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News Headlines

Cypriot grapes perform well in heat and on taste

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have found several grape varieties native to Cyprus, which tolerate drought conditions better than some international varieties popular in Australia, contain chemical compounds responsible for flavors preferred by Australian consumers.

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Save the Bees means save our food (and planet)

Let’s start with a simple fact: bees and pollinators play a crucial role for the planet, for the protection of biodiversity and for agriculture. They are an integral part of our food system because they pollinate the cultivated plants that end up as food on our tables.

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Pay dirt: $200 million plan for Australia’s degraded soil is a crucial turning point

The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the air we breathe, the water we drink – it’s all underpinned by healthy and productive soils. Since Europeans arrived in Australia, the continent’s soil has steadily been degraded. Yet, until now, we’ve lacked an integrated national approach to managing thi ...

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$32.1 million for agriculture biodiversity stewardship

2021-22 Budget confirms the Australian Government’s commitment to promoting biodiversity stewardship on agricultural land

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How insect hotels and honey highways are helping bee populations in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the world’s second-largest agricultural exporter after the US, 75% of food crops and more than 85% of wild plants are reliant on them. But across the globe they’re declining – and more than half of the Netherlands’ 360 bee species have come under threat as areas of wildflower ...

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Pollinators and biodiversity: a fundamental duo for us and the planet

That’s right, bees are not good just for producing honey. Pollinating insects, in general, play a crucial role for us and the planet: with their tireless work they protect biodiversity and along with it our health.

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Why imported veg is still more sustainable than local meat

A former colleague who was a researcher and promoter of local food systems once argued that local meat markets connect children with reality. “If young people do not have a direct experience with food”, he told me, “they might think it originates on supermarket shelves.

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Opportunity to deliver ‘much-needed change’ to agricultural policy

A report ‘Towards a New Agricultural and Food Policy for Ireland’ sets out recommendations to government in the hope that it will deliver much needed change to Irish agricultural policy.

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No substitute for honey

How adulteration and bee malnutrition threaten the future of this food, the bees that make it, and all the other plants they pollinate.

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Kenyan Experts: Pesticides Killing Bees, Forcing Farmers to Hand-Pollinate

Kenyan farmers say they are being forced to hand-pollinate their crops due to a decline in bee populations from pesticides. Kenya’s insect experts say the chemicals, meant to kill desert locusts and other pests, are killing off bees and other pollinating insects.

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Civic Sanskriti: Mango magic... the treasure troves that sustain us all

While the brilliant Amaltas flowers are a visual delight, it is the Mango that is perhaps the most loved and delicious component of the golden Indian summer

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Step by step guide on disease, weeds and pest control

Any seasoned farmer knows that crop interferences brought about by plant pests, diseases and weeds can wipe out their hard work and cause significant crop loss if not 100 per cent loss.


166th session of the FAO Council

26 - 30 April 2021, Rome, Italy

News Headlines

Treated like dirt: urban soil is often overlooked as a resource

When you think about soil, you probably think of rolling fields of countryside. But what about urban soil? With city dwellers expected to account for 68% of the world’s population by 2050, this oft forgotten resource is increasingly important.

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Ireland’s strategy to be a world leader in sustainable food by 2030

Ireland’s plan to be a world leader in sustainable food systems by 2030 has been thrown open to public consultation. Submissions or observations on the draft Agri-Food Strategy to 2030 and associated Environmental Report and Natura Impact Statement are invited, until June 15, 2021.

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Plant breeding: 10,000 years of biodiversity threats?

For years, NGOs and politicians opposing modern breeding methods such as gene transfer or genome editing have claimed that these “manipulations” would pose serious health risks, from allergies to cancer or autism. However, after more than two decades of consuming transgenic crops, there is not a ...

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Africa: Giving a Voice to Soil Organisms - Our Silent Allies in the Fight Against Hunger

The Global Symposium on Soil Biodiversity hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) kicked off yesterday with a call to preserve this vast community of living soil organisms and the vital ecosystem services they provide.

News Headlines

Nestlé scientists uncover low carbon and drought-resistant coffee varieties

In a new breakthrough, Nestlé plant scientists have developed a generation of low carbon coffee varieties, through classical non-GMO breeding that harnesses the plant’s natural biodiversity.

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The US food system creates hunger and debt – but there is another way

Michael Fakhri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, says the US food system is built on injustices but there is hope where people are prioritizing the right to food

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Can Grazing Antelope Regenerate South Africa’s Coastal Vegetation?

On July 29, 2020, five eland antelope ambled through the gates of a vineyard on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. They didn’t come for the wine, but rather to graze.

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Food tribes must find common ground to solve hunger and climate change

Divisions over what makes a healthy, sustainable diet are so entrenched it is easy to assume that ‘food tribes’ – from the plant-based movement to the committed carnivores – have nothing in common.

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What’s the buzz? Why the cottagecore garden trend is great for bees and biodiversity

The interiors trend will also be seen outside this summer – bringing colour, life and beauty to our green spaces

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Eco.business Joins forces with Co-operative Bank to Finance Sustainable Agriculture

The eco.business fund has provided its first investment in Kenya in the amount of Ksh 1 billion to Co-operative Bank of Kenya, one of the leading commercial banks in the country. The subordinated loan will be on-lent to sustainable agribusinesses, contributing to the fund’s mission of conserving ...

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Small farms outdo big ones on biodiversity — and crop yields

Large-scale farms account for most of the global food supply, but smallholdings protect species and are just as profitable.Small farms tend to be more productive and biodiverse than large ones, and are roughly as profitable and resource-efficient.

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Green Deal poses ‘opportunities and threats’ to Spanish farming, stakeholders warn

The European Green Deal offers opportunities and challenges to Spanish farmers, stakeholders have warned, highlighting that Spain needs more support in the transition towards a more sustainable model of agriculture. EURACTIV’s partner EFE Agro reports.

News Headlines

Investors urge Europe to prioritise climate in agriculture reform

A $2-trillion group of investors calls for reducing direct support for commodities with high emissions, such as red meat, and redesigning incentives to put a value on sustainable farming

News Headlines

Are Potassium Chloride Reserves the World’s Next Stranded Assets?

Take a glance down at the earth. The soil is one of the world’s biggest reserves of biodiversity.Did you know one handful of topsoil contains more microorganisms than all the people who have ever lived in the history of our planet?

News Headlines

Protecting China’s Agricultural Heritage, One Seed at a Time

For millennia, the mainstay of China’s agricultural economy has been the small farmer. Growers across China developed crop, vegetable, and fruit varieties according to the local climate and characteristics, with successful variants gradually spreading across farming networks, in a process of mut ...

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Large scale research project to empower African farmers and agribusinesses to adapt to climate change

Africa is at the forefront of climate change impacts. These changes can wreak havoc on production and sourcing of agricultural commodities, such as grains, cotton and vegetables. Soil health management and better seeds for instance can help, but where to begin?

News Headlines

Growing food and protecting nature can work together. Here's how

Growing food in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way – while also producing enough of it – is among the most important challenges facing the U.S. and the world today.

News Headlines

World Bank Helps Bangladesh Improve Irrigation-based Agricultural Productivity

The World Bank today approved $120 million to help Bangladesh improve food security by enhancing climate resilience and productivity of irrigated agriculture and fisheries.

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Sugar: a killer crop?

The delicious, sweet powder currently poses two major threats to our health and happiness. First, eating too much sugar contributes to the development of some of the world's biggest killers, including heart disease and diabetes.

News Headlines

Indigenous Varieties of Rice Being Promoted Through Various Programmes: Central Government.

According to the government, 574 such varieties of rice have been propagated and tested at more than 10,000 farmers’ fields, involving state agricultural universities, KVKs and NGOs through a project entitled “Mainstreaming Agricultural biodiversity conservation and utilization of the agricultur ...

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Regenerative Agriculture Gains Traction in Southeast Asia

In Thailand, very few farms incorporate organic or regenerative agriculture practices, so the use of chemicals remains the norm. To remedy that situation, Harmless Harvest, a maker of coconut-based products, decided to join forces with partners to launch the Regenerative Coconuts Agriculture Pro ...

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OPINION: Greener agriculture is a win for farmers, food companies and the environment

Conventional farming is one of the world’s greatest drivers of climate change and biodiversity loss, and we’re running out of time to reverse its adverse effects. But there is good news too: the largest study ever done on sustainable farming supports the idea that regenerative agriculture could ...

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On the frontier of science for food and agriculture

Nuclear weapon tests offer valuable insight into how to measure soil erosion and enable the restoration of healthy soils we need to grow our food.

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Beyond Farm to Fork: the ‘agricultural’ side of EU’s biodiversity strategy

The European Union’s bid to tackle biodiversity loss goes hand in hand with the new ambition of making the food system more sustainable, involving several farming aspects.

News Headlines

Is soil health restricted to agricultural activities?

Soil is considered a viable living ecosystem in itself as it performs numerous functionalities that not only serve as a foundation of agricultural activities but also act as a key focal point for the growth and developmental activities of a nation.

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Chickpea genetics reduce need for chemicals

In recent years, hummus has become a pop culture food phenomenon, drawing praises from dieticians for the health benefits and chefs for the flavor.

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Food + Culture = Future

Humankind’s collective agricultural heritage has fed the world for thousands of years, but is now increasingly threatened by accelerating global trends, causing severe damage to the planet’s resource base. Answers to this critical situation can be found in this same agricultural heritage, a sour ...

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This is how much different commodities contribute to deforestation

New analysis shows that just seven agricultural commodities — cattle, oil palm, soy, cocoa, rubber, coffee and plantation wood fiber — accounted for 26% of global tree cover loss from 2001 to 2015. These agricultural commodities replaced 71.9 million hectares of forest during that period, an are ...

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What is Organic Farming? Principles, Benefits and Pitfall

Organic farming is the buzzword in the world of agriculture. People usually believe this is a new way of farming; but it is not. Organic farming has been practiced since ancient times. In fact, earlier, there were no synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. People were more connected to nature and ...

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Is floating agriculture a nature-based solution?

Farmers of the south-central districts of Bangladesh, namely Barishal, Gopalganj, Madaripur, and Pirojpur, have been practicing floating agriculture for decades, if not centuries. But over the last two decades, this indigenous, wetland-based agrosystem has turned into something of a "climate cel ...

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This root vegetable could help alleviate hunger and end soil erosion. Here’s how

What thrives in poor soil, can tolerate rising temperatures and is brimming with calories? The cassava – sometimes referred to as ‘the Rambo root’. This plant could potentially help alleviate world hunger, provide economically viable agriculture and even put an end to soil erosion, according to ...

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Plant-based diets will be essential to the planet’s future, report says

Switching en masse to a plant-based diet is essential to protect wildlife habitats and prevent the loss of numerous species currently facing extinction, according to a new report.

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