Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Tag Archives: Agriculture
Food: Banana Plantations At Risk From Global Blight
Financial Times (December 14, 2022) – Dire warnings about the banana’s impending extinction have been circulating for some time, but despite that, as the FT’s Clive Cookson explains, global production has expanded in recent years. That growth, however, is at risk from an outbreak of Panama disease, which has spread to at least 22 countries.
Analysis: Is Traditional Agriculture Sustainable?
DW Documentary (December 10, 2022) – Is sustainable agriculture possible in Europe? From Spain’s “plastic sea” of greenhouses, to farmer suicides in France, the organics boom and high-tech production, it’s clear that Europe’s agricultural sector is in a period of extreme flux. And it needs to change: Agricultural landscapes are shaped by the history of our continent and inextricably bound up with its identity.
But farmers are struggling. They’re under constant pressure to produce more, at lower prices and can no longer hold out against the stiff competition. Most European farms are still family-run businesses, but it’s the large-scale enterprises that benefit from EU subsidies. These companies practice intensive farming, which we now know has a detrimental effect on biodiversity and human health.
This kind of agricultural system is also very bad for soil quality and is now seen as obsolete. With every crisis that occurs, its shortcomings become more evident. The pace of climate change now requires rapid responses to crucial questions: How to sustainably feed more than 500 million Europeans? What steps can be taken to stem the catastrophe resulting from the dramatic rise in meat consumption (up 60 per cent in 60 years) and its associated intensive production of cereal crops?
Solutions are presenting themselves, and many farmers have already seized the initiative. Throughout the European continent, they are the main drivers of a vital 21st century agricultural revolution: a return to traditional farming methods, intelligent or urban agriculture, fewer mass imports, research into in-vitro meat and meat substitutes. These are just some of the approaches being explored by European farmers in a bid to protect biodiversity, the landscape and the health of human beings.
Indoor Farms: AppHarvest – 90% Less Water With Tech
Business Insider – AppHarvest is exploring the future of indoor farming and agriculture technology by using up to 90% less water, human-assisting AI, and the power of the sun for reliable food growth. Alongside local education efforts, AppHarvest’s main focus is to provide US consumers with sustainable, reliable produce so that we can all enjoy a healthier, more vibrant planet in the future.
Food Science: Developing Hardier Coffee Beans (FT)
Financial Times – One of world’s favorite drinks is under threat from global warming. The world’s top coffee producing nations all lie at similar tropical latitudes, where even small rises in temperature are forecast to have severe consequences for people and agriculture. But as the FT’s Nic Fildes reports, in Australia, scientists are tackling the problem by trying to develop a better, hardier coffee bean.
Preview: Foreign Policy Magazine – Fall 2022
The Solution to the Global Food Crisis Isn’t More Food
There’s plenty to go around, but it’s going to the wrong places.
Africa Needs More, Not Less, Fertilizer
Developing countries need to boost their yields, even if that conflicts with climate goals.
How the World’s Appetite for Meat Is Changing
Who’s eating more, and who’s eating less.
Foreign Policy Magazine Website
Droughts: Fixing Water Waste On American Farms
The western U.S. is experience a megadrought so severe, it is the driest two decades in at least 1,200 years. And no sector has felt the impact more than agriculture, which takes up about 70% of the world’s freshwater. With water resources becoming more scarce, several companies are working to improve irrigation efficiency and help sustain food production in a future where extreme climate may be more common.
Chapters: Ch. 1: 2:08 The West’s drought Ch. 2 4:48 Water in agriculture Ch. 3 8:02 Smarter irrigation Ch. 4 11:08 Indoor farming Ch. 5 13:11 Future technologies
World Economic Forum: Top Stories Of The Week
The World Economic Forum ‘Stories of the Week include:
0:18 Pakistan’s Flooding – Due to flash floods triggered by a ‘monster monsoon’, more than 1,100 people have died in Pakistan 01:30 First smartphone made in the Ivory Coast – The Open G smartphone went on sale in July 2022 in the Ivory Coast and has sold several thousand units 02:41 Brazil is building the world’s biggest urban garden – The garden is a collaboration between the City of Rio de Janeiro and the favelas – or informal settlements – that surround it 04:09 Drinking Black Tea could help you live longer – People who drink 2 or more cups of black tea a day are 9-13% less likely to die from any cause, according to a study by the US National Institutes of Health.
World Hunger: Is Biofuel Feeding A Food Crisis?
The UN’s World Food Programme has described 2022 as “a year of unprecedented hunger”, with millions of people in dozens of countries facing famine. At the same time, significant amounts of farmland are being used to produce so-called biofuels. But could a global food crisis change that?
Biofuels are liquid fuels produced from renewable biological sources, including plants and algae. Biofuels offer a solution to one of the challenges of solar, wind, and other alternative energy sources. These energy sources have incredible potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and yield environmental and economic benefits. But many of these sources have a limitation: they can’t replace liquid fuels such as jet fuel, gasoline, and diesel fuel that are critical to our transportation needs. That’s where biofuels could help.
Climate Change: A World Of Future Food Shocks?
Recent crises such as the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have thrown the vulnerability of supply chains, and with them, food supplies, into sharp focus. But as the FT’s Camilla Hodgson reports, a landmark UN report says climate-related shocks such as extreme weather events will become more common and severe and could further upend food supply chains. But what can we do about it?