The most severe drought in decades, which has struck parts of Ethiopia and is exacerbated by a particularly strong El Niño effect, has led to successive failed harvests and widespread livestock deaths in some areas, and humanitarian needs have tripled since the beginning of 2015, the United Nations warns.
A model for fighting against hunger and malnutrition with a global reach which has been successful within and outside the region has spread worldwide, first from Brazil and then from Latin America, notes a distinction given to the current Director-General of FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation), José Graziano da Silva.
It may sound like an endless tale of modern seven plagues: mad cows, avian flu, led-poisoned fish, swine fever, desert locusts being the most dangerous of migratory pests, let alone new, aggressive rust threatening entire wheat crops in three continents, just to mention a few. Now it is about contaminated food that every year causes illness to 1 in 10 people around the world – or around 700 million - killing 420,000 people as a result.
In this village in southern Honduras, in one of the poorest parts of the country, access to credit is limited, the banking sector is not supportive of agriculture, and nature punishes with recurrent extreme droughts.
Wheat rust, a family of fungal diseases that can cause crop losses of up to 100 per cent in untreated susceptible wheat, is making further advances in Europe, Africa and Asia, according to two new studies produced by scientists in collaboration with the United Nations.
“You have to have good and varied seeds to test which one adapts best to each kind of soil,” says 71-year-old farmer Rubén Torres, who on his farm in central Cuba harvests 1.6 tons of organic beans every year, among other crops.
Discussions around climate change have largely ignored how men and women are affected by climate change differently, instead choosing to highlight the extreme and unpredictable weather patterns or decreases in agricultural productivity.
The facts are clear. So are the consequences. And the facts are that it takes between one and three tonnes of water to grow one kilogramme of cereal; that a kilogramme of beef takes up to 15 tonnes of water to produce; and that it is estimated that between 2,000 and 5,000 litres of water are needed to produce a person's daily food.
In Latin America and the Caribbean 360 million people are overweight, and 140 million are obese, warned the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Panamerican Health Organisation (PAHO).
While just eight individuals, all of them men, own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people -- half of world’s total population -- it will take 170 years for women to be paid the same as men, warns a new major report on inequality.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.