Food and Agriculture : Features

There are 81 documents in this section.

  • Record temperatures shrinking world grain harvest

    19 September 2003

  • Grande plans for the Rio

    17 September 2003

    Twelve years of drought and vast irrigation schemes have left the Chihuahuan Desert dry. But new plans to grow desert crops and bring the water back to nature should help restore the region to its former glory, reports Fred Pearce.

  • China losing war with advancing deserts

    15 August 2003

    China is now at war. It is not invading armies that are claiming its territory, but expanding deserts. Old deserts are advancing and new ones are forming, like guerrilla forces striking unexpectedly, forcing Beijing to fight on several fronts. And worse, the growing deserts are gaining momentum, occupying an ever-larger piece of China's territory each year, as Lester Brown reports.

  • Settlements retreat as deserts advance

    23 April 2003

    The pressure of the world's 6.2 billion people is slowly turning productive land into desert on every continent. Cultivation of marginal land has eroded soils, while some 3 billion cattle, sheep, and goats have pushed pastures beyond their sustainable limits. All told, desertification plagues up to one third of the earth's land area, affecting more than 1 billion people in 110 countries. Janet Larsen reports.

  • Record droughts raise concerns over future of drylands

    17 February 2003

    Drier than normal weather conditions in regions around the world - including near-record droughts in some countries - have sparked growing concern about the state of the world's drylands. Heavy use is stretching the limits of the world's drylands, which are home to more than 2 billion people, one-third of the earth's population.

  • Population growth leading to land hunger

    3 February 2003

    In some poor countries with rapidly growing populations, the amount of arable land per person is shrinking fast. And without the means to import grain to meet demand, more and more people in such cash-strapped countries are facing a hungry future. Janet Larsen reports.

  • Deep trouble in Ethiopia

    29 January 2003

    Villagers in Ethiopia say climate change has forced them to dig for water where it used to flow freely. John Vidal reports on the spiral of little rain, crop failure, huge debt and human destitution.

  • New hope for the upland farmer

    9 December 2002

    The population of the Philippines, now about 80 million, is set to double by 2050, according to UN projections - with many more poor farmers being forced to try and scrape a living from the once-forested uplands. But greater use of a sloping land farming method could help increase yields and reduce erosion on upland farms, wherever they are found. Henrylito Tacio reports.

  • Rising temperatures and falling water tables are raising food prices

    19 September 2002

    In August 2002 the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)released an updated estimate of the world grain harvest for the year, reducing it to 1,821 million tons from July's estimate of 1,878 million tons. With world grain consumption in 2002 projected at 1,904 million tons, this lower harvest leaves a shortfall of 83 million tons.

  • Biotech cotton - too good to be true?

    18 July 2002

    Genetically modified (GM) cotton is now being grown in seven countries around the world. Since it was first planted in the United States in 1996, its production has been approved in Argentina, Australia, China, Indonesia and Mexico. Earlier this year, the Indian government's Genetic Engineering Approval Committee also approved its commercial release. Here Peter McGrath looks at the benefits and dangers of this 'wonder crop'.