafson’s began.

News Headlines

The avocado police protecting Mexico's green gold

Tancítaro looks and feels like a typical Mexican town: There is a central square with a bandstand and a little church. A mariachi band is playing as I arrive. The music is part of a funeral procession with Tancítaro residents watching on.

News Headlines

To address hunger effectively, first check the weather, says new study

Too little rain, or too much, is often a driver of poverty and hunger, leading to poor nutrition and food insecurity among vulnerable populations. According to a new study, rainfall patterns also provide clues on how to most effectively alleviate food insecurity.

News Headlines

The hidden £120 billion costs from Britain's food

Ever since the ‘green revolution' in the mid-twentieth century, when moves towards increasing intensification, specialisation and scale in food production led to huge increases in agricultural output, policy attention has focused on the importance of agricultural productivity.

News Headlines

Seeds hold hidden treasures for future food

More than 70,000 of the world's most precious seeds have been sent from the UK's Millennium Seed Bank to the Middle East, in its largest export to date. The consignment contains more than 50 wild relatives of cultivated crops, such as wheat, barley and lentils.

News Headlines

How carbon farming can help solve climate change

Under the 2015 Paris Agreement, nations pledged to keep the average global temperature rise to below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to take efforts to narrow that increase to 1.5C. To meet those goals we must not only stop the increase in our greenhouse gas emissions, we must also draw large ...

News Headlines

Indian Practices Could Mitigate Negative Impact of Livestock Rearing on Climate Change

A recent report from Oxford University indicts grazing livestock as a whole, without going into how certain such practices could actually change things for the better.

News Headlines

India's farmer network is saving seeds from climate change

Every gardener knows that native weeds can be harder to kill than that one precious, exotic flower that seems ready to droop at the slightest affront. Yet few seem aware that the same principles apply to the foods we eat. Deep in the Himalayan foothills, farmers are putting this simple fact to g ...

News Headlines

São Tomé and Príncipe candidate to become world agricultural heritage

São Tomé and Príncipe plans to become world agricultural heritage, and a commission is preparing a “plan of action” to submit to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Saturday in São Tomé an official responsible for the application.

News Headlines

Eataly World opens but leaves a bad taste in Bologna

Italy’s “City of Food” has a new attraction. After wandering the alleyways of Bologna’s Mercato di Mezzo – which is filled with local, family-owned grocers such as the well-known Atti & Figli bakery, or Tamburini of tortellini fame – visitors can now take a 20-minute shuttle bus from outside the ...

News Headlines

Agroecology and Cabruca Cacao in the Forests of Bahia

My name is Luciano, and I grow cacao in the Dois Riachões community, located in Ibirapitanga, southern Bahia, Brazil. This is a land of forests and springs (there are around 3500 springs), with Cabruca Cacao plants cultivated using agroecological methods across an area of 150 hectares.

News Headlines

Italian Scientist Brings 'Pasta Power' Climate Adaptation Solution to West Africa

A 'crazy idea' has resulted in the ability to grow durum wheat in the extreme heat of famine-affected Senegal, Mauritania and Mali[1], potentially boosting the income for 1 million farming families, and therefore winning the 2017 Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security.

News Headlines

Organic agriculture can help feed world, but only if we eat less meat and stop wasting food

Agriculture could go organic worldwide if we slashed food waste and stopped using so much cropland to feed livestock, a new study finds.

News Headlines

Farmers can Boost Crop Yields and Contribute over 1 Gigatonne of Emissions Reductions

A new international study shows that carbon removal from the atmosphere through sequestration by agricultural soils could deliver annual emissions reductions equivalent to removing 20-40% of cars from the roads.

News Headlines

Agriculture and Climate Change

The major problems of our time — energy, environment, climate change, food security, financial security — are systemic problems, which means they are all interconnected and interdependent and require corresponding systemic solutions. This important insight is illustrated in this article with the ...

News Headlines

Why I Weep for the Tomato

When you walk into a grocery store, you are not seeing a representative sample of that year’s harvest. You are choosing from a subset of the produce that made it to grocery stores—which is a subset of what made it out of farmers’ fields, which is a subset of the seeds planted that spring, which ...

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