Food & Agriculture

Coordinated Global Action Is the Best Way to Control the Fall Armyworm Pest

Dealing with transboundary pests is tricky at the best of times. Standards, practices, capacity levels and engagement vary across countries and regions, and responses are often ad hoc and ineffective. However, matters become even more complex when the pest in question flies over borders, threatens the food security and livelihoods of millions, and causes severe environmental and economic damage along the way. Fall Armyworm is such a pest.

Fostering Sustainable Urbanization and Rural-Urban Linkages

As urbanization continues apace, coupled with rapid population growth and rural to urban migration, the challenges for inclusive rural transformation continue, and the importance of fostering improved rural-urban linkages for better food systems becomes increasingly important.. According to the UN, by 2050 some 66% of the world’s population of 9 billion is expected to live in urban areas. Such rapid urbanization is increasingly shaping the rural space and rural livelihoods (through markets, demand for agricultural goods and labour, migration, and through the provision of services to rural areas). It is therefore critical for the increasing emphasis on urban development to take into account the importance of rural development.

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.

Sustainable Fisheries are Key in Addressing Food Security — and Women can Play an Important Role

Experts gathered in November to discuss the importance of sustainable fisheries and its role in eradicating world hunger at a fisheries symposium in Rome.

Indigenous Knowledge, a Lesson for a Sustainable Food Future

Local knowledge systems rooted in traditional practices and culture passed down generations provide sustainable solutions to food and nutritional insecurity on the back of climate change, a conference heard this week.

Fixing the Business of Food

Milan is the city where Leonardo da Vinci painted his iconic Last Supper. Frozen in time is the moment Christ told his disciples there was a traitor among them. Visitors to the painting can examine the expressions on the faces of the disciples and look the food they might have eaten – the bread and wine, and of course the spilt salt. As one delegate to the 10th International Forum on Food and Nutrition noted, the diet did not seem varied or healthy.

Zimbabwe Food Crisis: Time to Act Is Now, Says UN Special Rapporteur

Global food systems are ripe for transformation if people are to be nourished and the planet sustainable, says Hilal Elver, Special Rapporteur of the Right to Food of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Tradition and Technology Take Centre Stage at BCFN Food Forum

A coffee producer will receive a cent and a half from a $2.50 cup of coffee. This one stark fact stood out as scientists, researchers, activists and grappled with solutions for change in food and nutrition practises, which would benefit the greater community.

What Do We Want from Our Oceans?

This is a question we need to ask ourselves but before answering we need to acknowledge the diversity of expectations and aspirations that we all have for oceans, which cover more than two-thirds of the planet’s surface.

Government of Russia announces food aid for Kenya

The Government of Russia has announced a voluntary contribution of 1 million US Dollars to the World Food Programme of the United Nations for food assistance to Kenya. WFP will coordinate with the Kenyan authorities the distribution of food supplies to reach families most in need of assistance.

Biofortified Food, a Business Boost for Smallholder Farmers

A start-up in Zimbabwe is producing high nutrition foods using biofortified crops in a bid to fight micronutrient deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) leads to night blindness, illness and death from childhood infections. In Zimbabwe, 36 percent of children under five years of age suffer from Vitamin A deficiency, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Care for Economic Development, Then Care for Food Nutrition, Food Researcher Tells Africa’s Politicians

More than 2 billion people in the world are suffering from malnutrition. This is the result of diets lacking essential micronutrients such as vitamins, iron and zinc, which are vital for the body to function, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Water Is Worth More than Milk in Extrema, Brazil

"They called me crazy" for fencing in the area where the cows went to drink water, said Elias Cardoso, on his 67-hectare farm in Extrema, a municipality 110 km from São Paulo, Brazil's largest metropolis.

Running from the Storm – How Bangladesh’s Climate Migrants are Becoming Food Secure

It was almost a decade ago when Ruma Begum and her family left their home in Bangladesh’s coastal Tazumuddin upazila or sub-district and travelled some 50 km away to start a new life. They had been driven out of their home by an extreme and changing climate that has continued to ravage the district of Bhola.

Social Protection Necessary to Quickly End Poverty, Hunger

Historically, most social security systems have developed in the formal sector of rich economies. However, most of the poor and hungry in the world live in rural areas, surviving in the informal economy.

A 650 Million Dollar Pledge Aimed at Eradicating Extreme Hunger by 2030

When a coalition of international donors pledged more than $650 million to provide assistance to over 300 million smallholder farmers in developing countries, the primary aim was to help increase agricultural and livestock production besieged by droughts, floods and other natural disasters triggered by climate change-- mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Evo Morales: Hero or Villain?

To be president in a country like Bolivia might be like a precarious act performed by a tightrope-dancer between “the Devil and the deep blue sea”. After 23 years as Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales finally lost his foothold and ended up as political refugee in Mexico, adding his name to a long list of previous revolutionary exiles, like Augusto Sandino, Fidel Castro, and most prominently – Leon Trotsky. The last one was murdered, though the others came back, something Evo Morales has promised to do:

Winning the ‘No Food Loss’ Battle: The Case of Japan

Humankind since almost the time that there is recorded history has grappled with the question of ‘how many is too many?’ The response is expectedly complex as it varies across time and space. The pace of population growth was slow till about approximately 250 years or so. It is only since the middle of the eighteenth century that there has been a palpable acceleration in population growth.

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.

The Global Economy of Pulses: Impressive Gains and the Way Forward

Pulses are highly nutritious and their consumption is associated with many health benefits. They are rich in proteins and minerals, high in fibre and have a low fat content. Pulses are produced by plants of the Leguminosae family. These plants have root nodules that absorb inert nitrogen from soil air and convert it into biologically useful ammonia, a process referred to as biological nitrogen fixation. Consequently, the pulse crops do not need any additional nitrogen as fertilizer and help reduce the requirement of fossil fuel-based chemical nitrogen fertilization for other crops. Expansion of pulse production, therefore, can play a vital role in mitigating the effects of climate change.

Will Artificial Intelligence Help Resolve the Food Crisis?

When UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made a global appeal for “zero hunger” on World Food Day last month, he provided some grim statistics rich in irony: more than 820 million people do not have enough to eat, he said, while two billion people are overweight or obese.

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