The State of Food and Agriculture: 2018

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Posted by admin | Posted in Food Security, United Nations | Posted on 15-09-2018

The State of Food and Agriculture: 2018
Migration, agriculture and rural development

Can investments influence people’s decisions about whether to migrate? Can policies maximize the positive impacts of migration while minimizing the negative ones?

SOFA 2018 looks at how internal and international migratory flows link to economic development, demographic change, and natural-resource pressure. The report provides a thorough analysis of the factors in rural areas which contribute to migration decisions and recommends tailored policy and investment responses to make migration work for all.

Digital Report | Full Report In Brief | Flyer | E-Book MOBI | EPUB Read the rest of this entry »

Why developing countries should boost the ways of small-scale farming

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Extension, Agri Knowledge, Climate Change, Food Security | Posted on 02-09-2018

A diversity of seeds on sale in Nanyuki market, Kenya. K Dekeyser

Rachel Wynberg, University of Cape Town and Laura Pereira, Stellenbosch University

Industrial agriculture – farming that involves the intensive production of livestock, poultry, fish and crops – is one of the most environmentally destructive forms of land use. It depends on mechanisation and on inputs like synthetic fertiliser and harmful pesticides and herbicides and has led to widespread contamination of soil and water. It also relies on just a few major crops like wheat, maize, soybean and rice, the seeds of which are owned by a mere handful of companies.

A different approach to agriculture is sorely needed. This should, ideally, deliver household food security, ensure sustainable livelihoods and produce quality nutrition in a rapidly changing climate.

Developing countries that are industrialising at a pace are uniquely placed to avoid developing a dependency on one type of technological innovation at the expense of others. This is what is known as technological lock-in, with industrial agriculture being one form of lock-in. Such countries are also well placed to establish alternative ways to grow food that maximise livelihoods and sustainable food production. Read the rest of this entry »

Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Farming, Food Security | Posted on 03-04-2018

 Planting a diverse blend of crops and cover crops, and not tilling, helps promote soil health.
Catherine Ulitsky, USDA/Flickr, CC BY

David R. Montgomery, University of Washington

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields undermined the Roman Empire and other ancient societies around the world. Other agricultural myths hinder recognizing the potential to restore degraded soils to feed the world using fewer agrochemicals.

When I embarked on a six-month trip to visit farms around the world to research my forthcoming book, “Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life,” the innovative farmers I met showed me that regenerative farming practices can restore the world’s agricultural soils. In both the developed and developing worlds, these farmers rapidly rebuilt the fertility of their degraded soil, which then allowed them to maintain high yields using far less fertilizer and fewer pesticides. Read the rest of this entry »

With a Precious Crop Under Threat, Scientists Scramble for Solutions

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Food Security | Posted on 04-02-2018

Wheat provides about one-fifth of all calories consumed by human populations worldwide.
A virulent crop fungus could impact billions of people.

January 11, 2018 by Kerstin Hoppenhaus & Sibylle Grunze

The video below is the second part in a six-part series examining the scourge of Ug99, a type of fungus that causes disease in wheat crops — one that scientists worry could threaten global food supplies. Visit series archive for all published episodes.


Along with rice, wheat is the most important staple food globally. It provides about one-fifth of all calories consumed, and about 4.5 billion people rely on it in their daily diet — as pap (a type of porridge), bread (including flatbread like chapati), or spaghetti.

Wheat production also increases globally year by year. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recorded gains from 626 billion tons produced between 2005 and 2006, to 730 billion tons in 2014-15. But as the global population continues to swell, the FAO estimates that demand for wheat in the developing world will grow by as much as 60 percent over the next three decades. Read the rest of this entry »

Living With an Agricultural Enemy

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Posted by admin | Posted in Agri Knowledge, Food Security | Posted on 31-01-2018

Fungicides have only limited effect against stem rusts, scientists say,
and the threat extends well beyond Africa

January 25, 2018 by Kerstin Hoppenhaus & Sibylle Grunze

The video below is the final part in a six-part series examining the scourge of Ug99, a type of fungus that causes disease in wheat crops — one that scientists worry could threaten global food supplies. Visit series archive for all published episodes.


In recent years, rust diseases have begun to appear more frequently in Germany. It is mostly stripe rust (or yellow rust), but in 2013, for the first time in decades, stem rust broke out in Germany, and farmers, breeders, and scientists were worried that Ug99 had finally arrived in Europe.

It turned out a few months later that the outbreak had not been triggered by Ug99, but another, equally new stem rust race. But it is too early to say that the blight has been avoided: Tests conducted by the Julius Kuehn Institute, Germany’s federal research center for cultivated plants in Berlin, showed that even without Ug99, four out of five wheat varieties in Germany are susceptible to local stem rusts.

Fungicides have only limited effect, agricultural researchers say, so in the long run, only the breeding of wheat varieties that adapt to the local environment and are resistant against new fungi can provide protection. That’s as true for Africa as it is for Europe, they say — and for farmers the world over.


Check out all six parts of our Food Fight series>>>> Kerstin Hoppenhaus and Sibylle Grunze are the founders of Hoppenhaus & Grunze Media, a Berlin-based film production studio specializing in documentary coverage of science.

This article was originally published on Undark. Read the original article.