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News Headlines

What The Hell Is Agrobiodiversity And Why Do We Need To Care

Recently, experts gave us a fresh spark of climate change-related terror. The suggestion was made that the plant species that we turn into chips, coffee and chocolate (i.e. potatoes, coffee cherries and cocoa beans) are in danger of extinction, as a result of the globe's raising temperatures.

News Headlines

Organic food catching on in India

India’s organic food sector is still young, but 20 percent annual growth is predicted. With demand rising mainly in cities, critics warn even certified products may not exactly be what they seem.

News Headlines

Why factory farming is not just cruel – but also a threat to all life on the planet

The world desperately needs joined-up action on industrial farming if it is to avoid catastrophic impacts on life on earth, according to the head of one of the world’s most highly regarded animal campaign groups.

News Headlines

High temperatures drive down sorghum yields

Sorghum packs a nutritional wallop, and bestows food security on half a billion people in Africa and South Asia. Cultivated in semi-arid and arid climate, it is a staple food for people in developing countries, and is also used in developed countries as animal fodder.

News Headlines

FAO boss roots for agroecosystems

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has urged Uganda to embrace agroecosystems to guarantee sustainable food systems.

News Headlines

Fungal microbes as biofertilizers in agriculture and gardening—is the reward greater than the risk?

Companies are increasingly producing fungal inoculants and marketing these as biofertilizers to improve plant growth and soil health. However, there is little or no evidence of their effectiveness and possible ecological risks, as shown in a new study published in the journal Functional Ecology ...

News Headlines

Food for thought

Not just animal species, our food crops are also facing mass extinction. The sixth mass extinction of global wildlife already under way is seriously threatening the world’s food supplies, according to experts.

News Headlines

Forgotten crop strains can rescue drought-stricken economies

The damage to African economies dealt by drought has been relentless in recent years. Production of tea, Kenya’s key export, has dropped by more than a third in the past year. In Ethiopia, coffee production is under threat, as signalled by a recent report from London’s Kew Royal Botanic Gardens ...

News Headlines

Mass extinction could take food off the table

While there has been much recent focus on mass species extinction, a new report shows food staples like coffee and chocolate could also be under threat. But greater agricultural biodiversity can save them.

News Headlines

EU-funded index to gauge biodiversity in food

An EU-funded index measuring biodiversity in food production is expected to be launched next year, giving investors a benchmark for assessing how companies and governments are making food systems more resilient to climate change.

News Headlines

Why India's farmers want to conserve indigenous heirloom rice

India is rice country: the cereal provides daily sustenance for more than 60% of the population. Half a century ago, it was home to more than 100,000 rice varieties, encompassing a stunning diversity in taste, nutrition, pest-resistance and, crucially in this age of climate change and natural di ...

News Headlines

Africa called on to embrace plant genetic varieties to boost food security

African economies should take the lead in embracing crop genetic varieties in a bid to enhance food security and sustainable agriculture, experts said Wednesday. They made the call during the African Union regional forum on the Implementation of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resource ...

News Headlines

SOS : Save Our Soils

I used to be a soldier, a journey through the European wars in Bosnia and Kosovo, then Africa and the Middle East, spanning three continents over 12 years. As a soldier, I have seen the worst humanity has to offer. I have witnessed first-hand the abhorrent violence and destruction than man liber ...

News Headlines

Syria Holds the Secret to Our Species’ Survival

Salvatore Ceccarelli knew he was engaging in a subversive act when, in 2010, he took two 20 kilo sacks of bread and durum wheat seeds from a seed bank outside of Aleppo, Syria and brought them to Italy during a visit back to his home country. Now, seven years later, those seeds from the Fertile ...

News Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Seed Bank to Help Safeguard Local Varieties

The recent opening of a new community seed bank in Mudzi, about 230km east of Harare, represents a critical milestone in repositioning the farmer to take charge of all efforts to conserve indigenous crop varieties and increase farmers' access to the seed.

News Headlines

How Food Waste Reduction Can Save Wildlife

Biodiversity is a crucial marker of Earth’s environmental health. The more diverse and abundant life is on this planet, the more resilient our landscapes and cities are to disease, drought, storms and other threats.

News Headlines

Changing landscapes: From forests to food

The growing demand for food — demand that is expected to double by 2050 — has led to widespread agricultural expansion, primarily at the expense of forests. It is estimated that between 1980 and 2000, more than half of new agricultural land across the tropics was developed on forested land and a ...

News Headlines

Ecological agriculture: Farming the smart way

THE growth of agricultural activities in Malaysia has always been supported by the country’s environment and favourable climate. Major agro-products that drive the economy are palm oil, rubber and cocoa. Besides these commodities, there are others like padi, tropical fruits and vegetables.

News Headlines

World’s soils have lost 133 billion tonnes of carbon since the dawn of agriculture, study estimates

The degradation of the Earth’s soil by humans has been an environmental catastrophe on a similar scale to the deforestation of much of the planet, a new study suggests.

News Headlines

Soil health practices boost bottom line over $100 per acre

Soil health practices such as cover crops and no-till can result in an economic return of more than $100 per acre, according to a set of case studies jointly released by the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and Datu Research LLC.

News Headlines

Slow food alliance between farmers and chefs aims to boost agriculture, tourism sectors

Around the world, the 'slow food' movement has been working to conserve traditional food practices and biodiversity by promoting local produce.East Maitland chef Amorelle Dempster is the leader of Slow Food Hunter Valley and international councillor for Slow Food Australia, non-profit organisati ...

News Headlines

Biodiverseedy: Sewing Connections for Living Seeds

BiodiverSEEDy is a small international project that aims to reconnect seeds to the cultures that have passed them down through the generations. The work of thousands of years could be lost in just a few decades if the current trend towards monocultural cultivation, genetic modification and priva ...

News Headlines

FAO Climate Strategy Links to Hunger, Poverty and Biodiversity SDGs

The Strategy translates FAO's core mandate into strategic choices and priority actions to support agriculture in a changing climate. The Strategy underlines the role of such support for achieving SDG 1 (No poverty) and SDG 2 (Zero hunger), recognizing their relevance for SDG 14 (Life under wate ...

News Headlines

Biodiversity: Past and Future in Organic Farming

Organic farming practices are regulated to enhance and protect biodiversity; it is the very core of organic production. To assist organic farmers maintain biodiversity The Organic Center partnered with Dr. Quinn at Furman University on the Healthy Farm Index (HFI), an assessment tool that helps ...

News Headlines

What's the future of farming? It can only be agroecology, says Farms of the Future

Think of agriculture of the future and you may conjure up images of hydroponic lettuces grown in underground, urban bunkers or massive-scale precision farming using satellites and drones. But for campaign group Farms of the Future, the future is, and can only be, agroecology.

News Headlines

Pay farmers to protect environment, urges think tank

Farming subsidies for food production should be phased out by 2025 and replaced with incentives to protect the environment, improve biodiversity, and increase flood prevention, an influential think tank urged today.

News Headlines

Tanzania: Organic Farming Gains Popularity

Dar es Salaam — The historical background of organic agriculture in Tanzania goes back to the world history of agriculture, when people were farming more traditionally.

News Headlines

Economic development: Elevating agriculture

It's the start of the fruit season in Sabah and soon you will see people from all over the state coming out with their produce in markets, shops and even supermarkets. These are people who, for generations, have grown fruit trees at the back of their homes and have passed down this tradition, s ...

News Headlines

Big forests, big ag: Are rainforests the right place for industrial agriculture? (commentary)

Glenn Hurowitz, the CEO of Mighty, a group that campaigns on behalf forests and other ecosystems, recently visited Olam’s oil palm plantations in the Central African nation of Gabon. The views expressed are his own.

News Headlines

Farmers Find Healthy Soils Yield Healthy Profits

Ancient civilizations plowed themselves into oblivion, and modern agriculture risks doing it again, geologist David Montgomery says. In his new book, Montgomery says a growing number of farmers are using techniques that can save their farms from slow death by erosion.

News Headlines

Local Farmers and Consumers Create Short Food Supply Chains in Mexican Cities

Short food supply chains are market mechanisms that imply a proximity between places of production and consumption, which offer products grown using sustainable agricultural practices, with fewer intermediaries and closer ties between producers and consumers.

News Headlines

Aquatic plants survive in 'ghost ponds' under agricultural fields

Aquatic plants in 'ghost ponds' are able to survive more than 100 years buried beneath cropped agricultural fields, according to new UCL research.

News Headlines

The Impact of Food-for-Fuel: UK Study Weighs in on Biofuels

According to a study led by the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering, biofuels can have a critical role to play in the mitigation of future climate change risks while sparking economic development in struggling rural regions.

News Headlines

Food security in the Niger Delta

We are approaching this conversation on food security in the Niger Delta from the premise that we must own our food narrative.

News Headlines

Raw waste water use on farms is '50% higher' than estimated

The global use of untreated waste water from cities to irrigate crops is much more widespread than previously estimated, says a new report. According to this updated assessment, nearly 30 million hectares are now using untreated water within 40km of an urban centre

News Headlines

Step forward with organic farming?

Not only large proportion of people, but also decision makers are convinced that the only way to have a sustainable future is through investing in pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. In addition to this, thousands of research papers about organic farming are neglected, that reminds me of the ...

News Headlines

FAO to help restore Lake Urmia

FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, met with Mahmoud Hojjati, Iranian Minister of Agriculture who is in Rome to attend the organization's 40th Conference from 3-8 July.

News Headlines

World Hunger on the Rise Again Due to Conflict and Climate: UN

Rome. The number of hungry people in the world is rising again after years of decline, as millions suffer from the combined effects of conflict and climate change, the head of the UN food agency said on Monday (03/07).

News Headlines

To deny food is to deny justice, Italy's Gentiloni tells FAO

ROME, July 3 (Xinhua) -- To deny food is to deny justice, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni told the 40th conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) which kicked off in Rome on Monday.

News Headlines

Keeping Europe's food safe and sustainable

How do we know our food is fairly and sustainably produced, and safe to eat? European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis talks to DW about glyphosate, food waste and animal welfare.

News Headlines

Simran Sethi on Biodiversity, Food Waste, and Climate Change

The term biodiversity is something that can feel elusive and intangible. Yet we know that it is one of the most critical issues in food today. Biodiversity loss is often talked about in quantifiable ways, using staggering numbers and percentages to describe the breeds and varieties that are disa ...

News Headlines

Living Soils: The Role of Microorganisms in Soil Health

Soil is essential for the maintenance of biodiversity above and below ground. The wealth of biodiversity below ground is vast and unappreciated: millions of microorganisms live and reproduce in a few grams of topsoil, an ecosystem essential for life on earth…’

News Headlines

Carlo Petrini in China to pave the way for the next Slow Food International Congress

At a moment in time in which the Paris Agreement on climate change is seriously in question—following United States President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his country from the accord—the fight against global warming is becoming increasingly urgent and deserves special attention.

News Headlines

Farmers can now register trees on their farms

A Tree Tenure Policy would soon roll-out to provide farmers the legal right to claim ownership of commercial trees planted on their farms and those that grow naturally, Mr Musah Abu-Juan, the Forestry Technical Director of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, has announced.

News Headlines

Mexico's Native Crops Hold Key to Food Security, Ecologist Says

Mexico's ancient civilizations cultivated crops such as maize, tomatoes and chilies for thousands of years before the Spanish conquerors arrived — and now those native plants could hold the key to sustainable food production as climate change bites, said a leading ecologist.

News Headlines

FAO releases new tool to track water productivity in agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has released a new tool that offers water-scarce countries and river basins a way to boost productivity, by measuring how the resource is efficiently used in agriculture.

News Headlines

The impact if the world went meat-free

It’s World Meat Free Day – but what would actually happen if the whole world suddenly went vegetarian permanently? Here’s a briefing about the potential pros and cons for the climate, environment, our health, economy and more.

News Headlines

Lao to protect crop biodiversity with gene banks

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) will invest in a gene bank and in other methods of biodiversity conservation to protect its niche farm products, Phouang Parisak, the country’s deputy minister for agriculture, tells SciDev.Net.

News Headlines

How planting bioenergy crops could help stop Britain's brown hare from becoming extinct

If you live or spend time in the UK countryside it may have been some time since you spotted the native brown hare - if you've ever seen one at all. That's because the hare relies on an increasingly disappearing biodiverse landscape for its food. LAURA BRIGGS talks to the scientists behind a new ...

News Headlines

Tanzania: Strengthening Farmers' Seed System Through 'Open Source'

The National Plant Genetic Resources Centre (NPGRC-Tanzania), in collaboration with Hivos, Bioversity International, Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Africa and other partners are currently implementing a project, which explores possibilities of the 'open source seed systems'.

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