The sweet scent of vanilla has an unusual origin. The aromatic seed pod is the product of a pale yellow orchid that blooms from tree-climbing vines. Native to the tropical Americas, it is now grown around the world, particularly in Madagascar, off the eastern coast of Africa.
Yields of key crops in the EU will be sharply down this year owing to heatwaves and droughts, further exacerbating the impacts of the Ukraine war on food prices.
Global food systems are at a breaking point. Not only are they responsible for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions, they are also the top contributors to water pollution and biodiversity collapse.
Planting cover crops is a beneficial agricultural practice. One of their many benefits is to cover soil for times when farmers cannot plant cash crops like corn and soy—over the winter, for example. But it is not as simple as just growing cover crops in between growing seasons.
A report by the Agricultural and Food Policy Center, AFPC, at Texas A&M University titled "Economic Impact of Higher Crop and Input Prices on AFPC's Representative Crop Farms" provides insights into the economic impacts of higher crop and major input prices on the center's 64 representative crop ...
What are you drinking? An easy enough question. But I’m clinking through my booze cupboard – three types of whisky, two half-drunk bottles of gin, a cheap bottle of brandy used for a cake – and I’m still not entirely sure.
As spring gardening kicks into high gear, bees emerge from hibernation and start moving from flower to flower. These hardworking insects play an essential role pollinating plants, but they’re also interesting for many other reasons.
The satellite imagery is staggering: an Antarctic ice shelf roughly the size of New York City collapsing into the ocean. Its demise, captured and reported by NASA scientists in mid-March, was only the latest startling news from a region where temperatures have soared up to 40° Celsius (72° Fahre ...
Nearly one in three people in the world did not have access to enough food in 2020. That’s an increase of almost 320 million people in one year and it’s expected to get worse with rising food prices and the war trapping wheat, barley and corn in Ukraine and Russia.
The African population is expected to triple by 2100. This means that more food, water and agricultural commodities are required. To meet these needs, African governments and development agencies have set up large agricultural projects.
Around three-fourths of the food humans consume globally comes from just 12 plant and five animal sources, with just three crops — wheat, rice and corn — accounting for 51 per cent of the calories included in the diet, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
"Herders and farmers have their feet on the ground, but their eyes on the sky." The old saying is still popular in Spain's rural communities who, faced with recurrent droughts, have historically paraded sculptures of saints to pray for rain.
Seaweed salad has never appealed to me. I was incredibly skeptical when I first read that kelp is the new kale. How could a slimy saltwater plant replace the curly crowd-pleaser that foodies take home from farmers markets in bagfuls?
With rising global demand for agricultural commodities for use as food, feed, and bioenergy, pressure on land is increasing. At the same time, land is an important resource for tackling the principal challenges of the 21st century—the loss of biodiversity and global climate change.
Invented by the region's Moorish rulers 1,200 years ago, Valencia's irrigation system is now a model for sustainable farming.
Fusarium is one of the most important fungal plant pathogens, affecting the cultivation of a wide range of crops. All over the world, thousands of farmers suffer agricultural losses caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (referred to as Foc for short), which directly affects their income, s ...
Get this: by choosing to eat more lentils, peas or dried beans, you might be boosting not only your own health but also that of the planet, right from your own kitchen.
Keeping the spark alive is hard in any relationship. It's especially hard for fruit trees trying to attract pollinators.
Globally, we eat around 318 million tons of meat every year. By 2050, that figure is projected to reach 517 million tons. This rising number reflects how farming animals like pigs, chickens and cows for consumption by humans has been largely normalized as essential to our existence.
British farmers must reduce their production of meat and dairy by a third in the next 10 years if scientific advice on limiting greenhouse gas emissions is to be met, the conservation charity WWF has said.
Agricultural performance is influenced by environmental conditions, management decisions and economic circumstances. It is important to quantify their respective contribution to allow for detecting major hazards to production, projecting future yields under climate change and deriving adaptation ...
A census of agriculture conducted by the National Statistics Office paints a sad, but not unexpected picture of the sector, with less land under cultivation and fewer livestock in many cases.
When blended with olive oil and honey, this unassuming brown powder – which has been eaten by Tunisians and Libyans for millennia – transforms into a breakfast of champions.
The bumblebees are buzzing among the beans and flowers of the coffee plantation, boosting crop yields while dancing from plant to plant with a natural serendipity that would make you think they have been there forever.
With the full picture of damage and needs after Tonga's massive volcanic eruption and tsunami only gradually emerging, what is already clear is that the stakes could not be higher for the farmers and fishers of the South Pacific island nation, living in one of the world's most disaster-prone reg ...
From increased industrial farming to surging air miles and a reliance on over-processed foods, the vegan diet may not be the environmental hero it’s cracked up to be. Molly Codyre looks into the benefits of animal agriculture and the importance of local, regenerative farming
During Cambodia’s monsoon season, rice farmer Sam Vongsay’s backyard fills with water and the plastic trash of his houseboat-dwelling neighbours as the Tonle Sap lake grows with floodwaters from the Mekong River.
A new wave of cow-less dairy is hitting the market. In the United States, Perfect Day is using genetically modified fungi to produce milk protein for ice cream at a commercial scale. And pre-commercial companies, like TurtleTree and Better Milk, are engineering mammary cells to produce human and ...
Wildlife and open-canopy ecosystems like grasslands are rarely a part of discussions surrounding climate change mitigation. Now, a new review points to interactions between wild herbivores and vegetation to show how restoration efforts could be optimized by aligning climate goals with biodiversi ...
Two of the world’s most ubiquitous and important crops have a 7,000-year-old backstory, which can be traced to the Andes in South America, where maize and potatoes have long been cultivated for food.
One hundred billion tons of carbon dioxide could be removed from the air by the end of the century through veggie diets plus re-wilding farmland.
“I was born in the country, at home — not in a hospital,” Gaspar Gonçalves do Amaral says proudly. For Amaral, home is the municipality of Arinos in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state, part of the Cerrado grassland that’s watered by the Urucuia and Paracatu rivers. Back then, Amaral says, growing cotto ...
In the flat expanse of the Dutch countryside, Corne de Rooij nostalgically strokes the muzzles of his calves, wondering how long he will be able to keep them.
Smart cities are developing all over the world, marketing themselves as helping us innovate and become more technologically advanced as a mostly-urban species.
An initiative in Mexico is helping farmers improve the quality of their produce, so they can earn more without compromising traditional, eco-friendly farming practices.
The European Commission’s communication on sustainable carbon cycles promising a new source of revenue for farmers received a lukewarm response from the farming sector on Wednesday (15 December) while NGOs blasted it for letting real polluters off the hook.
Whether developed by accelerators or research institutes, life sciences research and development infrastructure must be made available to entrepreneurs.
Strict social and environmental safeguards must be followed to prevent harm to biodiversity or human rights while advancing the scope of nature-based solutions in climate mitigation, a new report says.
The Indigenous food system of the Khasi community in Nongtraw village in Meghalaya offers lessons in climate resilience and sustainable food systems, says a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation report.
The indoor farming industry has seen a huge influx of investment over the past year, and accordingly has become a popular solution for growers.
The scourge of unsightly images of plastic refuse littering our beaches and oceans always receives much attention. But a new report by the FAO suggests that the land we use to grow our food is contaminated with far larger quantities of plastic pollution, posing an even greater threat to food sec ...
Climate change is severely impacting India's farmers by making monsoons more irregular. One farmer in Madhya Pradesh found help in a forecast model devised in Germany that predicts the rains with surprising accuracy.
The community’s traditionally self-sufficient and biodiverse diet features 132 species, notably the fe’i banana, a Melanesian specialty that contains 100 times the vitamin A of a typical banana.
As cultivated fields expand and grazing cattle explore ever further in the Ndumo Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, researchers worry about unresolved efforts to address human poverty while also trying to protect the ever-shrinking spaces left for wildlife and nature conservation.
Agricultural soils may receive greater quantities of microplastics than oceans, indicates a recent research by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
COP26 highlighted more than ever that we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and become more sustainable before it’s too late. Soil is a key component in this battle and something that we expect to provide food, feed and fibre, store and supply water, store carbon and archive geological and ...
Soil erosion costs the global economy US$8bn a year, and reduces agri-food production by 33.7m tonnes, leading to increases of up to 3.5% in world food prices
Encouraged by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and local authorities who want to see the development of agribusiness, an "agricultural mafia" is taking over the Amazon rainforest.
To mark World Soil Day, we’re taking a look at the humble resource beneath our feet that nourishes entire ecosystems and keeps the world fed.
Scheme to replace EU subsidies was billed as ‘biggest change in half a century’, last year, but will now only pay farmers to improve soils