Agriculture

Spike in Food Prices Projected by 2013

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JOANNA M. FOSTER
Spike in Food Prices Projected by 2013
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In 2008 and in 2011, the world was rocked by riots and by revolutions coinciding with spikes in food prices. Now researchers are projecting that by 2013, food prices will soar to unparalleled heights, causing widespread hunger in the most vulnerable populations and social unrest, with an enormous potential for loss of human life. ... Read more about Spike in Food Prices Projected by 2013

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Soil erosion increasing global warming threat-UNEP

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reuters // Reuters
Soil erosion increasing global warming threat-UNEP
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LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Global warming will get worse as agricultural methods accelerate the rate of soil erosion, which depletes the amount of carbon the soil is able to store, a United Nations' Environment Programme report said on Monday.

Soil contains huge quantities of carbon in the form of organic matter. which provides nutrients for plant growth and improves soil fertility and water movement.

The top metre of soil alone stores around 2,200 billion tonnes of carbon, which is three times the level currently held in the atmosphere, said the UNEP Year Book 2012. ... Read more about Soil erosion increasing global warming threat-UNEP

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Tribal Districts Show Heavy Forest Degradation

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Nikita Mehta
Tribal Districts Show Heavy Forest Degradation
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India’s forest cover decreased by 367 square kilometers between 2007 and 2009, and it was primarily tribal and hilly regions that were to blame, according to the biennial forest survey released last week by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. ... Read more about Tribal Districts Show Heavy Forest Degradation

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Tracking How the World Guzzles Water

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JOANNA M. FOSTER
Tracking How the World Guzzles Water
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Arjen Hoekstra and Mesfin Mekonnen/PNAS Early EditionHumankind’s average annual water footprint from 1996 to 2005. 

With the world’s freshwater supplies under mounting pressure from pollution and galloping consumption, understanding the how, where and why of water use is more important than ever. ... Read more about Tracking How the World Guzzles Water

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The female face of farming: infographic

he female face of farming: infographic
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The female face of farming: infographic

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation and Farming First have produced this interactive graphic showing how women pull their weight in agriculture around the world - and they've given us the entire image for you to download. ... Read more about The female face of farming: infographic

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Cassava 'offers climate change hope' for Africa

Cassava 'offers climate change hope' for Africa
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The cassava plant could help African farmers cope with climate change, a scientific report says.

"It's like the Rambo of the food crops," report author Andy Jarvis, of the Colombia-based International Center for Tropical Agriculture, said.

He told the BBC: "Whilst other staples can suffer from heat and other problems of climate change, cassava thrives."

The root crop is already one of the most widely consumed staple foods on the continent.

But the report also stresses the need for more research to make cassava more resistant to pests and disease. ... Read more about Cassava 'offers climate change hope' for Africa

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Disappearing Cerrado: 'Brazil's great untold environmental disaster' - audio slideshow

Author: 

Eric Hilaire
Disappearing Cerrado: 'Brazil's great untold environmental disaster' - audio sli
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Photographer Peter Caton talks about his visit to the Cerrado – the world's largest savannah. It contains 5% of the world's biodiversity, but is being destroyed at an incredible rate to make way for monocultures that may have devastating long-term effects.

During his trip, Caton worked with local Brazilian environmental group ISPN and WWF on their campaign calling for UK supermarkets to source sustainable soya

  ... Read more about Disappearing Cerrado: 'Brazil's great untold environmental disaster' - audio slideshow

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Fears rise of food shortages in West Africa

Author: 

Azad Essa
Fears rise of food shortages in West Africa
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Millions of people in up to five West African countries will face a food crisis in early 2012 if early warning systems are ignored, the United Nations and aid officials say.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), together with the World Food Programme (WFP) and British charity Oxfam, said this week that failed harvests and low food reserves in the Sahel, and particularly the countries of Chad, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and Mali, would affect up to 11 million people. ... Read more about Fears rise of food shortages in West Africa

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UN: farmers must produce 70% more food by 2050 to feed population

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Associated Press
Farm workers in Yinchuan, China. Most of the world's available land is already b
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A quarter of farmland is highly degraded, according to the first report into the state of the world's land resources ... Read more about UN: farmers must produce 70% more food by 2050 to feed population

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Plant pests: The biggest threats to food security?

Throughout history, the impact of plant pests and diseases, such as potato bligh
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The threat posed to crop production by plant pests and diseases is one the key factors that could lead to "a perfect storm" that threatens to destabilise global food security.

Already, the biological threat accounts for about a 40% loss in global production and the problem is forecast to get worse, scientists warn.

BBC News has asked Dr Matthew Cock, chief scientist for Cabi, a UK-based agri-environment research organisation, to compile a list of the worst plant pests threatening crops around the world. ... Read more about Plant pests: The biggest threats to food security?

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