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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'.

News Headlines

£8.7m project looks at transforming agriculture across Europe

Recent policies of agriculture based on intense mechanisation, excessive use of external inputs (water, energy, fertilisers, pesticides etc) and mono-crop farming has resulted in soil degradation, reduced biodiversity and increased economic risk for European farmers. To increase diversification ...

News Headlines

Sowing the seeds of conservation

Anupam Paul has the distinction of rediscovering 800 indigenous varieties of paddy. Helped by a revival project, some of the varieties are back from the brink, and Paul, who is from West Bengal, will present these at the National Seed Diversity Festival at Anna University from June 9 to 11. Simi ...

News Headlines

Farmer groups, environmentalists concerned about new biodiversity and land management laws

Farmer groups and the environmental lobby are raising serious question marks over what they say are big flaws in the new system. In November, the NSW Government passed legislation repealing the Native Vegetation Act, replacing it with biodiversity reforms designed to improve environmental, socia ...

News Headlines

How to Produce More Food with Less Damage to Soil, Water, Forests

Massive agriculture intensification is contributing to increased deforestation, water scarcity, soil depletion and the level of greenhouse gas emission, the United Nations warns.

News Headlines

Potato chip panic: why Japan’s future food security depends on solutions from its past

Japan’s potato chip fans recently went on a panicked buying spree as the country’s snack food companies were forced to partially halt production of the favorite crisps.

News Headlines

Calls to reform food system: 'Factory farming belongs in a museum'

We can feed an extra 4 billion people a year if we reject the bloated and wasteful factory farming systems that are endangering our planet’s biodiversity and wildlife, said farming campaigner Philip Lymbery on Monday night, launching a global campaign to Stop the Machine.

News Headlines

Community Seed Banks: Securing Diversity for Climate Change Adaptation

Community seed banks can enhance the resilience of farmers’ by securing access to diverse, locally adapted crops and varieties.

News Headlines

Crop biodiversity: The key to ending hunger

As people in four countries - Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Nigeria - teeter on the brink of famine, it seems our progress towards ending hunger is sadly inadequate. We are once again confronted with the question: how can we do more for vulnerable communities?

News Headlines

For Spain’s ‘La Olivilla,’ Winning Top Award, Restoring Nature Go Hand in Hand

Five years ago, a group of neighboring farmers in Sierra de Cazorla, Spain saw their 500-year old olive trees slowly dying. They took courses in organic farming and decided to work together to restore their groves, produce high-quality olive oil and establish a model of environmental stewardship.

News Headlines

Greece battles locust plague on Agios Efstratios island

Villagers on a tiny Greek Aegean island, Agios Efstratios, are battling a plague of locusts and a state of emergency has been declared there.The island has about 200 residents who rely on agriculture and fishing. Locust infestation is a recurring problem.

News Headlines

Government action needed on climate resiliency and food security in West Africa

While some leaders in Washington are barely getting their toes wet to address global climate change, researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) have dived in head-first. A new study published in Global Environmental Change modeled potential future scenarios f ...

News Headlines

Pests and pathogens could cost agriculture billions: report

The spread of pests and pathogens that damage plant life could cost global agriculture $540 billion a year, according to a report published on Thursday.

News Headlines

Treasure trove of new plant discoveries revealed

Many have potential as food crops, medicines or sources of timber.However, scientists say some of the newly-discovered plants are already at risk of extinction.

News Headlines

Changing crop patterns and climate change- how India’s agriculture continues to suffer

Crop patterns in India are changing without consideration for local agro-climatic conditions. This puts a burden on environment, incurring huge long-term losses.

News Headlines

How agriculture neglect has led to food crisis

Since 2012, Kenya’s expenditure has been like that of a household that buys sufurias, gas cooker, micro-wave and refrigerator but forgets the most essential thing: food.

News Headlines

The right to agricultural technology

In the 1960s, when biologist Paul Ehrlich was predicting mass starvation due to rapid population growth, plant breeder Norman Borlaug was developing the new crops and approaches to agriculture that would become mainstays of the Green Revolution. Those advances, along with other innovations in ag ...

News Headlines

New documentary explores one man's quest to save heirloom plants

John Coykendall is in a race against time to save near-extinct seeds. The renowned heirloom seed saver and master gardener at Blackberry Farm, a luxury resort in Walland, Tenn., is the subject of the new documentary "Deeply Rooted: John Coykendall's Journey to Save Our Seeds and Stories."

News Headlines


When Americans come of a certain age, they learn about the birds and the bees. When biodynamic vineyards come of age, though, vineyard owners think back on the story of the bees and the grapes.

News Headlines

How to find coffee that doesn't cost the Earth

our daily dose of caffeine can influence coffee cultivation practices which in turn affect forest diversity and sustainability. So how should you go about choosing your beans, and what do those certification logos actually mean?

News Headlines

Our precious soil

The Philippines remains among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. German Watch’s recent Climate Risk Index 2016, for instance, ranks the Philippines fourth in the world’s top 10 countries most affected by climate change in the past 20 years.

News Headlines

Sustainable shopping: here's how to find coffee that doesn't cost the Earth

The morning coffee ritual is serious business; Australians drink roughly 16.3 million coffees a day. Plenty of news coverage has been devoted to its health benefits and cultural significance, but how much do you know about the environmental cost of your daily latte?

News Headlines

How ancient crops could counteract climate change effects

Farmers who grow single crops are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but now researchers are resurrecting ancient crop varieties to encourage diversity and offset the risks of extreme weather.

News Headlines

Why Mexican Chefs, Farmers And Activists Are Reviving The Ancient Grain Amaranth

On a sunny Friday morning in San Pablo Huitzo, a town in the Valles Centrales region of Oaxaca, Mexico, a half-dozen women are gathered for a workshop on making alegrías, a healthy, granola bar-like snack made with popped amaranth seeds. Their ingredient list is short: water, honey, raisins, a f ...

News Headlines

Secrets of tea plant revealed by science

A team in China has decoded the genetic building blocks of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, whose leaves are used for all types of tea, including black, green and oolong.The research gives an insight into the chemicals that give tea its flavour.

News Headlines

QUNO Briefs: Food Security Needs Farmers In Global Discussions, Agricultural Biodiversity

The participation of small-scale farmers at the table of international negotiations and the protection of agricultural biodiversity are key to food security, according to the Quaker United Nations Office, which published last month two policy briefs with a list of recommendations.

News Headlines

Food and Conservation Groups Invest in Soil to Sustain Food Production

A national effort to enhance farm sustainability through soil health has additional backing from a major consumer foods manufacturer.

News Headlines

Groundwater overuse rising, could hit food prices

[SYDNEY] The increasing use of groundwater for irrigation poses a major threat to global food security and could lead to unaffordable prices of staple foods.

News Headlines

Microbes, New Weapon Against Agricultural Pests in Africa

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, Apr 10 2017 (IPS) - Microscopic soil organisms could be an environmentally friendly way to control crop pests and diseases and even protect agriculture against the impacts of climate change, a leading researcher says.

News Headlines

Good chocolate equals homes for monkeys

Deforestation to make way for cocoa plantations is having a devastating impact on spider monkeys. But a conservation project in the Ecuadorian rainforest is helping farmers to change their ways.

News Headlines

Ecological focus areas hold potential for helping biodiversity

A report released yesterday by the European Commission shows that ecological focus areas (EFAs) can be helpful in addressing the consequences of certain farming techniques and practices on our environment. This is achieved by bringing potential positive effects for biodiversity, soil, water and ...

News Headlines

The protective powers of chocolate

In Sierra Leone, where communities are recovering from years of hard times, chocolate could just be an essential ingredient in the recipe for a sustainable future. And it could even save local wildlife.

News Headlines

#Hunger4 Bees: Declining Bee Populations Mean and Our Food

Something that affects every single one of us—food—is being used as a way to offer a new perspective on the global problem of falling bee populations. The impact of the decline in pollinating insects on our diets and the tangible, daily consequences for our health, the environment and biodiversi ...

News Headlines

Colombia’s cane industry efficient but potentially damaging

Colombia’s Pacific coast state of Valle del Cauca, home to at least 80 percent of the country’s booming sugar cane industry, continues to rebound after excessive and damaging rains in 2011-2012. In fact, recent USDA Foreign Agricultural Services report found that the country’s cane industry cont ...

News Headlines

The EU must take the lead in linking agricultural trade to the SDGs

Once again trade in agriculture is expected to dominate the agenda and the EU must play a key role.

News Headlines

Nothing fishy about new solution for aquaculture wastewater treatment

Aquaculture, or fish farming, is one of the fastest growing sectors of agriculture in the world today.

News Headlines

Factbox - From new beans to ancient plants, drought-busting crops take root

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - As farmers worldwide experience more frequent drought and erratic rainfall linked to climate change, the race to find and improve drought-resistant crops grows ever more important.

News Headlines

Kenya: Farmers Near Forests Reap Big Gains From Conservation Plan

While many Kenyans are grappling with an acute food insecurity occasioned by the prolonged dry spell, a move by Uasin Gishu County residents to engage in shamba system is paying off with millions of shilling generated from the initiative.

News Headlines

Widely accepted vision for agriculture may be inaccurate, misleading

'Food production must double by 2050 to feed the world's growing population.' This truism has been repeated so often in recent years that it has become widely accepted among academics, policymakers and farmers, but now researchers are challenging this assertion and suggesting a new vision for th ...

News Headlines

Business-as-usual not an option with future global food security in jeopardy, cautions UN agency

22 February 2017 – Warning that diminishing natural resources and a changing climate have put humankind’s future ability to feed itself “in jeopardy,” the United Nations underlined today that while the planet still has the potential to produce enough food, “major transformations” are needed to m ...

News Headlines

Fifth of world's food lost to over-eating and waste, study finds

Almost 20 per cent of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste, a study suggests.

News Headlines

Humankind’s Ability to Feed Itself, Now in Jeopardy

ROME, Feb 22 2017 (IPS) - Mankind’s future ability to feed itself is in jeopardy due to intensifying pressures on natural resources, mounting inequality, and the fallout from a changing climate, warns a new United Nations’ report.

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