Food & Agriculture

Rural Costa Rican Families Flourish in the Shade

Before they got involved in farming, Luis Diego Murillo and Xinia Solano paid their bills and put food on their table with Luis’s salary as a foreman on construction sites, an unstable job that kept him on the move.

Fat’s Heavy Burden on the World Economy

About 2.1 billion people are regarded as overweight or obese today, or almost thirty per cent of the world’s population. With over 800 million people estimated to be chronically hungry in the world, it appears that the number of overweight is more than 2.5 times the number of undernourished.

Rural Community Fights a Second Dam and a New Expropriation of Land

In 1976, the construction of a hydroelectric dam destroyed farmland in the rural municipality of Chicoasén in southern Mexico. Forty years later, part of the local population is fighting a second dam, which would deprive them of more land.

African Staple Plantains at Risk of Same Diseases as Bananas

Anna Gamusi, has been growing ‘matooke’ - plantains - for over 20 years. She originally learnt how to grow them in her home village of Busolwe in Eastern Uganda, but says that they are no longer grown there.

Public Primary Boarding Schools in Pastoral Communities

Jonathan Tipapa is a nine year-old boy whose daily journey to and from school exposes him to many dangers that have seen him come close to dropping out of school -- like many of his friends who can be seen running after cows even on school days. He attends Enkutoto primary school in the expansive Narok South Constituency in the Rift Valley region, approximately 70 miles from the capital Nairobi.

Tanzania Farmers, Pastoralists Launch Forum to Resolve Water Conflicts

At a remote village of Itunundu in Iringa, farmers and pastoralists recently met to discuss the best way to share land resources while charting out a strategy to prevent unnecessary fights among themselves. No one in the village ever imagined that this meeting would ever take place as the two groups had for long considered themselves enemies: they often clashed for water and pastures to feed their animals thus causing deaths and loss of property.

Asian Scientists Grapple with How to Foster Crop Pollination

Pollinators, whose role is essential in a third of what the world eats, are at center stage after a landmark new United Nations report warned that many of the 20,000 species are threatened by human behaviour.

World’s Rural Poor Need Social Protection, Says UN

The success of the UN’s post-2015 development agenda is predicated on one underlying theme: no one should be left behind – and certainly not the world’s rural poor --in the fight to eradicate hunger and poverty by 2030.

Groundwater Governance in Andhra Pradesh

India is the largest user of ground water in the world. But reliance of this overexploited resource has reached its limits in many parts of the country. Nowhere is this more evident than in the drought-prone districts of Rayalseema, uplands of Prakasam, Krishna, East-West Godavari, parts of Nellore, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in the state of Andhra Pradesh (AP). Forty per cent of the state’s irrigation needs are met through groundwater. In the drought-prone Rayalseema region – which comprises Chittoor, Anantapur, Kurnool, Prakasam and Kadapa districts -- dependence on groundwater for irrigation is particularly high. The water crisis is also most severe in this region.

Mexico’s Chinampas – Wetlands Turned into Gardens – Fight Extinction

David Jiménez grows two kinds of lettuce and other fresh produce on his “chinampa” or artificial island just under one hectare in size in San Gregorio Atlapulco, on the south side of Mexico City.

UNDP Pledges to Help Eradicate Poverty, Hunger By 2030

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) celebrated its 50th anniversary this week with a pledge to help implement the UN’s post-2015 development agenda aimed at eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030.When the agency was founded in 1966, one in every three people was living in poverty. But that number has changed to one in eight, according to UNDP figures.

Fall in Commodity Prices Rings Alarm Bells in Papua New Guinea

Resource-rich Papua New Guinea (PNG) is seen as an economic powerhouse in the Pacific Islands with a state-led focus on resource extraction initially expected to drive one of the world’s highest growth rates of 15 per cent last year. But in the wake of falling commodity prices, GDP growth has plummeted from 8.5 per cent in 2014 to a forecasted 3 per cent this year. As the government faces a growing deficit between revenue and expenditure, exacerbated by high public debt, experts in the country believe greater efforts to diversify the economy are essential.

Groundwater Crisis Worsens Food Insecurity

Sijabuliso Nleya has been kept busy in the past few weeks digging up sand. He is not a sand poacher like scores of people who local district councils across the country say are digging along dry river beds for sand used in the construction of houses. "The situation is terrible," said Nleya, who owns a plot in Douglasdale, a small farming community on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

UNDP at 50 Seeks Broad Coalition Targeting Sustainable Development

Fifty years ago, one in every three people around the world was living in poverty. It was against that backdrop that the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, was founded in 1966.Ever since, UNDP has been a leader in working for a more fair and prosperous world for all. We have worked with governments, civil society, the private sector, and philanthropy to empower people and build resilient nations.

Uneducated Women Entrepreneurs Defeat Poverty

Maryam Yousuf, 50, gently washes her hands under a common tap outside her house in Saida Kadal, a grassy middle-class locale encircled by the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar, Kashmir’s capital. She puts on a Pheran, the traditional long loose gown, and holding a large steel bucket walks towards a dimly-lit cowshed, made up of wooden shingles, in a corner of her home backyard. Nearby, children are playing cricket, flaunting wooden sticks as bats, and a flock of chicken cluck and nibble at left-over vegetables.

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