Category Archives: Agriculture

Foodscapes: Science Of The Global Food System

Malaysia: Land Battle For Durian – “King Of Fruits”

Durian is the king of fruits in Asia, and demand is off the charts. Farmers in Malaysia are cashing in on the craze. And even the royal family wants in. But this growing business has come at a cost. Now, small farmers are stuck in a ruthless land battle with a big corporate and the local government.

Cultural Views: A Barley Harvest In Himalayan Tibet

This is the most important season for the farmers, because it’s the harvest time for them. The hardy qingke barley, also known as highland barley, has long been the main crop on the plateau, and has become a staple of the Tibetan diet, used in almost every meal as tsampa, and even used to make barley wine and a number of other dishes. A unique, drought-resistant crop, barley is grown in many places across the plateau, and is the only grain crop that can grow comfortably in the higher reaches of the plateau, including the extreme north.

Analysis: The Truth About Buying Organic Foods

The organic food industry is a booming business. U.S. organic sales surged in 2020, jumping by 12.4% to $61.9 billion. With consumers being more health conscious than ever, they’re willing to pay more for what they perceive as better. But, what exactly does “organic” mean?

Ecology: Scientists Breed Plants With Fast-Growing Roots To Revitalize Land

Humanity faces major challenges. Could roots hold the answers? It’s possible: Research shows that roots have the potential to provide food for the world’s population, stop climate change and help extract resources in an environmentally friendly way. Plants must withstand periods of drought and heat, as well as flooding, and they use their roots to do this. Roots also help them actively search for nutrients in the soil, while warding off dangers such as pathogens and toxins.

Now, scientists at the research institute Forschungszentrum Jülich are investigating root growth using high-tech methods. The goal is to breed stress-resistant seeds for plants with robust roots. They are not alone: In Sweden, Professor Linda Maria Mårtensson is conducting research on a perennial wheat variety that will ensure higher yields while protecting the soil. Along the world’s coasts, too, roots are a lifesaver.

Coastal ecologist Professor Tjeerd Bouma has discovered that if special grasses are planted in front of dikes, they create a salt marsh that acts as a natural breakwater. Meanwhile, geochemist Dr. Oliver Wiche of the Technical University of Freiberg is researching something known as “phytomining.” He wants to know which plants are best suited for mining metals from the soil. Could this root research give rise to a new, environmentally friendly branch of industry?

Sahara: Senegal Plants Circular Gardens To Prevent Desertification

Circular, drought-resistant ‘Tolou Keur’ gardens have sprung up in Senegal, marking a more local approach to what is known as Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative.

Senegal, officially the Republic of Senegal, is a country in West Africa. Senegal is bordered by Mauritania in the north, Mali to the east, Guinea to the southeast, and Guinea-Bissau to the southwest.

The Great Green Wall or Great Green Wall of the Sahara and the Sahel is a project led by the African Union, initially conceived as a way to combat desertification in the Sahel region and hold back expansion of the Sahara, by planting a wall of trees stretching across the entire Sahel.

South Sudan: Thailand Peacekeepers Teach New Food & Farming Methods

With years of civil war having severely reduced agricultural output in South Sudan, Thai peacekeepers have set up agricultural demonstration plots in the capital city of Juba to teach residents how to successfully grow their own food using contemporary farming practices.

South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in east/central Africa.

French Views: Lavender Fields Of Provence (Video)

The #lavender fields of the #Valensole Plateau, in France’s southern #Provence region, are an ocean of purple-blue. This is where much of the plant’s global production is grown. Many families in the region have been working with lavender for several generations. There are those who continue their activity in the traditional way and those who have opted for a more industrial method. Either way, these beautiful landscapes attract thousands of tourists from around the world.

History Of Food: ‘Where Vegetables Came From’

Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems, leaves, roots, and seeds.

Next-Gen Food: ‘Vertical & Underwater Farming’

Vertical Farming might have some implications but there is an unknown farming method that could revolutionize the industry and help us fight climate change.