Can cutting down on sugar subsidies lead to healthier trade competition and trimmer prices? The 2005 European Union market reforms aim to thin EU farmers’ sugar subsidies and cut out obsolete sugar mills. Sugar Policy Reform in the European Union and in World Sugar Markets maps out how this might work.(327 words)
GM crops are a threat to food security rather than a solution to the food crisis. Genetic engineering does not increase yields and GM crops have failed under extreme fluctuations in temperature. Rather than increasing critical biodiversity, genetic engineering puts the world’s natural biodiversity at risk of contamination in an unforeseeable and uncontrolled way. Since 1996, there have been 216 cases of crops being contaminated by GMOs in 57 countries (http:// www.gmcontaminationregister.org). Genetic engineering is also expensive and risky for farmers. Its seeds are subject to patent claims which will indirectly increase the price of food and, as a result, will not alleviate poverty or hunger and pose a threat to food sovereignty.(118 words)
Biotechnology has steadily evolved to become a potential motor of environmentally sustainable production and a proven source of a diverse range of innovations in agriculture, industry and medicine. Could we be at the dawn of a new bioeconomy? Public policies will influence the answer.(1925 words)
World agriculture faces an enormous challenge over the next 40 years: to produce almost 50% more food up to 2030 and double production by 2050. With pressure from increasing urbanisation, industrialisation and climate change also rising, proper water management will be vital.(782 words)
Can global agriculture and food systems provide for the predicted 9 billion people living in the world in 2050? Predictions of global famine are not new, but recent setbacks in the fight to eradicate hunger have brought agriculture back to centre stage in international discussions.(1440 words)
In the years ahead, the global food and agriculture system will have to provide sustainably for billions more people and meet greater demands on quality, affordability and availability. Farming will be competing with other sectors for land, water and investment, while climate change adds new pressures.
Ministers and stakeholders from OECD member countries and key emerging economies gather in Paris on 25-26 February to discuss how best to respond to the challenges. We asked ministers from five of them–Austria and New Zealand as co-chairs, Canada, Germany and Chile–and leading representatives from Concern Worldwide, the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, John Deere, and the World Trade Organization:
“What actions are you prioritising to prepare the food and agriculture system for the needs of a rapidly changing world?”(3840 words)
Despite the global economic slowdown, consumption of meat is projected to grow over the next decade, keeping pace with increases in population and purchasing power in most parts of the world. By 2018, human beings will be eating more than 320 million tonnes of meat a year, up some 20% compared with 2006-08. In developing countries, per capita meat consumption will jump more than 16%, outpacing population growth and rising from 24 kg per person per year today to a projected 27 kg in 2018.(220 words)
Over the last two years, prices of agricultural commodities have risen spectacularly, and nominal prices for many crops and dairy products are at an all-time record high. This surge in prices is not unique, and when adjusted for inflation, the recent price spike is neither unique nor the biggest one to occur in the last three decades or so.(1660 words)
Several Sahel and West African countries have seen prices of agricultural commodities rising since September 2007 compared with 2006 and on into the first quarter of 2008. This has given rise to tension in some countries like Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.(228 words)
There were 102 million hectares of commercially grown transgenic (or genetically-modified) crops worldwide in 2006. In 1996 that total stood at 1.7 million hectares. These figures come from the international agribiotech concern, ISAAA, which notes that soybean, maize, cotton and canola are still the main transgenic crops, and herbicide tolerance and insect resistance the dominant traits.(242 words)
Anyone shopping in fruit markets this summer will agree that judging the quality of agricultural products is a serious business. After all, customers want their apples to look and taste like apples. But ever wonder how those standards are ensured from the farm to the marketplace? Standards play a vital role in growing, pricing, trading, shipping and public safety. They serve the global market, simplify import and export procedures, and increase transparency, confidence and traceability.(377 words)
More than two billion people in developing countries rely on agriculture to meet their basic food and income needs. While the development community has long recognised the importance of investments in agriculture to fuel economic growth, the strategies employed have been erratic, sometimes misdirected, and often ineffective. As a result, benefits that poor people might have derived from a vibrant agricultural sector have not materialised.(1146 words)
Where are we in the current economic crisis?
- Clinical trials for better health policies
- Asia’s Challenges
- Women in work: The Norwegian experience
- The EU fish discard ban: Where’s the catch?
- Information society: Which way now?
- Policy can brighten the economic outlook
- How to get it right
- Interns are workers, too
- It’s all about people
- Time for an energy [r]evolution