Food & Agriculture

Latin America Makes Headway Against Land Degradation

Two-thirds of the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have already submitted or are preparing to submit to the United Nations their land degradation goals, to combat a problem that threatens agriculture and the lives of their people.

Women on the Front Lines of Halting Deforestation

In Zimbabwe, the bulk of rural communities and urban poor still get their energy supplies from the forests, leading to deforestation and land degradation.

Renewed Partnership to End Hunger in Africa by 2025

After a period of prolonged decline, world hunger is on the rise. Africa has the highest rates of hunger in the world, and they are increasing. Agricultural and livestock productivity in Africa is under threat. This is largely due to conflict and climate change.

Biodiversity and Food Security: the Dual Focus of the World Potato Congress

Potatoes were first taken out of Peru, where they originated, 458 years ago to feed the world. Half a millennium later, potatoes have spread throughout the planet but there are challenges to preserve the crop’s biodiversity as a source of food security, as well as the rights of the peasants who sustain this legacy for humanity.

Can Drought Be Prevented? Slovakia Aims to Try

A landmark programme to combat drought set to be implemented in the small Central European country of Slovakia could be an inspiration for other states as extreme weather events become more frequent, the environmental action group behind the plan has said.

Argentina’s Law on Forests Is Good, But Lacks Enforcement

Never in the parliamentary history of Argentina had something similar happened: one and a half million people in 2007 signed a petition asking the Senate to pass a law to reduce deforestation. The law was quickly approved, and promulgated on Dec. 26 of that year. But 10 years later, it has left a bittersweet taste.

Expansion of Soy Resurrects Key Railway Line in Brazil

The railroad can contribute to the economy, making transportation cheaper, but it is unlikely to foment equitable development in and of itself, apart from facing complex construction obstacles in countries like Brazil.

From Seedling to Shade: Planting Trees in South Sudan’s Displacement Sites

With sweltering heat — temperatures often over 40 degrees Celsius — and either extreme humidity or dust, life in the UN protection of civilians (PoC) site in Bentiu, South Sudan, is harsh by any measure. Bentiu hosts the largest PoC site in the country, with a population of more than 112,000 people, many of whom have been seeking protection in the site since the conflict erupted in December 2013.

Silent Engines Behind Agriculture

Year 2017 ended up with a huge loss of yield in rice cultivation when compared with the last few years. On one hand the reason was the heavy floods which occurred in agricultural areas. Another reason is the restrictions on the herbicides, pesticides and agricultural fertilizers that enhance the yield, as the farmers claim. So farmers are questioning on the big issue in using herbicides and other chemicals but majority of people don't know about the microorganisms who live in soil and within the plant playing a silent,yet a critical role in the development of plants and ultimately on the whole agricultural world.

The Data Revolution Should Not Leave Women and Girls Behind

If there is one political principle that has been constant throughout the history of human civilization it is the fact that land is power. This is something that is particularly true, and often painfully so, for women who farm in Africa.

Policy Support Gap for “Climate-Smart” Agriculture

Conditioned that ploughing is the sure way to produce crops, Zimbabwean farmer Handrixious Zvomarima surprised himself by trying a different method. He planted cowpea seeds directly without tilling the land. It worked.

Tourism Should Be Regulated, Before It Is Too Late…

This year, we will have 3 million tourists each day wandering the world. This massive phenomenon is without precedent in human history and is happening (as usual), with only one consideration in mind: money. We should pause and take a look at its social, cultural and environmental impact and take remedial measures, because they are becoming seriously negative if things are left as they are.

Disasters Bring Upheaval to Sri Lanka’s Rural Economy

Last year was an annus horribilis for 52-year-old Newton Gunathileka. A paddy smallholder from Sri Lanka’s northwestern Puttalam District, 2017 saw Gunathileka abandon his two acres of paddy for the first time in over three and half decades, leaving his family almost destitute.

Marooned in Bangladesh, Rohingya Face Uncertain Future

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee women from Myanmar are currently living in the cramped camps along Bangladesh Myanmar border. Victims of sexual and physical violence in the Rakhine state, women have been disproportionately affected by this crisis and these women’s perils are far from over in the host country as they continue to face multifaceted challenges.

Nowhere to Hide from Climate Change

The water is nibbling away the beaches of Fiji. Not even the dead are allowed peace of mind. The graveyard of Togoru - a village on the largest island of Fiji - has been submerged. The waves are sloshing softly against the tilted tombstones covered with barnacles. The names have become illegible, erased by the sea.

Central America Weakens Forest Shield Against Future Droughts

Jazziel Baca lives in the municipality of Esquías, in western Honduras, one of the areas hardest hit by the southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis), which damaged almost 500,000 hectares of forest in that Central American country between 2013 and 2015.

Production Diversity, Diet Diversity and Nutrition in Sub -Saharan Africa

Lack of diet diversity is viewed as the major cause of micronutrient malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa. Imbalanced diets resulting from consumption of mainly high carbohydrate based-diets also contribute to productivity losses and reduced educational attainment and income. Consequently, micronutrient malnutrition is currently the most critical for food and nutritional security problem as most diets are often deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. In Tanzania, for example, most rural and urban households consume mainly staples as their main food, which are high in carbohydrates, but low in micronutrients and vitamins. Staple food items increase energy availability but do not improve nutritional outcomes if not consumed together with micro-nutrient rich foods.

Long Maligned for Deforestation, Charcoal Emerges from the Shadows

“We have various financial obligations that push us to charcoal making. Top on the list is farming inputs and school fees,” explains Arclay Moonga, a charcoal producer and chairperson of the recently formed Choma District Charcoal Association in Southern Zambia.

Climate Change Threatens Mexican Agriculture

Azael Meléndez recalls the tornado that in May 2015 struck his hometown of San Gregorio Atlapulco, in Xochimilco, on the outskirts of Mexico City.

The Protracted Refugee and Migrant Crisis: A Challenge to Multilateralism

It is an incontrovertible fact that more people are on the move owing to globalization. Fifteen percent of the world’s population are on the move worldwide. In other words, of the world population of 7 billion, one billion are on the move. Seven hundred and forty million people are referred to as internal or as domestic migrants within their countries of origin. The number of internally displaced persons reaches about 60 million. On top of this, the world has more than 244 million international migrants who cross borders often into the unknown. Lastly, there are 22.5 million refugees – encompassing the 5.3 million Palestinian refugees – registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees who have been forced to flee their home societies as a result of violence and armed conflict. The first two decades of the 21st century will go down in history as the era in which the world has witnessed the most complex and massive movement of people since the end of the Second World War.

Global Initiative to Relieve Pressure on Mountains

International Mountain Day and the Mountain Partnership’s 15th anniversary coincided on December 11, kicking off a three-day Mountain Partnership Global Meeting at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.

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