News

2017-02-22 |

EU rejects patents on conventionally bred plants and animals

VEg No patents on peppers, broccoli and tomatoes! (Photo: CC0)

The EU Member States have taken a stand against patents on conventionally bred plants and animals and the heavily criticised practice of the European Patent Office (EPO) of granting such patents. In its meeting on 20 February, the EU Competitiveness Council adopted conclusions which confirm that plants and animals from conventional breeding, unlike genetically engineered crops, are not patentable. The Council called on Member States to ensure that the EPO respects these conclusions. In recent years, the Munich-based EPO has repeatedly granted patents on plants and animals derived from conventional breeding, including patents on red peppers, melons, soybeans, broccoli and tomatoes. Most recently, the breweries Carlsberg and Heineken were granted three patents on barley plants, their usage in brewing as well as the beer produced by these methods.


According to European patent, plants and animals “obtained from essentially biological processes” are not patentable. However, EPO has a different interpretation. Its Enlarged Board of Appeal ruled in March 2015 on the precedent cases of broccoli and tomato, that even though essentially biological processes for the production of plants are not patentable, the resulting plant or fruit can be patented. In December 2015, the EU Parliament rejected this in a resolution approved with a huge majority. A notice adopted by the European Commission in November 2016 confirmed that plants and animals derived from conventional breeding are not patentable. The Council now backs these positions and reiterates that EU legislator’s intention when adopting the relevant directive on the legal protection of biotech inventions was to exclude from patentability products derived from conventional breeding.


The Council decision is the result of heavy protests from civil society against patents on plants and animals, especially from No Patents on Seeds!, an international coalition of several hundred organisations from all over Europe. “This is a huge success for all of the people who have been active against the monopolisation of seeds, agriculture and food. They have forced the political decision makers to finally take action,” said Katherine Dolan for Arche Noah, Austria. “But now we have to make sure that the governments practice what they preach and the loopholes are really closed to put a stop to all patents on conventional breeding.“ In June, the coalition had submitted more than 800.000 signatures against such patents to the EPO. The organisations warn that patents often cover the whole food chain from production to consumption, with food production becoming increasingly dependent on just a few big international companies. (ab)

2017-02-17 |

Organic is booming: 50.9 million hectares worldwide farmed organically

Orgnic The organic market is booming (Photo: CC0)

Organic farming continues to rise across the globe. A total of 50.9 million hectares were farmed organically at the end of 2015, representing a growth of almost 6.5 million hectares compared to the previous year. These are the latest figures of the statistical yearbook “The World of Organic Agriculture” published by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and IFOAM – Organics International. The study collects data on 179 countries reporting organic farming activities. Australia has the largest agricultural area farmed organically with 22.7 million hectares, followed by Argentina with 3.1 million hectares and the United States and Spain with both 2 million hectares. Around 12.7 million hectares or a quarter of organically farmed land is in Europe. The three countries with the largest share of organic farmland in the world are Liechtenstein (30.2%), Austria (21.3%) and Sweden (16.9%). But also Estonia, São Tomé e Príncipe, Switzerland, Latvia, the Falkland Islands, Italy and the Czech Republic rank among the countries with more than 10% of organic agricultural land.

According to the report, there were 2.4 million organic farmers in 2015. Around 35% of the world’s organic producers live in Asia, followed by Africa (30%) and Latin America (19%). As in previous years, the country with most organic producers was India (585,200), followed by Ethiopia (203,602) and Mexico (200,039). Consumer demand for organic products is also increasing across the globe. Global retail sales of organic food and drink reached 81.6 billion US dollars in 2015, up from 59.1 billion US dollars in 2010. The countries with the largest organic markets were the United States (35.9 billion euros), followed by Germany (8.6 billion euros), France (5.5 billion euros) and China (4.7 billion euros). The top buyers of organic food worldwide live in Switzerland. Swiss consumers spent 262 euros per person on organic products in 2015, 71 euros more than consumers in Denmark with 191 euros and people in Sweden with 177 euros.

FiBL said in a press release that it is encouraging to see that the area of organic farmland grew at a faster rate than it had in past years. However, the organic market still continues to grow faster than organic farmland. In Europe, the organic market increased by 13% in 2015, reaching almost 30 billion euros. “Organic production does not keep pace with demand,” said FiBL’s Matthias Stolze. “Countries should pursue a clear organic sector strategy [and] support shorter organic supply chains that provide environmental and social benefits,” he added. (ab)

2017-02-07 |

Herbicide-resistant superweeds on the rise in U.S. Midwest, university report

UBS Palmer Amaranth in the field (Photo: United Soybean Board, bit.ly/usbPa, bit.ly/ccby2_0)

The spread of multiple herbicide-resistant weeds across the Midwest of the United States has reached dramatic levels, according to the 2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic herbicide resistance report. For the report published in January, the scientists analysed samples from 10 states across the Midwest. In the 2016 planting season, 593 field samples representing approximately 2,000 waterhemp or palmer amaranth plants were tested for herbicide resistance. 76,8 per cent of these samples (456) were resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Around 62.5% of the weed samples (371) tested positive for a resistance to PPO inhibitors, herbicides which kill weeds by destroying cell membranes. Almost half of all samples (291) tested by the at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic showed resistance to both PPO inhibitor herbicides and glyphosate herbicides. “Fields with plants that are positive for both glyphosate and PPO inhibitor resistance are of particular concern, due to the limited possibilities for control of these weeds,” said plant diagnostic outreach Extension specialist Diane Plewa.

The majority of samples tested came from Illinois. Of the 378 samples, 74 per cent were resistant to glyphosate and 64.5 per cent to PPO inhibitors. 48 per cent were resistant to both glyphosate and PPO inhibitors. The scientists received samples from 52 counties in Illinois that had at least one sampled field with waterhemp or palmer amaranth plants that tested resistant to both glyphosate and PPO inhibitors. The researchers said that until the 2016 season, palmer amaranth in Illinois was not even known to be resistant to PPO inhibitors, but as the results show this is no longer the case.

Resistant weeds have become a major problem for farmers in the US. According to figures by the United States Department of Agriculture, 70 million acres of American farmland were infested with glyphosate resistant weeds in 2013, double the area in 2009. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), a US-based nonprofit science advocacy organization, says glyphosate-resistant weeds have arisen largely due to the overuse of this herbicide in fields of crops genetically engineered to resist it. When farmers use Roundup exclusively, resistance develops more quickly. The organisation says the widespread use of glyphosate also led to the neglect of other weed control measures, encouraging farmers to abandon a range of practices that had been part of their weed control strategy. UCS also blames an outdated system of farming called monoculture that relies on planting huge acreages of the same crop year after year. They say this system has provided especially good habitat for weeds and pests and accelerated the development of resistance.

UCS says there are solutions to avert the looming superweed crisis for farmers and the environment. “Farmers can control weeds using practices grounded in the science of agroecology, including crop rotation, cover crops, judicious tillage, the use of manure and compost instead of synthetic fertilizers, and taking advantage of the weed-suppressing chemicals that some crops produce,” they wrote in a policy brief in 2013. “Such practices have benefits beyond weed control: they increase soil fertility and water-holding capacity, reduce water pollution and global warming emissions, and make the farm and its surroundings more welcoming to pollinators and other beneficial organisms.” (ab)

2017-02-02 |

Climate change may cut some US crop harvests by half, study warns

Soja Higher temperatures, lower soybean yields (Photo: CC0, charlesricardo)

US crop harvests could suffer substantial yield losses due to climate change, new research shows. Without significant reductions in emissions, the production of some of the most important food crops could be reduced by up to 50 per cent by the end of the century, mostly caused by water stress. According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, maize yields in the US could fall by 49 per cent by 2100. Soybean yields could drop by 40 per cent, while wheat harvests could see a 20 per cent reduction. The research team, which includes scientists from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and the University of Chicago, developed a computer simulation of how crops responded to rising temperatures and then tested the results against observational data collected from US croplands. They used nine different crop models and showed that these models reproduces the observed average temperature responses of US maize, soybean and wheat yields. “We know from observations that high temperatures can harm crops, but now we have a much better understanding of the processes,” said PIK researcher Bernhard Schauberger, who led the study.

The scientists found that for each day above 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit), maize and soybean yields diminished by up to 6% under rainfed conditions. These losses do not even consider extremely high temperatures above 36°C, which are expected to lower yields further, the study says. This would not only have negative impacts for the US, one of the largest crop exporters. Yield losses in the world’s main bread baskets could also lead to higher world market crop prices, which is also negatively affecting food security in poor countries, the authors warn. The researchers identified water stress as the main reason for yield losses. “The losses got substantially reduced when we increased irrigation of fields in the simulation, so water stress resulting from temperature increase seems to be a bigger factor than the heat itself,” said co-author Joshua Elliott from the University of Chicago. They said crops respond to water stress by increased root growth at the expense of above-ground biomass, which means a reduction in yields. According to the scientists, increased irrigation could help to reduce the negative effects of global warming but this is possible only in regions where sufficient water is available. Since this is limited by the lack of water resources in many regions, limiting global warming by cutting emissions is needed to keep crop losses in check. (ab)

2017-01-31 |

Cut industrial meat and dairy production to save the climate, says GRAIN report

Cattle Factory farms are the problem, not small farmers and herders (Photo: CC0)

We can only solve the climate crisis if we cut industrial meat and dairy production and take meaningful steps towards agroecology and food sovereignty, says a new report released on Monday by the non-profit organisation GRAIN. Transformations over the past century in the way food is produced and consumed have made the food system a huge contributor to climate change, the report argues. Meat production alone now generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s transport combined. GRAIN cites official estimates according to which the food system is responsible for up to 30% of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). “Some of these emissions are due to the growth of packaged and frozen foods, the increased distance foods are shipped and the rise in food waste. But the most important source of food system-related GHG emissions is the escalation of meat and dairy consumption – made possible by the expansion of industrial livestock and chemical-intensive feed crops,” the report reads.


But GRAIN also underscores that not all meat and dairy is created equal. “It’s crucial to make a distinction between different systems,” GRAIN researcher Renee Vellve told telesur. “Large-scale, confined feedlot operations controlled by a handful of corporations spew massive greenhouse gases into the atmosphere – from feed production to enormous manure lagoons to long-distance transportation. Not to mention additional negative impacts on the environment, labor conditions and public health.” In most of the Global South, however, livestock is raised mainly by small farmers practising low-emissions, mixed farming, plus 200 million herders who often graze their animals in areas where crops cannot be grown. The report highlights that not only do these production and consumption systems contribute little to climate change, they also improve family nutrition, enhance livelihoods and are an integral part of cultural and religious traditions. If we want to take meaningful action to address climate change, we therefore need to limit the power of meat and dairy corporations and the rapid expansion of industrial livestock farming. According to GRAIN this requires changing the policies, like corporate subsidies and free trade agreements, that promote factory farming.


One measures is to revise dietary guidelines to officially call for a reduction in meat consumption. The report says the drive to cut meat and dairy consumption must, in the first place, be directed towards the big offenders: North America and Europe, plus a few countries in Latin America like Brazil. Another measure is to impose a tax on meat, especially beef, to raise the price of meat and dairy in a responsible way in order to decrease consumption, as in the case of sugar, fats, fizzy drinks and tobacco. Another reommendation outlined in the report is a “socially positive tax”, e.g. a differentiated tax only on industrial meat or a tax that is coupled with subsidies to make locally and sustainably produced meat and non-meat alternatives available and affordable, especially for people with low income. Also the enormous subsidies behind the meat and dairy industry need to be addressed, says the report. In 2013, OECD countries paid US$53 billion to livestock producers, with the EU paying US$731 million to its cattle industry alone. Finally, we urgently need to reverse the push for global meat and dairy “value chains” as enshrined in big trade agreements between major trading blocks.


Instead, small-scale, local and agroecological meat and dairy production and marketing should be supported. The conclusion of the report is that “we can only solve the climate crisis if we take meaningful steps towards agroecology and food sovereignty. This would not only help stabilise our climate in a significant way, it would feed people better, healthier food, and treat animals more humanely. Moving from industrial production to agroecology will let farmers, pastoralists and ranchers capture carbon back into mistreated soils and improve food production over the long term.” (ab)

2017-01-24 |

‘We are fed up!’: 18,000 take to Berlin’s streets for a better agricultural policy

Demo 18,000 take to Berlin’s streets (Photo: www.wir-haben-es-satt.de/ Die Auslöser Berlin)

Over 18,000 people took to the streets of Berlin last Saturday, 21 January, to demonstrate for healthy food, more ecological farming and fair trade. Farmers, consumers, beekeepers and food activists joined the march that was led by 130 tractors and ended in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Equipped with colourful posters and creative costumes, they walked under this year’s motto “Agri businesses: Take your hands off our food”. Many dressed up as cows, chickens or butterflies, buzzed across the city as bees or pushed along artwork such as an outsized bottle of glyphosate or an enormous pig. Farmers from all across Germany had travelled for many hours by tractor to take part in the march. The event was organised by a broad alliance of more than 100 farmers’, environmental, animal welfare and development organisations, known as “Wir haben es satt!” (we are fed up). It was the seventh year in a row that the protesters demand a fundamental chance of course in agriculture during the International Green Week – Europe’s biggest agricultural fair that takes places in Berlin at the moment. Many participants expressed their concern about the Monsanto-Bayer merger and other deals such as DuPont’s proposed merger with Dow and the ChemChina-Syngenta deal. They fear that these deals will lead to a further concentration of the seed market and increased corporate control of the food system. If these mergers all go through, the three biggest agribusiness companies would control more than 60 percent of the world’s patented seeds. The march also targeted free trade agreements such as the EU-Canada international trade deal CETA, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States as well as EPAs with African countries. The organisations behind the march warn that these deals pose a threat to small-scale sustainable farming and consumer protection. According to the alliance, these deals will cause harmful dumping that destroys domestic markets in poor countries and will lead to even greater export dependency for European farmers. (ab)

2017-01-17 |

Eight billionaires own more than the poorest 50% of the world combined

SLum Here lives the poorest half of the world (Photo: CC0)

Just eight men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population combined, according to a new report published by the charity organisation Oxfam. The report ‘An economy for the 99 percent’ shows that the richest eight individuals, led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, have a net wealth of $426bn, which is the same as the net wealth of the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. Gates, whose net worth is $75 billion, is followed by Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Spanish fashion chain Zara (net worth $67 billion) and the American investor Warren Buffett (net worth $60.8 bn). “It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. “Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy,” she added and warned of a growing and dangerous concentration of wealth. The report, released ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, reveals that the divide between rich and poor is more pronounced than had been previously feared. Last year, Oxfam had calculated that 62 people owned the same as the poorest half of the world but new data on the distribution of global wealth, particularly in India and China, shows that the situation is even worse.

Oxfam’s calculations are based on the Global Wealth Data book 2016, an annual report published by financial services company Credit Suisse. Oxfam says the super-rich are fuelling the inequality crisis by avoiding taxes, driving down wages and using their power to influence politics. “Across the world, people are being left behind. Their wages are stagnating yet corporate bosses take home million dollar bonuses; their health and education services are cut while corporations and the super-rich dodge their taxes; their voices are ignored as governments sing to the tune of big business and a wealthy elite,” said Winnie Byanyima. And the rich are quickly getting richer. Between 1988 and 2011, the incomes of the poorest 10% increased by just $65 per person, while the incomes of the richest 1% grew by $11,800 per person – 182 times as much. The report quotes UBS figures estimating that in the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion to their heirs – a sum larger than the GDP of India, a country of 1.3 billion people. Oxfam says the world could see its first trillionaire within just 25 years. The report calls for fundamental changes to achieve an economy that works for the 99% of the world’s population and not just a handful of super-rich people. “Governments are not helpless in the face of technological change and market forces,” said Byanyima. Oxfam calls on governments to increase taxes on both wealth and high incomes in order to generate funds needed to invest in healthcare, education and job creation and to crack down on tax dodging. In addition, governments need to make sure workers are paid a decent wage, especially for women. “If politicians stop obsessing with GDP, and focus on delivering for all their citizens and not just a wealthy few, a better future is possible for everyone.” In order to achieve a better future for all, world leaders adopted a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. Among other objectives, these goals aim at eradicating extreme poverty for all people everywhere by 2030, ending hunger and malnutrition and reducing inequalities within and among countries. (ab)

2017-01-12 |

EU greening rules need to improve to benefit biodiversity and farmers

Hedge Hedges as EFA: A biotope network for fauna and flora (Photo: Thomas Hesse)

Ecological Focus Areas, a greening measure of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), are currently implemented in a way that provides little benefit for biodiversity and farmers, new research shows. However, there are many possibilities to improve their effectiveness for biodiversity while overcoming implementation barriers for farmers. These are the findings of a group of scientists from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, the University of Göttingen and other German, Austrian and French institutions, whose study was published in the journal Conservation Letters. Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) were introduced in 2015 as one of CAP’s greening measures: Farms with more than 15 hectares of arable land are required to dedicate at least 5% of this land to EFAs in order to receive payments. On this areas, they can implement measures such as creating buffer strips, maintaining hedges, leaving land lying fallow or planting nitrogen-fixing crops. The researchers looked at the ecological effectiveness and farmers’ perception of these EFA, collecting responses from 88 experts in agricultural ecology from 17 European countries. They also analysed data on EFA uptake at EU level and in eight Member States and reviewed factors influencing farmers’ decisions. They found that the measures implemented by farmers were not those with the most positive impact on nature. “The experts gave highest scores for buffer strip and for leaving the land fallow, indicating that these options are highly profitable for biodiversity,” explained Guy Pe’er, the lead author of the paper. “Landscape elements like hedges or traditional stone walls were also considered by the experts to have positive effects for many species.” However, very few farmers chose buffer strips or landscape elements. Other options were judged as quite ineffective by the experts: “Catch crops or nitrogen-fixing crops like legumes don’t benefit biodiversity much, especially if farmers use pesticides on these areas,” said Pe’er. But these are the two options most popular among farmers, the results showed. Around 45% of the EFA in the EU is used for growing nitrogen-fixing plants while a further 27% is used for catch crops. In Germany, this option even makes up 68% of EFA. “In other words, there was a poor matching between what ecologists recommend and what farmers implement,” said Guy Pe’er. But the authors also stress that they don’t blame farmers for this. “They are simply making the most economically rational decision and trying to minimise the risks involved,” added the agricultural economist Sebastian Lakner of the University of Göttingen. Cultivating catch crops and nitrogen-fixing plants is very attractive because these crops are simple and cheap to manage, whereas buffer strips and certain landscape elements might be more expensive and time-consuming to maintain. According to the scientists, the effectiveness of greening could be improved by prioritizing those EFA options that promote biodiversity such as buffer strips and landscape elements, and remove, or at least limit the attractiveness of less beneficial options like catch crops. In addition, stricter management requirements, such as limiting the use of pesticides on EFA, are needed. “It is of course essential to forbid the use of pesticides on EFA,” said Guy Pe’er. “It makes no sense to harm biodiversity in areas that are explicitly designated to protect it.” Other options include reducing administrative constraints and offering further incentives for expanding options like landscape features and buffer strips. The researchers hope that these recommendations will be considered in preparations for the EU mid-term review of greening, which will take place in March 2017. (ab)

2017-01-06 |

Smallholders produce 55% of the planet’s food calories, study finds

SmallMap Smallholder map (Leah H Samberg et al., IOP Science, bit.ly/ioperl, bit.ly/cc_by3)

Smallholder farmers in South and East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America are responsible for more than 70% of the food calories produced in these regions, new research shows. A study published by researchers at the University of Minnesota in the journal Environmental Research Letters provides comprehensive information about the number, location and distribution of small farms worldwide. It also includes a map which illustrates the distribution of small, medium and large farms across most world regions. The scientist said that despite the recent spotlight on small farms and increasing consensus on their importance, detailed information on location and size of smallholder farms is virtually absent. “This map is a first step toward a better understanding of where and how smallholder farming can be sustainable for both landscapes and livelihoods,” said Leah Samberg, lead author of the study and scientist with the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment. The researchers said that smallholders and family farms are crucial to feeding the planet and they highlighted that successful policies aimed at alleviating poverty, boosting food security and protecting biodiversity and natural resources depend on the inclusion and participation of small farmers. The researchers therefore hope that the map will fill this knowledge gap and help implement effective agricultural, development, and land use policies. “Combining both agriculture and household survey data creates a map that is a critical piece of the puzzle for targeting the billions of dollars invested in programs to improve people’s lives,” said Paul West, one of the co-authors. The scientists used census data from millions of households in dozens of countries to identify farming households and average farm sizes across much of the world. They identified 918 places in 83 countries in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America where there are fewer than 5 hectares of agricultural land per farming household. These smallholder hotspots are home to more than 380 million farming households, make up roughly 30% of the agricultural land are key sources of many important agricultural commodities. Within the 83 countries studied, units with a mean agricultural area of five hectares or less account for more than half of the production by mass of eight staple crops: rice, groundnut, cassava, millet, wheat, potato, maize, barley, and rye. According to the authors this illustrates the specific importance of smallholder production for food security. Smallholders in the 83 countries covered by the study in the three regions were responsible for more than 70% of the food calories produced in these regions, and produced 55% of the food calories produced globally. The calories produced by small farms with less than five hectares varied between regions. In Asia, they accounted for 90% of food calories in the region while smallholder units produce half of food calories in sub-Saharan Africa. This study was only a first effort to make use of the rich datasets, said lead author Leah Samberg: “We envision numerous future applications of this farm size product in combination with other variables related to food security, natural resource use and human well-being that will further increase our understanding of the dynamics of small farms and the livelihoods of those who depend on them.” (ab)

2017-01-05 |

Rural women hold the key to ending hunger and poverty, experts

Woman Women are the backbone of agriculture (Photo: CC0)

The fight against poverty, hunger and malnutrition can only be won if rural women and girls, especially in the agricultural sector, have equal opportunities than men. This was the message of hunger experts at a high-level event held at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome in December. “It is important that rural women have the appropriate conditions to develop their capacities and carry out their activities. This includes adequate and equal access to financial resources, services and opportunities,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, who described women as the backbone of agriculture. According to FAO figures, 45% of the agricultural labour force in developing countries are women, with that figure rising to 60 percent in parts of Africa and Asia. “Evidence shows that when women have opportunities, the yields on their farms increase, natural resources are better managed, nutrition is improved, and livelihoods are more secure,” da Silva added. This was confirmed by Neven Mimica, the EU commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, who also spoke at the event: “We know that agricultural yields would rise by almost a third if women had the same access to resources as men. As a result, there would be up to 150 million fewer hungry people in the world.” In addition, children also have significantly better prospects for the future when their mothers are healthy, wealthy and educated, he stressed, especially during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life. However, 60 percent of chronically hungry people on the planet are women or girls. Women across all world regions are less likely than men to own or control land, and their plots often are of poorer quality. FAO estimates that less than 20% of the world’s landholders are women. “All of this must change,” said da Silva, “Achieving gender equality and empowering women is not only the right thing to do. It is a crucial ingredient in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger and malnutrition.” The speakers therefore highlighted the key role rural women play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Gender equality and women’s empowerment is an important theme of the Agenda 2030, adopted by world leaders in September 2015. This is not only addressed in the stand-alone goal 5, that wants to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”, but gender equality needs to be mainstreamed across all 17 SDGs. Neven Mimica underscored the importance of gender equality especially for Goal 2 on eliminating hunger and malnutrition worldwide. “If we are serious about putting an end to poverty and hunger once and for all, then we all need to step up our support for rural women. As an investment in families, in our communities, in our wider societies, and in our planet's future,” the EU Commissioner argued. (ab)

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