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

Mideast: Water Use Innovations ‘Crucial’ to Face Climate Change

In the Near East and North Africa region, the per capita renewable water availability is around 600 cubic metres per person per year --only 10 per cent of the world average- and drops to just 100 cubic metres in some countries, the United Nations warned.

Progress on World Hunger Has Reversed

World hunger has increased, reversing years of progress, said a UN specialised agency. During its biennial conference held in Rome, Italy from 3-8 July, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) noted that the world is facing it’s worst food crisis since World War II.

‘Address African Rural Youth Unemployment Now or They Will Migrate’

In 2014 alone, about 11 million young Africans entered the labour market. But many see few opportunities in the agriculture sector and are constrained by a lack of skills, low wages, and limited access to land and financial services. Combined, this makes them more prone to migrate from rural areas.

Any Way to Help Slow Down Climate Change… Individually?

It is no secret that the biggest responsible for climate change is greed. The greed of the world’s largest private corporations, which blindly seek unlimited high financial benefits. And the greed of those politicians who are also blindly keen about holding their temporary power at any cost, thus not daring to challenge big business. Ordinary people can meanwhile help slow down such a hellish race.

“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.

BRICS to Lead World’s Efforts to Eradicate Hunger, Poverty by 2030

With the clock ticking toward the 2030 deadline for meeting the international goals to eradicate hunger and poverty, five of the world's most important emerging economies are well positioned to take a leading role in helping to achieve these objectives, according to the United Nations.

Drought Pushes 1 in 3 Somalis to a Hunger Knife-Edge

Another famine in former European colonies in Africa and another time in its Eastern region, with Ethiopia and Somalia among the major victims of drought and made-made climate disasters mainly caused by US and European multinational business.

More Plastic than Fish or How Politicians Help Ocean Destruction

World’s oceans are dangerously exposed to at least three major threats: climate change; the sharp degradation of marine biodiversity, and politicians. These simply encourage the destruction of oceans by subsidising over-fishing and turning a blind eye on illegal captures. See what happens.

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.

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