Food Security

March, 2014

  • 21 March

    Trading Away West Africa’s Hunger

    Poor roads and railways, high transaction costs, lack of sufficient market information, incoherent trade policies by governments and bureaucratic hurdles are among limitations to free trade in West Africa. Import and export procedures are more costly and more time consuming in West Africa than any region of the world, experts say.   For instance, according to a 2010 study by the UN …

  • 10 March

    Unravelling Zimbabwe’s “Food Crisis”

    Is there a food crisis in Zimbabwe? The UN says 2.2 million people will be in need of food assistance until the end of March, based on a 2013 government-led joint survey by the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment Committee (ZimVAC). But the government is now questioning those findings.   The Zimbabwean media have reported extensively on the seeming tug-of-war. But an IRIN investigation …

February, 2014

  • 6 February

    How Will the Farm Bill Affect Americans

    Every five years (or so), Congress passes a massive package of agriculture-related legislation known simply as the Farm Bill. This year’s model (which is actually a bit late—the previous version expired in 2012) is responsible for nearly $1 trillion in government spending over the next decade. It might be easy to assume the Farm Bill (which passed the House last …

January, 2014

  • 23 January

    How Europe Can Solve Soy Conflicts

    As the most fertile continent in the world, Europe is almost self-sufficient in all major food crops. Almost. We produce more than enough grains, corn and vegetables to feed the continent’s population. But there is only one crop category where Europe is almost completely relying on imports: proteins. Within the EU, we produce only 20% of the total amount of …

  • 6 January

    Fighting Food Insecurity in Afghanistan

    A network of critical emergency grain reserves across Afghanistan is set to boost food security and help strengthen resilience in a country that struggles to grow enough food to feed its 31 million people.   “Grain reserves for a country like Afghanistan are absolutely critical,” Gerard Rebello, Head of Logistics & Pipeline at the UN World Food Program (WFP), told …

December, 2013

  • 21 December

    They’re Feeding WHAT to Cows?

    Anyone who pays even scant attention to where our food comes from is likely aware that some pretty unsavory things happen between the farm and your fork (see this month’s big story in Rolling Stone, for example). But some of these farming methods are more than just unappetizing: they could be deadly. One practice in particular could allow for the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, …

  • 21 December

    China’s Farmers Innovate to Adapt to Climate Change

      The film “Planting for Change” tells the story of how farmers in Guangxi and Yunnan provinces have responded to climatic adversity by using their own innovations and biocultural heritage – and by improving this heritage by working with scientists on participatory plant breeding projects.   For the past three years, this region, which is rich in biocultural heritage and landscape beauty, has been …

  • 19 December

    Land grabbing Reflects Dominant Development Model

    The term ‘global land grab’ has recently re-entered the lexicon to describe a surge in national and transnational commercial large-scale land deals. In recent years, various actors, from big agribusiness corporations, to financial investors such as banks and hedge funds, to state-owned enterprises and sovereign wealth funds, and more, have been targeting tracts of land around the world. In many …

  • 8 December

    Africa’s Vanishing Forests

    You see that coconut tree?” said Daniel Krakue, gesturing out beyond the windshield. “That used to be a village.” It wasn’t hard to see the tree. Apart from a skinny papaya trunk, it was the only thing rising from the surrounding sea of green. We were in Sinoe County, in southwestern Liberia, on a plantation run by a company called …

  • 3 December

    Bhutan’s Drying Orchards Worry Farmers

    This used to be the time of the year in Bhutan that put smile on the face of mandarin farmers, the time of the year when they could earn some cash to score their dreams – of sending their kids to schools and colleges, of upping their material gratification as they liked it.   Mandarin was the gold that Bhutanese …