• Green revolution meeting considers Africa's food future

    "African ministers and business leaders have gathered in Ethiopia to consider ways to trigger a green revolution and improve the continent's food security.

    The African Green Revolution Forum, being held in Addis Ababa, will focus on delivering agriculture-led economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

    In June, the Africa Union issued a declaration to double food productivity and halve poverty by 2025.

    Almost 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the four-day meeting.

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  • Grain Piles Up, Waiting for a Ride, as Trains Move North Dakota Oil

    "FARGO, N.D. — The furious pace of energy exploration in North Dakota is creating a crisis for farmers whose grain shipments have been held up by a vast new movement of oil by rail, leading to millions of dollars in agricultural losses and slower production for breakfast cereal giants like General Mills.

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  • Africa: Ambitious Effort to Confront Africa's Soil Health Crisis

    22  August 2014

    "Nairobi — New report from AGRA also finds increased access to fertilizers helping up to 1.8 million farmers revive 3.5 million hectares

    With the steady drain of essential nutrients from African soils looming as a major threat to food security across the continent, a new report released today finds that over the last five years, 1.7 million African farmers in 13 countries have embraced farming practices that have rejuvenated 1.6 million hectares and helped them double or even triple crop yields.

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  • West's historic drought stokes fears of water crisis

    "WILLOWS, Calif. — When the winter rains failed to arrive in this Sacramento Valley town for the third straight year, farmers tightened their belts and looked to the reservoirs in the nearby hills to keep them in water through the growing season.

    When those faltered, some switched on their well pumps, drawing up thousands of gallons from underground aquifers to prevent their walnut trees and alfalfa crops from drying up. Until the wells, too, began to fail.

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  • Behind Toledo’s Water Crisis, a Long-Troubled Lake Erie

    "TOLEDO, Ohio — It took a serendipitous slug of toxins and the loss of drinking water for a half-million residents to bring home what scientists and government officials in this part of the country have been saying for years: Lake Erie is in trouble, and getting worse by the year.

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  • Difference Engine The Pacific's wayward child

    "THE DROUGHT afflicting California—now heading into its third year—has taken a turn for the worse. It seems that 2014 is shaping up to be the driest in nearly a century. Back in January, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of drought emergency, and urged Californians to cut their water use by 20%.

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  • Organic Farming Is Not Sustainable

    "You may have noticed that the organic section of your local supermarket is growing. Advocates tout organic-food production—in everything from milk and coffee to meat and vegetables—as a "sustainable" way to feed the planet's expanding population.

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  • The World's Resources Aren't Running Out


    How many times have you heard that we humans are "using up" the world's resources, "running out" of oil, "reaching the limits" of the atmosphere's capacity to cope with pollution or "approaching the carrying capacity" of the land's ability to support a greater population? The assumption behind all such statements is that there is a fixed amount of stuff—metals, oil, clean air, land—and that we risk exhausting it through our consumption.

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  • Tight fertilizer supplies expected this spring


    Producers can expect to see tight fertilizer supplies this spring, according to Ben Thompson, CHS Inc. northwest region crop nutrient manger.

    “There is enough fertilizer in the world for farming this year,” said Thompson. “The problem is getting it where it has to be.”

    Thompson believes 2014 will be a very unusual year because supplies of fertilizer aren’t going to be positioned on a domestic level where it needs to be at the beginning of growing season.

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  • BHP Billiton launches five year project for farmers in Mozambique

    " BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities today officially launched the LEAD Project in Mozambique, pledging US$8.8 million over five years to the new agricultural initiative that will benefit smallholder farmers from three districts in Maputo Province.

    Managed by ACDI/VOCA, a global economic development organisation that has worked in 146 countries since 1963, the LEAD Project stands for “Livelihoods Empowerment and Development” and began in August 2013. 

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