Food and Agriculture : Features

There are 81 documents in this section.

  • COMMENT: ' Zambia is right to reject GM crops'

    14 March 2006

    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.

  • Organics can provide a route out of poverty

    21 December 2005

    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.

  • Rural India faces a crisis of animal fodder

    13 December 2005

    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.

  • Food and fuel compete for land

    27 October 2005

    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.

  • Avian flu: blame factory farming, says report

    29 September 2005

    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.

  • SUCCESS STORY: Farmers learn how to cut erosion on sloping land

    13 September 2005

    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.

  • Rising oil prices will impact food supplies

    13 September 2005

    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.

  • SUCCESS STORIES Producing more protein in Asia

    23 August 2005

    Mounting pressure on the earth's land and water resources to produce livestock, poultry, and fish feed has led to the evolution of somepromising 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.

  • India's second Green Revolution 'orphaning crops for poor'

    26 May 2005

    India is on the verge of a second Green Revolution. The first made post-colonial India food self-sufficient. But the second, critics say, is driven by the slogan 'profit rules' and appears to focus on biotechnology and India's export economy, ignoring crops that can feed India's poor.

  • Falling water tables 'could hit food supply'

    7 February 2005

    "In recent months, rising oil prices have focused the world's attention on the depletion of oil reserves. But the depletion of underground water resources from overpumping is a far more serious issue," says Lester Brown in his latest book, Outgrowing the Earth. Pointing out that there are substitutes for oil, but no substitutes for water, he warns that "excessive pumping for irrigation to satisfy food needs today almost guarantees a decline in food production tomorrow." Here Lester Brown sums up the central argument of his new book.