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

Rivers running dry UN expert warns
A leading UN advisor has questioned whether the world's rivers can support the increasing demands for food of the growing human population. ... more

Ethanol demand could send grain price soaring
by Lester R. Brown

Investment in fuel ethanol distilleries in the United States has soared since the late-2005 oil price hikes, but data collection in this fast-changing sector has fallen behind. Because of inadequate data collection on the number of new plants under construction, the quantity of grain that will be needed for fuel ethanol distilleries has been vastly understated. ... more

Ethanol bites into world grain stocks
by Lester R. Brown

Now that the year’s grain harvest is safely in the bin, it is a good time to take stock and look ahead. This year’s global harvest of 1,967 million tons is falling short of the estimated consumption of 2,040 million tons by some 73 million tons. This shortfall of nearly 4 per cent is one of the largest on record. ... more

Collapse of all wild fisheries predicted by 2050
All species of wild seafood currently fished are projected to collapse by the year 2050, according to a new four-year study by an international team of ecologists and economists. Collapse is defined as 90 per cent depletion. ... more

Desert activists win UN prize
A community group in Mauritania and the leader of another, in Colombia, will be honoured next month with a UN prize for their achievements in combating desertification and land degradation — a major local and global problem that threatens the lives and livelihoods of two billion people inhabiting the planet’s dry and arid areas. ... more

Illegal GM rice found in European food
Food products illegally contaminated with genetically modified (GM) rice from China have been discovered in the UK, France and Germany, environmental agencies have revealed. ... more

World grain stocks fall to record low
by Lester R. Brown

This year’s world grain harvest is projected to fall short of consumption by 61 million tons, marking the sixth time in the last seven years that production has failed to satisfy demand. As a result of these shortfalls, world carryover stocks at the end of this crop year are projected to drop to 57 days of consumption, the shortest buffer since the 56-day-low in 1972 that triggered a doubling of grain prices. ... more

Indian farmers reap rich dividends by going organic
by C. Balaji

Organic husbandy is happening in the wetlands of Hollagaru village in Shimoga district of Karnataka. The high production of arecanut, paddy, vanilla and coffee has changed the fortunes of the local farming community. ... more

Can organic farming feed us all?
Two recent studies reveal that a global shift to organic farming would yield more food, not less, for the world's hungry, says Worldwatch Institute Senior Researcher Brian Halweil. ... more

EU Commission admits safety concerns over GM food
New documents reveal that the European Commission has been approving genetically modified (GM) foods and crops despite having serious doubts over their health and environmental impacts, say two major environmetnal organisations. ... more

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