News

19.06.2009 |

G20 nations must address the most pressing issue of our time

At a World Food Programme summit, Gordon Brown said he will try to negotiate a new fund to help the world’s poorest through the economic downturn at April’s G20 meeting. Yet increased funding will not solve everything, says UNESCO’s Koichiro Matsuura. He outlines UNESCO’s efforts to inform decision-makers and explains what he thinks can create a viable solution

19.06.2009 |

Debate on tackling climate change often becomes transfixed by magic bullet technologies

Each month Andrew Simms is analysing how much closer the world has moved to catastrophic climate change.

Desperate times might seem to call for desperate measures. And there is a tendency is to make a grab for the first and apparently the easiest solution to come to hand. In this context, magic-bullet technological fixes are enjoying a renaissance. From nuclear power to GM crops, once-unpopular technologies are struggling anew for public acceptance.

19.06.2009 |

CLIMATE CHANGE: New Thinking to Tackle Old Problems

Organic and eco-friendly farming can feed the world, contrary to the common belief that biotechnology and chemical-intensive farming are indispensable, modern strategies to increase production, agricultural experts say.

19.06.2009 |

Africa: Global Food Crisis - Ecological Agriculture is Productive

With doubts lingering over its ultimate productivity, Lim Li Ching seeks to dispel fears around ecological agriculture's low yields and demonstrate its capacity to be more than simply an idealistic socio-environmental approach. Drawing upon evidence from Ethiopia's Tigray Project and data accrued from a variety of environments around the world, Lim Li discusses the benefits of using compost in place of chemical fertilisers and scope for ecological agriculture's greater use in enabling countries, regions, and individual families to achieve improved crop yields and more sustainable food sources.

19.06.2009 |

Bold steps urged for Madrid food summit

High Level Meeting on Food Security for All, Madrid 26-27 Jan. Bold steps are needed in Madrid this week for the one in six people going hungry across the globe.

19.06.2009 |

Africa: Agricultural Knowledge

"The key message of the report [by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)] is that small-scale farmers and agro-ecological methods provide the way forward to avert the current food crisis and meet the needs of local communities. More equitable trade arrangements and increased investments in science and technologies and in sharing knowledge that support agroecologically based approaches in both small farm and larger scale sectors are urgently required." - Civil Society Statement, April 2008

19.06.2009 |

Africa: Subsidies That Work

In the 2008/2009 agricultural season, Malawi is spending $186 million to subsidize fertilizer and seeds for poor farmers, tripling the previous year's figure of $62 million. Malawi's success in this program, against donor advice, has made the country a grain exporter and helped contain food costs. The emerging consensus is that such subsidies are essential for African agriculture. In November the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization rewarded Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika, who also serves as his country's Minister of Agriculture, with the Agricola Prize.

Ironically, donor opposition to agricultural subsidies in Africa was coupled with refusal by rich countries to reduce their own expensive subsidies to commercial farmers in their own countries.

19.06.2009 |

Agriculture does not need ‘business as usual’

I’m sorely disappointed in George McGovern and Marshall Matz’s disturbing commentary piece, “Agriculture’s next big challenge” (Jan. 4), which makes a failed argument to continue with business as usual for industrial agriculture. Our current fossil-fuel based system has led to severe degradation of the land, while encouraging giant livestock feedlots and factory farms that severely degrade air and water quality.

Industrial agriculture has also given us diets loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and cheap fast food. No wonder obesity, particularly among low-income Americans, is now an epidemic.

19.06.2009 |

European Parliament resolution on the Common Agricultural Policy and Global Food Security

On January 13th 2009 The European Parliament adopted by 482 votes to 24, with 59 abstentions, a resolution on the Common Agricultural Policy and Global Food Security. The resolution affirms that global food security is a question of the utmost urgency for the European Union and calls for immediate and continual action to ensure food security for EU citizens. It stresses that food should be available at reasonable prices for consumers while, at the same time, a fair standard of living for farmers should be ensured.

19.06.2009 |

There's No Place for Brazil's Ethanol and Biofuels in a Real Green World

An assorted alliance of organizations published an open letter this Thursday, January 15, in the U.S. and internationally, warning of the dangers of industrially produced biofuels (called agrofuels by critics).

The letter explains why large-scale industrial production of transport fuels and other energy from plants such as corn, sugar cane, oilseeds, trees, grasses, or so-called agricultural and woodland waste threatens forests, biodiversity, food sovereignty, community-based land rights and will worsen climate change.

Donors

Donors of globalagriculture Bread for all biovision Bread for the World Misereor Heidehof Stiftung Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen Schweiz Rapunzel
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