Food & Agriculture

Innovation Offers Hope in Sri Lanka’s Poverty-Stricken North

In this dust bowl of a village deep inside Sri Lanka’s former conflict zone, locals will sometimes ask visitors to rub their palms on the ground and watch their skin immediately take on a dark bronze hue, proof of the fertility of the soil.

Dumping Ban Urged for Australia’s Iconic Reef

Increased effort is needed to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, which is in serious decline and will likely deteriorate further in the future, according to a new report.

War Veterans Planting for Peace in South Sudan

Along the fertile banks of sub-Saharan Africa’s White Nile, one of the two main tributaries of the Nile River, a war veteran’s co-op is planting for a food secure future in South Sudan, a country potentially facing famine.

Organic Farming Taking Off in Poland … Slowly

Polish farmer Slawek Dobrodziej has probably the world’s strangest triathlon training regime: he swims across the lake at the back of his house, then runs across his some 11 hectares of land to check the state of the crops, and at the end of the day bikes close to 40 kilometres to and back from a nearby town for some shopping.

Zambia’s Cash Transfer Schemes Cushion Needy Against Climate Shocks

“Last season, I lost an entire hectare of groundnuts because of a prolonged drought. Groundnuts are my hope for income,” says Josephine Chaaba, 60, from Pemba district in southern Zambia.

U.S., Brazil Nearing Approval of Genetically Engineered Trees

The U.S. and Brazilian governments are moving into the final stages of weighing approval for the commercialisation of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, moves that would mark the first such permits anywhere in the world.

India: Home to One in Three Child Brides

Basanti Rani*, a 33-year-old farmers’ wife from the northern Indian state of Haryana, recently withdrew her 15-year-old daughter Paru from school in order to marry her off to a 40-year-old man.

TNT and Scrap Metal Eviscerate Syria’s Industrial Capital

Numerous mechanics, tyre and car body shops used to line the busy streets near the Old City of Syria’s previous industrial and commercial hub.

Can Land Rights and Education Save an Ancient Indian Tribe?

Scattered across 31 remote hilltop villages on a mountain range that towers 1,500 to 4,000 feet above sea level, in the Malkangiri district of India’s eastern Odisha state, the Upper Bonda people are considered one of this country’s most ancient tribes, having barely altered their lifestyle in over a thousand years.

Island States to Rally Donors at Samoa Meet

Amid accelerating climate change and other challenges, a major international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month represents a key chance for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean to turn the tide.

Does Iceland Gain From Whaling?

Although fin whaling by Icelanders has encountered increasing opposition over the last year, Icelandic whaling boats headed off to sea again in mid-June for the first hunt of the summer and by August 14 had killed 80 fin whales.

Protecting America’s Underwater Serengeti

U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed to more than double the world’s no-fishing areas to protect what some call America’s underwater Serengeti, a series of California-sized swaths of Pacific Ocean where 1,000-pound marlin cruise by 30-foot-wide manta rays around underwater mountains filled with rare or unique species.

U.S. Waives Sanctions on Myanmar Timber

Civil society groups are split over a decision by the U.S. government to waive sanctions on Myanmar’s timber sector for one year.

South Sudan Heads towards Famine Amid ‘Descent into Lawlessness’

Another deadline has passed. But instead of bringing about peace, the leaders of South Sudan’s warring parties have allowed the country to continue its slide toward famine.

Adaptation Gaps Mean African Farmers Fork Out More Money for Reduced Harvests

In Cameroon's Northwest Region, Judith Muma walks 9km from her home to her 300-square-metre farm. The vegetables she grows here are flourishing thanks to the money she has borrowed from her njangi (thrift group) and a local credit union to finance a small artisanal irrigation scheme.

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