G20 leaves food crisis looming?

24 June, 2011 by (comments)

The food system will continue to suffer from a lack of strong leadership, and food price volatility will reign, say food experts and aid agencies following the first-ever G20 agricultural ministers’ conference to address food security and commodity regulation held this week in Paris. In particular, the contentious themes of biofuels and export bans remained unaddressed as big playersRead More …

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Filed Under: Crops @en

Russia’s heat wave “not climate change”

11 March, 2011 by (comments)

Last year’s heat wave in Russia, which wiped out a third of the country’s wheat harvest and drove up global grain prices, was caused by natural weather variations, US scientists have found. They attributed it to the natural phenomenon of “atmospheric blocking”, Reuters reports, and not human-induced global warming as was initially thought. Nevertheless, extreme weather events like theseRead More …

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Filed Under: Climate Change

Food prices reach historic peak

4 March, 2011 by (comments)

Global food prices have hit record highs as the FAO statistics for February 2011 show a rise for the eighth consecutive month, the BBC reports.   Cereal prices alone have increased by 70 per cent in the last year, mainly due to weather events in major production countries such as Russia and Australia. The FAO also points to increasedRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en

World Bank to invest billions more in agriculture

16 February, 2011 by (comments)

The World Bank has pledged to invest billions more in agriculture in response to new statistics that show the recent food price hikes are driving millions of people into extreme poverty. The World Bank will increase spending from US$4.1 billion to US$6-8 billion per year, supporting country-led agriculture and food security plans, investments in smallholder farmers, and the advocacyRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en

Sri Lanka: one-third of rice “completely destroyed”

8 February, 2011 by (comments)

Heavy monsoon flooding in the second-half of January has cut Sri Lanka’s staple rice crop by 35%, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture announced today. Reuters reports that the Ministry estimates that more than 300,000 hectares of rice has been “completely destroyed”, and while commodity traders expect the impact on world prices to be minimal, it nevertheless equates to theRead More …

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Filed Under: Asia @en, Crops @en, Regions, Rice @en

Extreme weather: here to stay?

2 February, 2011 by (comments)

As Australia feels the force of one of the biggest tropical storms in its history, extreme weather in Asia has also been wreaking havoc recently. Month-long heavy rains in the Philippines have killed at least 75 people, and caused US$45 million in damage to infrastructure and agriculture. Fortunately, major rice and maize crops have so far escaped the worstRead More …

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Filed Under: Climate Change

FAO encourages sustainable agriculture to ease pressure on food prices

31 January, 2011 by (comments)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has released a guide advising countries on ways to manage the impact of high food prices. It also urges a long-term approach to price management, including the “sustainable intensification” of agricultural production to increase productivity and a country’s resilience to international food price hikes. This includes the promotion of community seedRead More …

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Filed Under: Agro-ecology and Economics @en