Food & Agriculture

It’s Time We Get Serious About Organic Farming

Conventional farming and food production practices in this country are creating serious environmental and public health problems. Every day, an industrial farming system spinning out of control confronts all Americans with serious challenges. Among these are the explosion in toxic algae blooms in sensitive waterways, cancer-causing pesticides on foods we feed our children, the rapid spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, and, of course, contaminated drinking water, all courtesy of corporate agribusiness.

Is Cash Aid to the Poor Wasted on Tobacco and Alcohol?

Not at all. Or at least not necessarily. The fact is that cash transfer programmes –regular money payments to poor households—are meant to reduce poverty, promote sustainable livelihoods and increase production in the developing world. One in four countries on Earth are applying them. But are they effective?

When Your Healers Become Your Killers

There is a major though silent global threat to human and animal health, with implications for both food safety and food security and the economic well-being of millions of farming households. It is so-called anti-microbial resistance.

Native Seeds Sustain Brazil’s Semi-Arid Northeast

In his 76 years of life, Raimundo Pinheiro de Melo has endured a number of droughts in Brazil’s semi-arid Northeast region. And he remembers every one of them since 1958.“The worst one was in 1982 and 1983, the only time that the river dried up,” said Pinheiro do Melo, who has lived near the river since 1962. “The one in 1993 was also very bad,” he told IPS, because neither Bolsa Familia nor Networking in Brazil’s Semi-Arid Region (ASA) existed yet, which contribute to a less traumatic coexistence with droughts like the current one, which has dragged on for five years.

Threat of Famine Looms in Yemen

Millions of Yemenis could soon face widespread famine if no action is taken to improve food access through humanitarian or trade means, an early warning system has said.

No More Mass Deaths from Drought in Northeast Brazil

The drought that has plagued Brazil’s semiarid Northeast region since 2012 is already more severe than the 1979-1983 drought, the longest in the 20th century. But prolonged dry spells no longer cause the tragedies of the past.

How the US Government Subsidizes Obesity

Until the turn of the century, the United States of America (US) was the country with the highest share of overweight and obese people. Soon after the former president of Coca-Cola Mexico became the new president of his country, Mexico overtook the US.

Quality Water for All a Life and Death Issue in Bangladesh

There is no exaggerating how crucial water is for human survival, particularly in countries like Bangladesh, which is crisscrossed by rivers. The level of water in a river here directly affects the lifestyles and livelihoods of the people living on its two sides, so much so that rivers and water bodies of varied sizes are an inseparable part of Bengali culture and heritage.

Bio-Product Targeting Deadly Toxin Holds Hope for Africa’s Food

As food contaminants, aflatoxins are amongst the deadliest. Between 2004 and 2007, contaminated maize killed nearly 200 people in Kenya, left hundreds hospitalised and rendered millions of bags of maize unfit for consumption.

Communications Key to Successful Development Projects

Pumping money into development projects and rolling them out without having a good communications policy in place makes it unlikely the programmes will achieve their desired goals, as communications is vital to connect with stakeholders.

Agroecology Booming in Argentina

Organic agriculture is rapidly expanding in Argentina, the leading agroecological producer in Latin America and second in the world after Australia, as part of a backlash against a model that has disappointed producers and is starting to worry consumers.

Climate Change Needn’t Spell Doom for Uganda’s Coffee Farmers

Coffee production provides a quarter of Uganda’s foreign exchange earnings and supports some 1.7 million smallholder farmers, but crop yields are being undermined by disease, pests and inadequate services from agricultural extension officers, as well as climatic changes in the East African country.

A Pivotal Moment for Biofortification

This year’s World Food Prize pays tribute to biofortification, an intervention that strengthens efforts to address one of the world’s most insidious and pervasive public health challenges—hidden hunger. That is good news for the majority of the two billion people globally who suffer from hidden hunger, and likewise for those fighting to end the epidemic.

Feminism Helps Villagers Coexist with Drought in Northeast Brazil

“The vegetable garden changed my life,” said Rita Alexandre da Silva, in the village of Primeiro do Maio where 65 families have obtained land to grow crops since 1999, in this municipality in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, in Northeast Brazil.

Food Insecurity: An Agent for Violent Conflict

Up to two billion people live in countries affected by violence, conflict and fragility. Often, such political instability goes hand in hand with food insecurity. “Conflicts have pushed over 56 million people either into crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity”, Kimberly Flowers, Director of the Global Food Security Project, said at this years’ John McGovern Lecture held at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The number continues to grow with the escalation of conflicts and violence in countries like Syria, Yemen or South Sudan.

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