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News Headlines

Odisha Adopts Champion's Vision to Safeguard its Biodiversity

Organic farming and environment conservation through protection of forest resources in Odisha has made Professor Radhamohan, a Padma Shri award winner this year, an icon beyond the boundaries of his state. Many come to his not-for-profit organisation, Sambhav, based in Nayagarh district to learn ...

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Locust invasion hits crops as Pakistan suffers worst infestation in 20 years

A swarm of desert locusts is destroying crops and threatening the livelihoods of farmers in Pakistan's Punjab province. The country, which is facing its worst locust infestation in two decades, declared a national emergency earlier this month.

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Respecting Natural Resources

Intensive agriculture is putting extreme pressure on the natural resources of the planet, or rather, destroying them – as a matter of fact, it is primarily responsible for the loss of biodiversity and climate change.

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Uganda army fights voracious desert locusts

Under a warm morning sun scores of weary soldiers stare as millions of yellow locusts rise into the northern Ugandan sky, despite hours spent spraying vegetation with chemicals in an attempt to kill them.

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Survey pegs 1.5% of world's farmland under organic cultivation

Organic farming may not be mainstream yet, but it has rapidly grown in stature in the last two decades, according to a new survey. There has been a more than five-fold increase in the acreage of land under organic cultivation since the turn of the millenium.

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An Indian farming biodiversity success story

More than 90 per cent of rice is produced and consumed in Asia. Prior to the green revolution in the 1960s, India 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 disaster ...

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Understanding 100 years of farmland biodiversity loss

The agricultural sector in the Netherlands is highly advanced. We are now the world’s second largest agricultural exporter. This has had a side effect, namely a decline in farmland biodiversity over the past hundred years. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has been able to quantify this decline for t ...

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Bees and flowers have had the world’s longest love affair. Now it’s in danger

The oldest love affair in history is between the bee and the flower. It began more than 100m years ago, when nature devised a more efficient way than winds for plants to procreate. About 80% of plant species now use animals or insects to carry pollen grains from the male part of the plant to the ...

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If agriculture advances north under climate change, the emissions cost will be huge

Under future climate change, the northern reaches of the planet will become more suitable for farming, which could help us to feed a growing global population in decades to come. But, researchers warn, as agriculture inches into these new lands, it also threatens to release vast amounts of carbo ...

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Decline in farmland flora and fauna as of 1900

Farmland flora and fauna in the Netherlands have gone through substantial changes over the past century. Since 1900, plants on arable fields have declined by 35 percent; grassland butterflies by 80 percent, and characteristic birds of open farmland by 85 percent.

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Organic is the future

On a wintry afternoon, at her farm Navdanya in the Himalayan foothills, noted ecologist Vandana Shiva spoke on the future of the organic farming movement in India. Excerpts:

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David Pocock's 2020s vision: Heal the land, secure our future

How should we stare down the challenges of a new decade? Where will we find hope and solutions? This is the first piece in a new series in which we ask prominent Australians to write about one thing they think could improve the nation in the 2020s

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Organic farm advantages in biodiversity and profits depend on location

For organic farms, size matters: not so much the size of the farm itself, but the size of the neighboring fields.A large-scale analysis published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Jan. 27 found that organic agriculture sites had 34% more biodiversity and 50% more profits ...

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Radical farming changes needed to meet net zero

A ban on burning or extracting peat, auctioned contracts for tree planting, and an increase in crops grown for energy are just some of the ideas put forward by the government’s climate change advisors to bring about dramatic falls in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

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Farmers are vital to the climate fightback

Public awareness of the importance of forests to the environment is mounting, from the fires in the Amazon and Australia to Ethiopia’s planting of a record-breaking 350 million trees.

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Vineyards and a healthy ecosystem

What can the study and management of Oregon’s vineyards contribute to a healthy ecosystem? Quite a lot, as it turns out. Conservation, biodiversity, and habitat connectivity are the keys. With more than 35,000 acres of Oregon farmland devoted to grapes, vineyards provide an excellent laboratory ...

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How open data play a role in agriculture

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of zero hunger and increase food security by 2030, governments and multilateral agencies are looking to open data to boost agriculture and farming

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Future Food: Veg Meat alternatives at lunch on Wednesday in WEF2020 at Davos

In a unique initiative to promote sustainable diet, the organizers in the World Economic Forum have decided to observe 'Future Food Wednesday' by offering tasty and delicious alternatives to meat at lunch on January 22, the second day of the event. The menus of four days WEF2020 have been design ...

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Feeding the world without wrecking the planet is possible

Almost half of current food production is harmful to our planet – causing biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and water stress. But as world population continues to grow, can that last?

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Wine Lovers Back Sustainability Research Funded By Wine Tourism

Biodiversity, which concerns the number of different kinds of of animals, plants and micro-organisms that populate vineyards, has become a bugbear in the global wine trade, as intensive farming is one of the key factors in the loss of species around the world. A recent report published by the Fo ...

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Farmers urged to adopt organic farming for sustained production

Farmers in Ghana have been urged to adopt organic farming practices to increase and sustain agriculture production, ensure food security and protect the environment from pollution.

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‘Emirati Queen Bee’ for UAE’s food security is here

The UAE is crossbreeding bees to develop a resilient Queen that can endure the harsh desert climate and sustain crucial pollination rates crucial for the country’s food security, Gulf News can exclusively reveal.

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2020: This is the year to protect plant health!

The United Nations (U.N.) had many compelling reasons to declare 2020 as the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). Consider just a few of them: Healthy plants are the foundation of all life on Earth. They make the oxygen we breathe and give us 80% of the food we eat. Plants sustain our live ...

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Friendly neighbours? Study shows crop yield increases when biodiverse environments surround farms

As winter sets in over Punjab, one can hear the humdrum of hundreds of machines harvesting rice across lakhs of hectares of paddy fields. In Maharashtra, villages in Vidarbha lug their snowy cotton harvest to the market.

News Headlines

Stop soil erosion

The intricate challenges of soil management have been intensified in recent years, with a rapid global descent into a more unstable climate and an increase in intensive farming methods.

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Traditional crops puff hopes for climate resilience in Kenya

Two years ago, Michael Gichangi launched a business he hopes will help his rural community better cope with climate change stresses: making puffed cereal from climate-hardy traditional grains. Using a $1,000 machine he bought, he pops millet—a drought-tolerant grain, but one not as widely eaten ...

News Headlines

Increased investment in agriculture vital in Africa’s war on hunger, inequality

There are a number of significant changes that are happening in Africa, the most important being that it is a continent with some of the fastest growing economies. Five of the world’s fastest growing economies are in Africa. This has resulted in increased wealth in a segment of the population, w ...

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How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

Our world is changing. The EU has just declared a climate emergency and stated that Europe must reach zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 - in the same year, our planet’s population is expected to hit 10 billion people. Global food production needs to prepare for an uncertain future and rising ...

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A natural approach to investment

We define it as investing in nature-based solutions, in sustainable economic models based on production from natural systems, whether from land or oceans. It covers sustainable agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as investments in conservation and biodiversity protection.

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A sustainable food strategy: creating an enabling food environment

Earlier this year, the UK Government commissioned a review to underpin its first National Food Strategy in 75 years. Eating Better, an alliance of over 60 civil society organisations working together to catalyse shifts towards healthy and sustainable food and farming,

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Agriculture a vital part of the solution to land degradation

The world’s drylands are becoming hotter and drier. Expanding commercial agriculture and investing in sustainable land management practices are two ways in which governmentscan mitigate this form of land degradation, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Bad land use blamed for biodiversity loss

Amon Andreas, who is responsible for issues of sustainable land management and biodiversity at the ministry, said unsustainable land use practices include forest clearing for agricultural purposes.

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How Thai rice farmers are shunning 'big agribusiness' and fighting climate change

Battling drought, debt and ailments blamed on pesticides, rice farmers in northern Thailand have turned to eco-friendly growing methods despite powerful agribusiness interests in a country that is one of the top exporters of the grain in the world. Walking through a sea of green waist-high stalk ...

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Why Are Butterflies Important To The Ecosystem?

There are more than 28,000 species of butterflies throughout the world. These insects live and breed in diverse habitats such as the mangroves, salt marshes, lowland forested areas, wetlands, mountain zones, and in grasslands. Butterflies tend to be habitat-specific meaning that some of the spec ...

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Could Abandoned Agricultural Lands Help Save the Planet?

People have lived in Castro Laboreiro, where northern Portugal borders Spain, long enough to have built megaliths in the mountainous countryside and a pre-Romanesque church, from 1,100 years ago, in the village itself. But the old rural population has dwindled away, leaving behind mostly elders ...

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Chart of the day: This is why we need to protect nature’s pollinators

There is an old custom among beekeepers: they must let their swarms know about important events, such as births, marriages or funerals. Failing to “tell the bees” is said to bring bad luck, less honey, deserted hives and even death. It may be folklore, but it is a reminder of the species’ critic ...

News Headlines

Saved Seeds are Seeds of Resilience

People have a right to define their own food system. This includes which seeds they use. Last week, farmers in Nakuru County, Kenya, celebrated the launch of “Ten rich, underutilized crops,” a publication and documentary that capture their efforts to promote and sustain the varieties they grow.

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Exchanges on the field with the delegates of “Shaping the Future of Food in Africa”

The Seed Savers Network is an organization safeguarding plant genetic materials for agro-biodiversity conservation. Through grassroots mobilization it advocates for food and seed sovereignty, encouraging farmers to boycott multinational seed companies. Commercial seeds are very expensive, and th ...


World Soil Day 2019

5 December 2019, Rome, Italy

News Headlines

The huge potential of agriculture to slow climate change

Soil’s contribution to climate change, through the oxidation of soil carbon, is important, and soils—and thus agriculture—can play a major role in mitigating climate change.

News Headlines

Menace & the Myths~I

The use of pesticides in agriculture has been increasing with time as the demand for food production increases with the increase in population. Historically, pesticides have been known as economic poison and can be categorized into insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and plant-growth-regulators ...

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World Soil Day: Soil A Non-Renewable Resource

Soil is a finite resource, meaning its loss and degradation is not recoverable within a human lifespan.As a core component of land resources, agricultural development and ecological sustainability, it is the basis for food, feed, fuel, and fiber production and for many critical ecosystem services.

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OPINION: Innovative financing of resilient food systems key to global security

Financing climate-smart rice production is key to global food security and urgently needed to avert social unrest

News Headlines

Crop Diversification - Way to Welcome Agricultural Sustainability by Mitigating Climatic Changes

The Indian economy is largely agrarian, with around 55% of the population dependent for their livelihoods on agriculture and allied sectors that generate 15% Gross Value Added (GVA) (GoI, 2017a).

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Study measures impact of agriculture on diet of wild mammals

Margays (Leopardus wiedii), small wild cats living in forest areas fragmented by agriculture near Campinas and Botucatu in São Paulo State, Brazil, prey on animals inhabiting nearby sugarcane plantations, such as birds and small rodents.

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Net Food Importer Turkey Grapples with Challenges of Food Self-sufficiency

Despite latest research showing Turkey lagging in overall food sustainability, progress in sustainable agriculture appears to be a bright spot in the country’s troubled agriculture industry.But local farming groups, NGOs and international bodies, while welcoming government efforts to promote sus ...

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A century later, plant biodiversity struggles in wake of agricultural abandonment

Decades after farmland was abandoned, plant biodiversity and productivity struggle to recover, according to new University of Minnesota research.

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Africa: Coping With Water Scarcity Requires Holistic Approaches

Coping with water scarcity is one of the fundamental global challenges we face in achieving sustainable development. This is not just a physical problem, it is also caused by institutional, economic, and infrastructure-related constraints and is linked to pressures that emanate from population g ...

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Farming in South Africa is under threat from climate change. Here’s how

There’s an assumption in the agricultural industry that the yields and prices of crops will vary according to local conditions as well as supply and demand in local and international markets. As a result, farmers understand that not every year will be profitable but over the long run, all things ...

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