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 > features

India's women farmers show way to organic future

by Neeta Lal

Away from media glare, the farmers of Khakrola village in Himachal Pradesh - a mere blip on India's geographic radar - have been working tirelessly to usher in a new green revolution. ... more

Has agriculture reached a tipping point?
So far farm production has kept up with population growth, but has the increase in productivity come at too high a cost? Faced with the additional threat of global warming has industrialised farming reached a 'tipping point' asks Claire Hope Cummings in this extract from an article in the latest issue of World Watch magazine. ... more

' Zambia is right to reject GM crops'

by Fr Peter Henriot

Last October the Zambian Government finally decided not to accept a donation of genetically modified food for nearly three million of its people facing famine. Here a Jesuit priest, working in that country argues that the decision was right. Meanwhile fresh food shortages threaten much of sub-Saharan Africa. ... more

Organics can provide a route out of poverty
Organic food production is booming in China and India – which together host more than half the world’s farming households. Indeed, a global study says, organics can offer an effective route out of poverty for poor farmers, provided they can work together in farmers’ associations and get adequate institutional support. ... more

Rural India faces a crisis of animal fodder
A grim silence surrounds the crisis of fodder for livestock in rural India, says Sunita Nairain, Director of the Centre for Scince and the Environment (CSE) in Delhi. But rural security is not possible without fodder security, she argues in this editorial comment from Down to Earth magazine. ... more

Food and fuel compete for land
In a world of high-priced oil almost everything we eat can be converted into fuel for cars. Wheat can be converted into bread or ethanol for service stations. Soybean oil can go onto supermarket shelves or it can be used as diesel fuel. In effect, owners of the world's 800 million cars are competing for food resources with the 1.2 billion people living on less than $1 a day. Lester Brown reports. ... more

Avian flu: blame factory farming, says report
Since the latest outbreak of avian flu began in Southeast Asia in 2003, public health officials and the media have referred to the threat as a “natural" disaster. However, avian flu, mad cow disease, and other emerging diseases that can jump from animals to humans are symptoms of the spread of factory farming, according to a new report from the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute. ... more

Rising oil prices will impact food supplies
by Danielle Murray

From farm to plate, the modern food system relies heavily on cheap oil. And as food undergoes more processing and travels farther, the gobal food system consumes ever more energy each year. But, as the present shortage of refined oil shows, the days of cheap oil are probably over. So what are the implications for food supplies? Danielle Murray reports. ... more

Farmers learn how to cut erosion on sloping land

by Henrylito Tacio

Upland farmers, often regarded as the "poorest of the poor," can substantially reduce soil erosion in their farms by using a system now widely practiced by counterparts in Southern Mindanao in the Philippines. ... more

Producing more protein in Asia

by Lester R. Brown

Mounting pressure on the earth's land and water resources to produce livestock, poultry, and fish feed has led to the evolution of some promising new ways of producing protein. One of these has increased milk production in India, another has caused a revolution in carp farming in China, as Lester Brown reports. ... more

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