News

2009-05-27 |

Food crisis sows seed for change

In July, World Trade Organization director general Pascal Lamy organized a mini-ministerial to complete the Doha Development Round, and couched it as a necessary means to address the food crisis. Not surprisingly, negotiations collapsed over ongoing disagreements about whether WTO members have the right to protect their food security and "livelihoods" from import surges.

2009-05-26 |

Report offers holistic remedies for famine relief

Regenerative farming practices, local knowledge and regionally appropriate technology favored over biotech and industrial agriculture.

2009-05-26 |

Change in agriculture can meet food needs: IAASTD

Agricultural production will be increasingly constrained by the declining availability and degradation of water in the countries of Asia and the Pacific with implications for food production, says a report which puts development at heart of Asia-Pacific security.

2009-05-26 |

A problem with dirt

Science has provided the souped-up seeds to feed the world, through biotechnology and old-fashioned crossbreeding. Now the problem is the dirt they're planted in.

As seeds get better, much of the world's soil is getting worse and people are going hungry. Scientists say if they can get the world out of the economically triggered global food crisis, better dirt will be at the root of the solution.

2009-05-26 |

Small Can Be Beautiful

Is small the new big when it comes to agriculture in Southern Africa? As rising food prices place this sector firmly in the spotlight, there are compelling examples at hand to make the case for greater investment in small-scale farming.

2009-05-26 |

Agricultural revolution needed to end world hunger

It is the poorest people who are most in danger from increasing food prices, says chief scientist Robert Watson. Yet, with our knowledge and technology, we can drive the agricultural revolution needed to end world hunger.

2009-05-26 |

Rethinking Agriculture

Forget the 2008 food crisis. It is merely a distribution problem. The real tragedy is yet to come. Between nine and ten billion people will inhabit the world in less than 50 years, and they will have to nurture themselves from an increasingly exhausted planet. Global warming will have devastating effects on the soil’s ability to yield, the fight for fresh water will increase, less and less land will remain arable and biodiversity is dwindling at a rapid pace.

2009-05-26 |

Global crisis on our plate

According to 400 scientific experts who have spent the past four years probing the future on behalf of the World Bank and UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, agriculture is going to mean vastly more to civilisation than merely tucker on the table. The world's two billion farmers are the guardians of much of what is left of the natural landscape, holding in their hands the fate of thousands of threatened species as well as the world's remaining forests. Agriculture uses three-quarters of the world's fresh water. Its run-off has degraded Earth's main rivers, estuaries and even seas. It occupies 40 per cent of the world's free land surface. It is responsible for 30 per cent of global greenhouse emissions. And it represents seemingly intractable poverty, disadvantage and suffering. That is the true cost of the cheap food many of us still enjoy. For the time being.

2009-05-25 |

Agriculture at a Crossroads

Recent scientific assessments have alerted the world to the increasing size of agriculture’s footprint, including its contribution to climate change and degradation of natural resources. By some analyses, agriculture is the single largest threat to biodiversity. Agriculture requires more land, water, and human labor than any other industry. An estimated 75% of the world’s poor and hungry live in rural areas and depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. As grain commodity prices rise and per capita grain production stagnates, policy-makers are torn between allocating land to food or fuel needs.

2009-05-25 |

Report into global food production may draw flak from both sides of GM debate

After three years of work by over 400 scientists, members of 63 governments gathered to agree a report that could transform the agenda for global food production. But critics fear the report will not offer any robust argument for the use of genetically modified technology.

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