Tag Archives: Agriculture

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?

Africa Views: The Cassava Flour Boom In Cameroon

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to impact crucial food exports, wheat prices are soaring. Many African countries rely on Ukrainian and Russian grain exports and could face a severe food crisis. But in Cameroon, entrepreneurs are coming up with alternatives to wheat, which is used to make flour. Production of bread and cakes made from local cassava and sweet potato flour is now booming. These tubers are abundant in the country but are normally used unprocessed in traditional dishes. Our correspondents report.

Africa Views: Ivory Coast Agriculture Goes Digital

Climate change, land degradation and deforestation have severely damaged Côte d’Ivoire’s natural surroundings. Many farmers are worried about their future. But Digitalization is bringing new hope.

Côte d’Ivoire is a West African country with beach resorts, rainforests and a French-colonial legacy. Abidjan, on the Atlantic coast, is the country’s major urban center. Its modern landmarks include zigguratlike, concrete La Pyramide and St. Paul’s Cathedral, a swooping structure tethered to a massive cross. North of the central business district, Banco National Park is a rainforest preserve with hiking trails. 

Hawaiian Views: Hoa ‘Āina O Mākaha Farm, Oahu

EYES OF THE LAND celebrates the spirit of Hoa ‘Āina O Mākaha, an ever-evolving community resource and sanctuary that has become a template for educational farms on O’ahu.

Born in the small village of Uggiate in Italy, and originally serving as a Catholic Priest in the Philipines, Gigi Cocquio helped found HAOM in 1979, nurturing it as executive director and caretaker, alongside his wife Judy, for the past 40+ years.

This film honors the legacy of what has been built, the seeds of hope that have been planted, and the many lives that have been touched.

hoaainaomakaha.org

Directed, Filmed, & Edited by Rob Lau
Story Design by Emily Lau
Aerial Cinematography by Bayly Buck
Additional Aerials by Valen Ahlo
Additional Camera by Valen Ahlo & Oz Go
Additional Footage by ʻŌiwi TV
Sound by Rob Lau & Chris Balidio
Music by Tiny Music “Ask the Right Question” l Peter Sandberg “Dismantle” | Tall Heights “Keeps Me Light Instrumental” | Judah Earl “Dreaming in Color Instrumental”
Archival Photos Courtesy of Gigi Cocquio & Ed Greevy
Special thanks to Jasmine Joy, Judy Seladis-Cocquio, Kelsey Thornberry, Puanani Burgess, & the Hoa ‘Āina Staff

Consumers: What Is The True Price Of Food? (FT)

Food prices might be rising but many associated production costs are not currently included in the price we pay. How can we get closer to a system that reflects the true cost and what implication will this have on consumers and wider society?

Sustainability: Fertilizers From Biomass In France

As the world’s population grows, the need to feed billions of mouths mean our use of synthetic fertilisers will almost certainly increase significantly. The FT’s Anna Gross explores two innovative French companies that could ultimately reduce our reliance on artificial fertilisers by offering less carbon-intensive options. But how viable are these alternatives?

Foodscapes: Science Of The Global Food System

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?