Improving the lives of rural populations: better nutrition & agriculture productivity

Local Farmers and Consumers Create Short Food Supply Chains in Mexican Cities

Víctor Rodríguez arranges lettuce, broccoli, potatoes and herbs on a shelf with care, as he does every Sunday, preparing to serve the customers who are about to arrive at the Alternative Market of Bosque de Tlalpan, in the south of the Mexican capital.

East Africa’s Poor Rains: Hunger Worsened, Crops Scorched, Livestock Dead

Poor rains across East Africa have worsened hunger and left crops scorched, pastures dry and thousands of livestock dead, the United Nations food and agriculture agency has warned in a new alert.

Three-Zone Biosecurity Offers New Hope to Indonesian Farmers

Poultry farmer Bambang Sutrisno Setiawan had long heard about biosecurity but never gave serious thought to it, even when the highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 forced him to cull thousands of his layer chickens in 2003 and 2009.

“Black Soils” – Excessive Use of Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury…

Soils are polluted due mostly to human activities that leave excess chemicals in soils used to grow food, the United Nations reports.

The World Is Burning

Record high temperatures are gripping much of the globe and more hot weather are to come. This implies more drought, more food insecurity, more famine and more massive human displacements.

Asia-Pacific: Farming Rice and Fish Together to Reduce Poverty

Rice is a major food commodity and staple food for many, and adding fish to flooded rice paddies has been a farming tradition practiced in a number of Asian countries for many centuries—even for more than 1000 years in some Chinese areas, the United Nations reports.

Latin America’s Rural Exodus Undermines Food Security

In Latin America and the Caribbean, which account for 12 per cent of the planet’s arable land, and one-third of its fresh water reserves, a number of factors contribute to soil degradation and to a rural exodus that compromises food security in a not-so-unlikely future.

Solar Tents Improve Nutrition in Highlands Villages in Bolivia

In this remote highlands valley community in central Bolivia, a group of Quechua indigenous women have learned how to combat the intense frosts and the shortage of water in solar tents, and to use what they grow to prepare nutritious new meals for their families.

Women Small-Holder Farmers, Key Drivers for Sustainable Production

The shouts can be heard from a distance as one approaches Domboshawa, 30 kilometres northeast of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

Brazil Drives New School Feeding Model in the Region

“I am going back to Panama with many ideas,” said Gilda Montenegro, a nutritionist with the Panamanian Education Ministry, after getting to know the school feeding system in the city of Vitoria, in central-eastern Brazil.

Formalising Informal Trade – Good for African Women?

Women constitute the largest share of informal traders in Africa–about 70 per cent in Southern Africa and more than half in other parts of this vast continent made up of 54 states, home to over 1,200 billion people.

Q&A: “It’s a Crime” that 35 Million Latin Americans Still Suffer from Hunger

The fight against hunger has been “remarkably successful” in Latin America and the Caribbean, but “it is a crime” that 35 million people still go to bed hungry every day, FAO regional representative Julio Berdegué told IPS.

Agony of Mother Earth (II) World’s Forests Depleted for Fuel

Humankind is the biggest ever predator of natural resources. Just take the case of forests, the real lungs of Mother Earth, and learn that every 60 seconds humans cut down 15 hectares of trees primarily for food or energy production. And that as much as 45,000 hectares of rainforest are cleared for every million kilos of beef exported from South America.

Agony of Mother Earth (I) The Unstoppable Destruction of Forests

The world’s forests are being degraded and lost at a staggering rate of 3.3 million hectares per year. While their steady destruction in many Asian countries continues apace, deforestation of the world's largest tropical forest - the Amazon - increased 29 per cent from last year’s numbers. And some of the most precious ecosystems in Africa are threatened by oil, gas and mineral exploration and exploitation.

Defence of Right to Water Drives Call for Land Reform in Chile

Water at high prices, sold as a market good, and small farmers almost a species in extinction, replaced by seasonal workers, are the visible effects of the crisis in rural Chile, 50 years after a land reform which postulated that “the land is for those who work it.”

Poor Rural Communities in Mexico Receive a Boost to Support Themselves

Jilder Morales, a small farmer in Mexico, looks proudly at the young avocado trees that are already over one metre high on her ejido - or communal - land, which already have small green fruit.

Who Are the Best ‘Eaters’ and How to Use Eggplants as a Toothbrush

The news is this: Japan is a global model for healthy diets and it currently has the lowest rate of obesity among developed countries--below four per cent. This is on the one hand. On the other, African eggplant gorongo is often used as toothbrush.

20 Million People Could ‘Starve to Death’ in Next Six Months

Urgent action is needed to save the lives of people facing famine in North Eastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, the UN leading food and agriculture agency’s chief on April 28 warned. "If nothing is done, some 20 million people could starve to death in the next six months."

Building resilient rural livelihoods is key to helping Yemen

People in Yemen are currently suffering from the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.More than 17 million people around Yemen’s rugged landscape are acutely food insecure, and the figure is likely to increase as the ongoing conflict continues to erode the ability to grow, import, distribute and pay for food. More than 7 million people are on the verge of famine, while the rest are marginally meeting the minimum day-to-day nutritional needs thanks to external humanitarian and livelihoods support. Large-scale famine is a real risk that will cast an awful shadow for generations to come.

Typical Cuban Sweet – a Symbol of the Post-Hurricane Challenge to Agriculture

Early in the day, when a gentle dew moistens the ground and vegetation in the mountains of eastern Cuba, street vendor Raulises Ramírez sets up his rustic stand next to the La Farola highway and displays his cone-shaped coconut sweets.

Did You Know that the Oceans Have It All?

Perhaps you are not aware enough of the fact the oceans have it all! What is “all”? Well, oceans have from microscopic life to the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth, from the colourless to the shimmering, from the frozen to the boiling and from the sunlit to the mysterious dark of the deepest parts of the planet. Who says that?

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