A herd of sheep and goats gathers near a family farm near the Cheder Lake outside the village of Kur-Cher in Tuva region, Southern Siberia, Russia. The region is inhabited by Tuvans, historically cattle-herding nomads, who nowadays practise two main confessions - Buddhism and Shamanism. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin
How to Buy a Goat When You're Really Poor? Join a 'Merry-Go-Round'
Mary Abagi has spent most of her life eking out a living by growing crops on a tiny plot of land in her Kenyan village. Then, Abagi learned that the village had been picked for an unusual experiment that promised to change her life. An American charity called GiveDirectly is giving every adult in the village $22 every month for the next 12 years. Abagi's first thought: "I will save the money to buy a goat." And to do that, Abagi has turned to a special kind of savings club the villagers call a "merry-go-round."
Cargill Invests in Startup That Grows 'Clean Meat' from Cells
Cargill Inc. is betting you won’t always need cattle to make hamburgers. The agricultural conglomerate has invested in Memphis Meats Inc., a startup developing technology to grow meat from self-reproducing animal cells. The stake marks the first investment by a traditional meat company in the nascent “clean meat” sector, where startups are creating products they say are better for the environment than meat derived from traditional feedlots and slaughterhouses.
Children Suffer 30% of Global Foodborne Disease Deaths – Blockchain to the Rescue
Almost one-third of all deaths from foodborne diseases are in children under the age of five, a statistic that remains stubbornly unchanged despite advances in food safety. But applying blockchain to the food supply may advance food safety: blockchain allows the supply chain to be read backwards, showing where everything on the shelves actually came from: source, lot number, and so on. It’s a new frontier for traceability.
Scientists Hope to Farm the Biofuel of the Future in the Pacific Ocean
The push for renewable energy often focuses on well-established sources of electricity: solar, wind, and hydropower. Off the coast of California, a team of researchers is working on what they hope will become an energy source of the future: macroalgae, also known as kelp. Kelp is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth, and farming it requires no fertilizer, fresh water, pesticides, or arable land, and can be turned into bio-oil through a process called thermochemical liquefaction.
This Is Why When You Talk about Climate Change, You Can't Ignore Agriculture
Agriculture has historically released almost as much carbon into the atmosphere as deforestation, a new study suggests. Researchers have found that land use changes associated with planting crops and grazing livestock have caused a loss of 133 billion tons of carbon from soil worldwide over the last 12,000 years. At least half of those losses have probably occurred in the last few centuries.