Food & Agriculture

Mars Latest to Announce “No Deforestation” Palm Oil Pledge

The multinational food giant Mars, Inc. unveiled Monday a new set of guidelines aimed at ensuring that its palm oil supply lines are completely traceable and sustainable by next year.

Sun Shines on Forest Women

Chintapakka Jambulamma, 34, looks admiringly at a solar dryer. It’s the prized possession of the Advitalli Tribal Women’s Co-operative Society- a collective of women entrepreneurs that she leads.

U.S. Plans to Speed Poultry Slaughtering, Cut Inspections

The U.S. government is in the final stages of weighing approval for an overhaul of regulations governing the country’s poultry industry that would see processing speeds increase substantially even while responsibility for oversight would be largely given over to plant employees.

Untimely Rains Hit Cuban Tobacco Harvest

Near the close of the harvest , local people in the Cuban municipality of San Juan y Martínez, which boasts the finest tobacco plantations in the world, are seeing their hopes of a plentiful season dashed by unexpected winter rains.

Costa Rican Farmers Become Climate Change Acrobats

José Alberto Chacón traverses the winding path across his small farm on the slopes of the Irazú volcano, in Costa Rica, which meanders because he has designed it to prevent rain from washing away nutrients from the soil.

Water, Water, Everywhere: To Green our Deserts

Providing water for our still growing human population is reaching crisis levels. Water is vital for agriculture, energy production and industrial processes worldwide. Floods and droughts in Asia, Latin America, Europe and the United States accompanied unprecedented typhoons and winter storms. While none could be linked directly to climate change, the debate surfaced. Mainstream media started covering these issues more broadly.

U.S. Farmers Report Widespread GM Crop Contamination

A third of U.S. organic farmers have experienced problems in their fields due to the nearby use of genetically modified crops, and over half of those growers have had loads of grain rejected because of unwitting GMO contamination.

Vegetable Gardens Ease Poverty in El Salvador

Vegetable growing is flourishing in Cuscatlán, the smallest department in the tiny country of El Salvador, with the help of a national programme to promote family agriculture and lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty.

Arab NGOs Warn IMF Against Sharp Cuts to Subsidies

Civil society activists from five Arab countries are urging the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ease pressure on their governments to reduce food and fuel subsidies until stronger social-protection schemes and other basic reforms are implemented.

Predatory Lionfish Decimating Caribbean Reefs

The lionfish, with its striking russet and white stripes and huge venomous outrigger fins, wasn’t hard to spot under a coral reef in 15 feet of clear water. Nor was it a challenge to spear it.

Shifting Rainy Season Wreaks Havoc on Barbuda’s Crops

Water rationing has become a way of life for the 1,800 residents of the tiny island of Barbuda, which has been experiencing prolonged dry periods, especially in the Highlands area near the main agricultural lands.

Ghana’s Small Women’s Savings Groups Have Big Impact

Dunwaa Soayare, 45, a smallholder farmer, widow and mother of five had the sort of economic profile that meant she was denied access to credit from Ghana’s mainstream banking institutions.

Sri Lanka Feels the Heat

Sri Lanka is heading into a major crisis under extreme heat, as the rains stay away. Fears are growing of power cuts and interruption to the water supply because reservoir levels are running scarily low.

Indoor Mini-Farms to Beat Climate Change

Industrial engineer Ancel Bhagwandeen thinks that growing your food indoors is a great way to protect crops from the stresses of climate change. So he developed a hydroponic system that “leverages the nanoclimates in houses so that the house effectively protects the produce the same way it protects us,” he says.

North Korea Doing Fine Without the South

If the North Korea of the 1990s was seen as a starving nation that produced an exodus of hungry people, then the picture should be even gloomier now – six years after it stopped receiving South Korea’s generous aid. But it’s not. The nation of 24 million people, widely said to be the most secretive in the world and a nuclear threat, appears to have weathered the years well.

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