Global shifts of urbanization, migration, markets and climate can potentially be compatible with agrobiodiversity, but other powerful forces are undermining it. The imperatives of producing food at lower cost and higher yield clash with efforts to raise high-quality food and protect the environment.
According to the FAO, 30% of food is lost or wasted along the supply chain every year. This is a whopping 1.3 billion metric tons of food that doesn’t ever reach the consumer. This lost or wasted food could be used to feed 1.6 billion people every year. In Africa, the losses are even higher: between 30% and 50%.
Eating highly processed foods may be associated with an increased risk of developing cancer, according to a new study published in The BMJ. The study was widely reported in the media – mostly uncritically. But there are a number of problems with the study’s design …
Instead of focusing on the supply of subsidised machinery, governments should provide public goods and services to support the emerging private markets. Such support includes strengthening the capacity of the education and training domain, improving the customs process, maintaining market stability, and focusing on institutional solutions for smallholders.
GUEST AUTHOR Shobita Parthasarathy:The public partially underwrites nonprofit discoveries via tax breaks and isn’t seeing a lot of benefit in return. Non-profit patent licenses are one place where reforms can be made to put the public interest at the center.
Despite the fact that the protein gap theory has been thoroughly debunked, the focus on protein deficiency still persists in many minds.
Meal times with young children can be stressful, especially after a day at work or a day caring for them. And if they refuse to eat the nutritious dinner you’ve cooked, this can easily lead to frustration.
Here are six things you could do to make meal times a bit less stressful.
Edible insects have long been a staple source of protein in many African countries. Domesticating production is now taking pressure of local ecosystems.
While crop probiotics offer an ecologically friendly option for farmers looking to improve and protect their harvests, the Australian market is far from reliable.
Our research group was asked to evaluate commercial crop probiotics. Over a year of experimentation on a sugarcane farm, we tracked the supposedly beneficial bacteria and fungi of two Australian probiotics products from soil to crop.
DNA analysis didn’t detect changes in root-associated bacteria, but the composition of root-associated fungi changed.
When scientists gather to march for science, we want them to know about this body of research. In addition to carrying signs, they can take up the toolbox of effective communication known as the rhetorical tradition. Rhetoricians will be marching by their side, allies in the battle to protect science from politically motivated attacks on one of the greatest treasures of the nation.
Wild coffee exhibits much greater genetic diversity than commercial varieties, which increases its chances of adapting to new challenges and reduces the possibility of extinction. It represents an insurance policy for plantation coffee, in case commercial strains are ever badly damaged.
With shifting political winds and poor commodity prices, farmers may now be willing to consider new ways of generating income by adopting environmentally friendly practices, such as planting cover crops, extending crop rotations or eliminating tillage. Many farmers are already using these practices on a small scale. To combat climate change and stabilize incomes, farmers should look to policy to tackle both in tandem.
Reagan Waskom, Director, Colorado Water Institute and David Cooper, of Colorado State University discuss the ins and outs of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule change and what it means for agriculture.
Stuart Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Westminster lays four key challenges to global food security: drought, emerging diseases, salty soils, and fertilizer dependence.
Stuart Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Westminster lays out three areas; disease resistance, improved photosynthesis, and improved nutrition; where breakthroughs in biotech crop breeding could go a long way to improving the impact of agriculture.
A key danger of charity food aid is the de-politicisation of hunger. As the charity sector mobilises to meet this need, there is less pressure on the government to address the root causes of food poverty, which are essentially income related.
The continued representation of famines as disastrous events largely sprung upon populations by the forces of nature, prevents us from understanding famine – and food insecurity – as a socio-political process, even though doing so is especially important for realising its future prevention.
There are tremendous opportunities to increase yields throughout South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Increasing yields through new farming practices could triple maize production in sub-Saharan Africa and increase wheat and rice production in South Asia by about 50 percent. Gains on this scale could dramatically reduce hunger and food insecurity in some of the most vulnerable nations in the world.
New research has revealed that Tanzania’s official statistics on irrigation often don’t include initiatives set up and run by individual farmers. This is either because they’re not aware of it, or because they don’t consider it to have much potential.
Compared to formally engineered projects, this ‘farmer-led’ irrigation is often small-scale and interspersed among non-irrigated fields. This makes it harder to record. It also takes diverse forms. These range from watering via pumps, wells, flooded valley bottoms, or even via stream diversions or small dams.
Microbes can unlock phosphorus and other micronutrients so that plants can use them. We developed a combination of four bacteria that are exceptionally good at making phosphorus available to plants, leading to bigger, healthier plants. They do this by releasing specialized molecules that break the bonds between phosphorus and soil particles. To get this technology into the hands of farmers who can use it, we launched a startup company called Growcentia and started selling our first product, which is called Mammoth P.