Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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food and agriculture > newsfile

Billions face food shortages, study warns
by Ian Sample, Science Correspondent, The Guardian

Half of the world's population could face severe food shortages by the end of the century as rising temperatures take their toll on farmers' crops, scientists have warned. ... more

Nearly 1 billion go hungry
Another 40 million people have been pushed into hunger this year, primarily due to higher food prices, according to preliminary estimates published by FAO. ... more

Rich countries launch great land grab
In a two-page Special Report, The Guardian newspaper (London, November 22), has revealed how rich governments and corporations are buying up land in poor developing countries to safeguard food and other agricultural resources for consumers in the developed world, often at the expense of local needs and small peasant farmers. Julian Borger's report, is reproduced here, with links to case studies in the Madagascar, Laos and Brazil. ... more

UN warns of desertification crisis
�Without proper action, both in developing and developed countries, some 50 million people could be displaced by desertification and land degradation within the next ten years� the world conference on desertification, meeting in Turkey last week, was told. ... more

Organic farming can feed Africa, says UN
New evidence that organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the continent's cycle of poverty and malnutrition has come from a major UN study. ... more

UN calls for biofuel review to protect poor farmers
Biofuel production from agriculture grew more than threefold from 2000 to 2007. It now covers nearly two per cent of the world's consumption of transport fuels and is continuing to grow. Reporting this, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, has called for an urgent review of both biofuels and farm subsidies to preserve food security, sustain the environment and protect poor farmers,. ... more

Footprint report reveals Hong Kong's ecological deficit
At 4.4 global hectares per person, Hong Kong residents have an Ecological Footprint twice that typical for China as a whole. Hong Kong also has one of the greatest ecological deficits in the world, according to Hong Kong Ecological Footprint Report: Living Beyond Our Means. The report details Hong Kong�s resource use and its role in the overall ecological picture of China � a country that now ties with the US as the largest user of the world�s biocapacity. ... more

Biofuel gold rush hits Africa
Large areas of land in Africa could be taken over to grow crops that will be turned into fuel (biofuel) to power vehicles. But the needs of local people are being aside in what threatens to be a new and insidious form of colonialism, says Horand Knaup, writing in Business Week. ... more

Well farmed fish could help feed the world
Nearly half of the seafood eaten today is farmed. And while aquaculture is often equated with pollution, habitat degradation, and health risks, this explosive growth in fish farming may in fact be the most hopeful trend in the world�s troubled food system, according to a new report by a leading US think tank. ... more

Nearly half sub-Saharan children malnourished
Despite past efforts by governments and aid agencies, undernutrition still affects 2-3 billion people worldwide. And, a new report reveals, the numbers affected are growing steadily worse in Africa. ... more

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