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PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Sara Naqvi, 36, holds a plate of her favorite Iftar meal, puri-cholea, deep fried bread and spicy chickpeas, as she waits to break her fast in New Delhi. During Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours. (REUTERS/Adnan Abidi)
Bringing Together Food Buyers and Producers in Urban India: The “farm to fork” process in India involves many middlemen and takes two or three days. To improve product quality and prevent farmer income being cut down by intermediaries, Kisan Saathi, a government funded social enterprise, is seeking to reduce this lengthy processes by directing farmers to markets more efficiently.
Elections on the Horizon, South Africans Call for Land Reform: Thousands of black South African smallholder farmers are frustrated by halting efforts to reform land policies formed by centuries of white minority control. Farmers complain that government programs meant to turn small black-owned operations into sustained, mid-sized agricultural businesses are well-intentioned but too slow.
SEE ALSO: What Has Changed in South Africa Since White Rule Ended?
Reflections on the Leadership and Legacy of Senator Richard Lugar
The world lost a great man and a leading champion of global food security last Sunday with the passing of Senator Richard Lugar, a veteran politician with a 36-year tenure representing Indiana in the Senate. He will be remembered for his strong leadership and dedication to bipartisanship. For the Council’s Global Food and Agriculture Program team, most importantly, he was the original sponsor of the nascent Global Food Security Act, at the time known as the Lugar-Casey Bill.
Three of our distinguished fellows, Catherine Bertini, Dan Glickman, and Doug Bereuter, wrote on reflections from working with Senator Lugar.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL ISSUES
Special Rice Initiative Project to Support Farmers in Ghana: Supported by Ghana’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Special Rice Initiative Project is designed to empower local farmers and increase rice production by providing farmers with agricultural inputs, fertilizers, and other inputs. This project is part of the government’s strategy to achieve self-sufficient in rice production by 2024.
Tanzania’s 12 Year Plan to Boost Rice Output: Not only a major food crop in Tanzania, rice also is a major source of income for local farmers. With a surging demand for rice, the Tanzanian government has launched a 12-year plan to raise annual rice production by 2.3 million tones and forestall a food crisis in the region.
Climate-Proofed Chickpeas: Researchers in India have identified genes that create a resistance to drought and heat for chickpea varieties. Typically, high temperatures reduce chickpea production—droughts are thought to have caused a global chickpea yield reduction of more than 70 percent.
Vital Chickpeas: Chickpeas are an important crop and food source for many and are primarily grown in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. India is the leader in chickpea production, growing 65 percent of the world’s crop—nearly 12 million tons each year. As a good source of protein, vitamin A, and many minerals, chickpeas are an important source of nutrition for many smallholder farmers.
One Million Species Face Risk of Extinction: Nature is declining at an unprecedented rate in human history. One million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, many within the next few decades, according to a recently released UN assessment report. This is the first intergovernmental report on biodiversity and most comprehensive ever completed and notes that protecting biodiversity amounts to protecting humanity, as we depend on the richness of the natural world for needed resources and foods.
Persons Living with HIV Face Food Insecurity: A recent study conducted by the Ghana AIDS Commission with support from the World Food Programme has found that around 50 percent of household with PLHIV faces food insecurity due to lack of access to adequate and nutritious food.
Opinion – Crafting Sustainable Food Systems for the Next Generation: Creating fully sustainable food systems is vital for the survival of this planet and our species. However, we cannot make the serious changes we need without revising the incentive structures of modern finance that dominates so much of our modern politics and discourse, says Janez Potocnik, Chairman of the RISE Foundation and Chair of FFA 2019.
Automated Machine for Farmers: Knowing the labor challenges and chemical problems in weeding, FarmWise has developed a chemical- and labor-free solution: an autonomous weeding machine that physically removes weeds without harming crops.
Meet the New Meat: In wealthy countries, the number of people committing to a plant-based diet has dramatically increased and food companies are taking note. Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are two companies that are racing to tap into the growing demand by creating products that aim to mimic the taste of beef with only plant ingredients. The jury is out however on if they present a truly healthier option.
SEE ALSO: Beyond Meat Fattens Up as Shares More than Double in IPO
US Imposes Tariffs on Mexican Tomatoes: Failing to reach a trade deal with Mexico after the breakdown of the Tomato Suspension Agreement, the United States will hit Mexico’s $2 billion tomato industry with a 17.5 percent import tariff. Mexico is the world’s largest exporter of tomatoes, accounting for approximate 54 percent of the US market. The tariff is likely to cost the country’s industry $350 million a year and will send US tomato prices soaring.
SEE ALSO: It’s ‘Guacanomics.’ Trump’s Threat to Close the US-Mexico Border Threatens Avocados
TRADE & COMMODITIES
China’s Soybean Imports Rise: China's soybean imports jumped 10.7 percent from the same period a year earlier according to customs data. China imported 7.64 million tons of soybeans in April and most of the cargo were Brazilian beans. China slapped a 25 percent tariff on US soybeans last July as part of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.
SEE ALSO: US Hog Futures Extend Setback on US-China Trade Tensions
Zambia’s Maize Output Down: Zambia’s 2019 maize production is expected to fall 16 percent to about 2 million tons from 2.39 million tons last year according to the nation’s Agriculture Minister Michael Katambo. Officials believe that the decreased production was largely caused by an extended period of dry weather.
Innovation Forum: The Future of Food
Date: May 22-23
Location: Chicago, IL
Global Launch of the UN Decade of Family Farming, 2019-2028
Date: May 27-29
Location: Rome, Italy
EAT Stockholm Food Forum 2019
Date: Jun 12-13
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Water and Sustainability – The Conversation Continues in Chicago
Date: June 13
Location: Chicago, IL
1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa
Date: June 18-21
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
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