“The Perfect Storm” was a dire prediction that by 2030 food shortages, scarce water and insufficient energy resources together with climate change would threaten to unleash public unrest, cross-border conflicts and mass migration from worst-affected regions.
At every conference she has attended on the youth, Nawsheen Hosenally has been frustrated to hear that agriculture is not ‘cool’. The 29-year-old graduate in agricultural extension and information systems knew she wanted to do something to redeem the image of agriculture among young people.
“This season, the month of May was particularly hot and dry,” says Leo De Jong, a commercial farmer in Zeewolde, in Flevopolder, the Netherlands. Flevopolder is in the province of Flevoland, the largest site of land reclamation in the world. Here a hectare of land costs up to 100,000 Euros. “At the moment, we are spending between 20,000 and 25,000 Euros per week on irrigation.”
In 2015 the international community took some huge strides forward on a number of vital issues.
There was the agreement on the United Nations new Sustainable Development Goals.
World Trade Organization (WTO) members concluded the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on 19 December by securing an historic agreement on a series of trade initiatives. The “Nairobi Package” pays fitting tribute to the Conference host, Kenya, by delivering commitments that will benefit in particular the organization’s poorest members.
Successive poor harvests have diminished Ndodana Makhalima's household food stocks and the family’s nutrition status.
A subsistence farmer in Lupane, about 110 kilometres north of Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo, 56 year-old Makhalima has learnt to live with hunger on his door step.
The US once led the post-war global effort against hunger and food insecurity, but corporate influence on government trade negotiators now seek to prevent other countries from using some of the very measures it pioneered.
When Dr. Evelyn Nguleka says that the world’s people shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them, she explains that she’s not only referring to protecting farmers, but also to safeguarding the environment.
“If you look at the submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs, the national commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030) by over 150 countries, most have announced mitigation-centric targets, whereas climate change is also about adaptation. India is among the few that has given a comprehensive INDC,” Ashok Lavasa, a key official of India’s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and part of its COP21 team at Paris, told IPS.
Recognizing that agriculture plays a significant role in global warming, farmer associations say they want to offer solutions, and they’re urging governments to include them in negotiations during the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris.
Are you young, energetic, creative, ambitious and need a job? Africa's agriculture sector needs you!
Finding a way to allow youth to contribute their natural and ample energies to productive causes is increasingly the touchstone issue that will determine future prosperity.
Times are a-changing for Bihar, a state popularly described as a state of mind. The recent elections have brought back Nitish Kumar as the chief minister for the fifth time. Since his first innings as a developmental CM from 2005, he has transformed Bihar from being an archetype of India’s backwardness to one of its fastest growing states. Besides improving governance, he has also politically empowered women in that benighted state. Not surprisingly, the women’s vote was decisive for his electoral success. He now has the historic opportunity to shift gears towards sustainable gender-based development.
Climate change represents a clear and growing threat to food security in the Caribbean with differing rainfall patterns, water scarcity, heat stress and increased climatic variability making it difficult for farmers to meet demand for crops and livestock.
Some 135 million people could be displaced by 2045 as a result of land desertification, according to a recent UK ministry of defence report
. This figure could rise to 200 million who are displaced by other climate change impacts like natural disasters by 2050, said British environment refugee specialist Norman Myers.
Last season, Mollene Kachambwa lost a tonne of the 5 tonnes of maize the family harvested to weevils and fungi.
Twice a week, 20-year-old Kulsum Begam, a young mother of two, spends over three hours gossiping with the neighbours.
Tammy Brehio stood on the back balcony of her home in Kihei on the island of Maui and pointed to a brown field a few hundred yards away.
My friend Kofi Boa is a Ghanaian agronomist who is probably the biggest advocate for conservation farming in Africa. For decades, Kofi has taught farmers how to increase their yields using no-till, cover crops and other techniques.
Slums are a curse and blessing in fast urbanising Africa. They have challenged Africa's progress towards better living and working spaces but they also provide shelter for the swelling populations seeking a life in cities.
There is a scramble for unoccupied land in Africa, but this time it is not British, Portuguese, French or other colonialists racing to occupy the continent’s vacant land – it is the continent’s urban dwellers fast turning to urban farming amid the rampant food shortages that have not spared them.