When the Korean company Daewoo attempted to acquire half the arable land of Madagascar for free, it unleashed a tsunami of investor interest in agricultural land, popularised as the 'land grab'.
The last time there was mud on his village roads was about a year ago, says Murugesu Mohanabavan, a farmer from the village of Karachchi, situated about 300 km north of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to make a strong pitch to world political leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York on Sep. 23 to accept new emissions targets and their timelines.
Rural farming families in Samoa, a small island developing state in the central South Pacific Ocean, are reaping the rewards of supplying produce to the international organic market with the help of a local women’s business organisation.
Agriculture in Africa is in urgent need of investment. Nearly 550 million people there are dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods, while half of the total population on the continent live in rural areas.
Aleta Baun, an Indonesian environmental activist known in her community as Mama Aleta, has a penchant for wearing a colourful scarf on her head, but not for cosmetic reasons.
Bean grower Manuel Alvarado is part of the majority of producers in Mexico who consider it unnecessary to introduce genetically modified varieties of beans, as the government is promoting.
An estimated one billion small farmers scratching out a living growing diverse crops and raising animals in developing countries represent the key to maintaining food production in the face of hotter temperatures and drought, especially in the tropical regions, says Sarah Elton, author of the book, “Consumed: Food for a Finite Planet.”
“Things are getting worse and worse,” Enrique Muñoz, a 67-year-old farmer from the municipality of Cajamarca in the central Colombian department of Tolima, once known as the country’s breadbasket, said sadly.
Vegetable growing is flourishing in Cuscatlán, the smallest department in the tiny country of El Salvador, with the help of a national programme to promote family agriculture and lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty.
Tanzanian authorities are finding it increasingly difficult to deal with ongoing conflicts between farmers and pastoralists as they fight over limited land and water resources in this East African nation.
Valdenor de Melo has been waiting for 27 years for the land and cash compensation he is due because his old farm was left underwater when the Itaparica hydroelectric dam was built on the São Francisco river in Brazil’s semiarid Northeast.
Rodolfo Razão, an elderly small farmer in Mozambique, obtained an official land usage certificate for his 10 hectares in 2010, but he has only been able to use seven. The rest was occupied by a South African company that grows soy, maize and beans on some 10,000 hectares in the northeast of the country.
For more than 20 years, Anastasia Ngwakun from Bamunkumbit village in central Cameroon has been farming rice the hard way – using only hand tools. But Ngwakun knows that if she were a man, she would have access to the technology that would not require her to work so hard.
Gogo Munthali, from Rumphi, a village over 400 km north of Malawi’s capital Lilongwe, dissolves into tears every morning as she worries about what to feed her five orphaned grandchildren, the youngest of whom has full blown AIDS.