US Dakota: “Farmer Readies His First #GMO Wheat Crop”


#AceNewsServices says over the past 20 plus years the “The Rise and Rise of Monsanto” has made significant advances in the development of herbicide-tolerant wheat, the company announced recently, and could have the first-of-its-kind crop ready for farming in just a few years’ time.

sayno2gmo
sayno2gmo

Genetically-modified wheat is not legally approved anywhere in the world, but the billion-dollar St. Louis, Missouri-based agriculture company has for years been determined to develop the first #GMO variety of the cash crop. Now Monsanto’s chief technology officer thinks the company is on the right track with regards to research.

Monsanto’s GMO wheat-in-progress is among 29 endeavours being undertaken by the group to have made “phase advancements” recently, company reps said in a conference call last week, and testing has advanced from the “proof of concept” stage to early development.

monsanto-labeling-300x300Monsanto-made wheat, like other #GMO crops created by the company, would be resistant to their weed killer Round-up and thus join the likes of other “Round-up Ready” products already sold by the company, including bio-engineered soy-bean and corn.

“From an overall market perspective, the grain industry and the wheat industry — specifically the wheat trade industry — has remained very interested and supportive of biotech advances,” Monsanto CTO Robb Fraley said during last week’s call, according to Baking Business reporter Eric Schroeder.

“A wheat farmer generally is also a corn and soy-bean farmer, and they understand the benefits of the technology, and the wheat industry has watched the benefits that this technology has brought to both corn and soy-beans. So we continue to make advances,” added Schroeder.

According to the company’s top technologist, though, GMO wheat would likely not be reality until a couple of years down the road.

“We are still several years away from a product launch, but it is nice to see those products in the pipeline,” Fraley  added.

Indeed, Monsanto has actually spent the better part of a decade-and-a-half researching GMO wheat. The company began field testing a variety starting in 1998, but suspended operations in 2005 after determining that a super-wheat strain was not quite ready to be launched.

As RT  states Monsanto also recently announced that sales of its Round-up Ready soy-bean grew 16 percent during the quarter ending November 30, 2013.

Piper Jaffray Cos analyst Michael Cos told Bloomberg News at the time that Monsanto’s GMO soybean “will prove to be the single most important earnings driver” for the company during the course of the next two years. According to Fraley’s  assessment, though, the company could be nearly completion on its GMO wheat by then.

Should Monsanto stay on track, however, they’ll still have to worry about the restrictions currently in place in the United States and abroad against #GMO wheat. The company became the centre piece of a biotech scandal last year when remnants of old biotech wheat turned up on an Oregon farm practically a decade after Monsanto supposedly stopped testing the crop. After those reports circulated, a government official for Japan’s farm ministry placed an embargo on all US wheat.

Many others countries outside the US have banned #GMO imports, and China recently refused no fewer than five shipments of American corn allegedly over concerns it could have been tainted by a biotech variety of the crop.

Ace Related News : ETH 

 

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“UN’s World Food Program feeds record 3.8 Million Syrians in December”


#AceWorldNews says the UN’s World Food Program (WFP) delivered rations to a record 3.8 million people in #Syria in December. However, the agency said civilians in eastern provinces and besieged towns near the capital remain out of reach. “Their nutrition situation is expected to have deteriorated significantly,” Reuters quoted spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs as saying. The organization has tried several times over the last few months to reach besieged areas in and around Damascus, but without success. Fighting in Raqqa and Deir al-Zor also prevented aid convoys from reaching people in those eastern provinces for the second consecutive month. The agency aims to reach 4.25 million people in January.

#AceNewsServices says here are the latest Food…


#AceNewsServices says here are the latest “Food and Health News” from our resident #Chefs-tip posts.
1. How to avoid Salmonella Poisoning from eggs http://wp.me/p2QGMH-ez
2. Benefits of Broccoli http://wp.me/p2QGMH-ew
3. Eating Oatmeal is Gives you Energy and is Slow Burning http://wp.me/p2QGMH-eH
4. Beauty of Eating Cabbage http://wp.me/p2QGMH-fz
Courtesy of #AceFoodNews

“Maine Governor Paul LePage Say’s #NO2GMO and Signs Legislation Requiring Labelling”


#AceFoodNews says Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed legislation today making Maine the second state to require labeling for genetically engineered (GE) foods. The GE food labelling will not take effect until five contiguous states enact similar legislation.

“American consumers want the right to know what is in the food they eat, plain and simple,” said Rebecca Spector, who spearheads state GE labelling legislative efforts at Centre for Food Safety. “The food movement has created the political will to label genetically engineered foods and states are beginning to respond.”

Polls show 90-95 percent of Americans want GE food labeling. In 2013, 50 bills were introduced requiring labeling in 26 states. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recentlyintroduced federal legislation that would require nationwide labeling of GE products.

“The GMO [genetically modified organisms] labelling law will give Maine people the information they need to make informed decisions about the food they and their families eat,” said Maine Conservation Voters’ Executive Director Maureen Drouin. “Already 64 countries around the world label foods that contain GM ingredients, including all of Europe, Russia, China, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia. The GMO labelling law will give important freedom of choice to food consumers in Maine and the north-east.”

Read More:ECW

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” Branding Through Facebook Takes You to Unlike Posts to Increase Fans”


#AceFoodNews says this latest post using the unlike button on Facebook can raise awareness according to the post:

by Aaron Taube on Jan 9, 2014, 10:51 AM

Burger King Whopper Sellout smaller thumbFor all the time brands spend begging social media users to like and share their latest topical jokes about the weather or the latest television show, marketers themselves are still figuring out how to measure the actual value of these interactions to their companies.

After all, just because I "liked" IHOP’s Facebook post wishing me "A Merry Little Breakfast" doesn’t mean I’m about to ditch out on Christmas morning to grab a Rooty Tooty Fresh ‘N Fruity combo.

In a refreshing bit a of self-awareness, Burger King’s Norway division made light of the frivolousness of some of these interactions with a campaign that actually encouraged people to "unlike" the brand’s Facebook page.

After discovering that many of its 38,000 Facebook "fans" were posting derogatory messages about its brand or praising arch rival McDonald’s, Burger King Norway chose to weed out these fly-by-night followers.

To do so, it asked Facebook users to choose one of two options: "like" the new Facebook page and declare yourself a "true fan" or accept a coupon for a free Big Mac and be banned from Burger King’s Facebook page forever.

Here’s what happened next, as told by DIST Creative, the Oslo ad agency that created the "Whopper Sell-Out" campaign:

Burger King Norway gave away all 1,000 of its Big Macs within a week and lost about 30,000 Facebook fans from the stunt.

However, DIST Creative reports that the new Facebook page wound up with 8,481 loyal followers, who engage with the brand five times as much as users did on the old page. And Burger King got additional free advertising every time someone accepted the Big Mac and declared themselves a "Whopper Sell-Out" on their Facebook page.

And yet, for all of the creativity of its Norwegian brethren, Burger King’s U.S. page continues to go about engaging its disloyal "fans" the same way it always has.

Burger King facebook shot

Speaking of Burger King’s Facebook pages: Remember the time it started calling itself "Fries King"?

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#AceNewsGroup says to All its Readers “Thank You for 1000 Likes on Our Posts”


WP Like Button#AceNewsGroup says today marks another milestone for our group and it is all thanks to you the readers kind support and all your likes, as we have reached 1000 and we could not do it without your support.

So all l can say is a great big thank you from the Ace News GroupThanks in all languages   

 

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#Monsanto Gathers Data – So What is the Reason Why?


The Start-up Stage
The Start-up Stage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceFoodNews says with #Monsanto collecting #data from every source what can we imagine the future of our food production could look like. So try to this is RSN’s take so just …………………….

magine cows fed and milked entirely by robots. Or tomatoes that send an e-mail when they need more water. Or a farm where all the decisions about where to plant seeds, spray fertilizer and steer tractors are made by software on servers on the other side of the sea.

This is what more and more of our agriculture may come to look like in the years ahead, as farming meets Big Data. There’s no shortage of farmers and industry gurus who think this kind of “smart” farming could bring many benefits. Pushing these tools onto fields, the idea goes, will boost our ability to control this fiendishly unpredictable activity and help farmers increase yields even while using fewer resources.

The Second Stage
The Second Stage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The big question is who exactly will end up owning all this data, and who gets to determine how it is used. On one side stand some of the largest corporations in agriculture, who are racing to gather and put their stamp on as much of this information as they can. Opposing them are farmers’ groups and small open-source technology start-ups, which want to ensure a farm’s data stays in the farmer’s control and serves the farmer’s interests.

Who wins will determine not just who profits from the information, but who, at the end of the day, directs life and business on the farm.

The Third Stage
The Third Stage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One recent round in this battle took place in October, when Monsanto spent close to $1 billion to buy the Climate Corporation, a data analytics firm. Last year the chemical and seed company also bought Precision Planting, another high-tech firm, and also launched a venture capital arm geared to fund tech start-ups.

In November, John Deere and DuPont Pioneer announced plans to partner to provide farmers information and prescriptions in near-real time. Deere has pioneered “precision farming” equipment in recent years, equipping tractors and combines to automatically transmit data-collected from particular farms to company databases. DuPont, meanwhile, has rolled-out a service that analyses data into “actionable management strategies.”

The Seed Stage
The Seed Stage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many farmer’s are wary that these giants could use these tools to win unprecedented levels of insight into the economics and operational workings of their farms. The issue is not that these companies would shower the farmers with ads, as Facebook does when it knows you’re looking to buy sneakers. For farmers, the risks of big data seem to pierce right to the heart of how they  make a living. What would it mean, for instance, for Monsanto to know the intricacies of their business?

Farm advocacy groups are now scrambling to understand how – if given free rein – these corporations could misuse the data they collect. “We’re signing up for things without knowing what we are giving up,” said Mark Nelson, director of commodities at the Kansas Farm Bureau. In May, the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national lobbying group, published a policy brief outlining some potential risks around these data-driven farm tools.

American Farm Bureau Federation
American Farm Bureau Federation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceHealthNews

Taking Food Banking From Delhi to Gurgaon


Gurgaon, July 2009
Gurgaon, July 2009 (Photo credit: Anannya Deb)

#AceFoodNews says “Hunger and Malnutrition remain critical issues in contemporary India, despite key economic advancements. However, on National Education Day (Nov 11), an event saw the launch of the first ever Gurgaon Food Bank, marked a successful feat – a step in the right direction – in this seemingly insurmountable challenge.

Delhi Food Bank (DFB) and its partners, building upon its critical success – in the presence of key dignitaries and supporters – helped to launch the Food Bank in Gurgaon, Haryana. The occasion also marked the end of its intensive Food-A-Thon 2013 campaign by honouring key organizations and individuals for their contribution at an awards ceremony.

There are vast numbers of transitionary populations in places such as Gurgaon in search of better economic opportunities, who as well as other vulnerable populations, face serious nutrition challenges that have a plethora of negative impacts on their lives.

READ The FULL STORY ATAFN

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Today Called for Innovative Thinking to Measure and Cut Global Food Loss and Waste Which They Said is Essential to Advance the Fight to Eliminate Hunger


English: Logo of the Food and Agriculture Orga...
English: Logo of the Food and Agriculture Organization (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

#AceFoodNews says the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently called for innovative thinking to measure and cut global food loss and waste which he said is essential to advance the fight to eliminate hunger.

FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/203149/icode/“>told participants at the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) in Copenhagen that an estimated one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted – around 1.3 billion tons. This costs around $750 billion annually.

“If we reduce food loss and waste to zero it would give us additional food to feed 2 billion people,” said Mr. Graziano da Silva, who joined leaders of partner agencies to discuss plans for a new global standard for measuring food loss and waste announced at 3GF by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

“One of my priorities in FAO is opening our doors to potential allies. Fighting food loss and waste is clearly one area in which partnership is needed. Developing a global protocol can help provide clear measurements and indicators on which we can base guidance on how to reduce food loss and waste,” he stated.

English: The logo of the Food and Agriculture ...
English: The logo of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, white and red (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

FAO noted that most food loss takes place in post-production, harvesting, transportation and storage. In developing countries, food waste is mainly related to inadequate infrastructure, while in more developed countries it is largely a problem in the marketing and consumption stages.

“We already know a lot about how to cut food losses,” said the Director-General. “But we need to invest more in a number of areas, especially in infrastructure such as roads and cold chains, but also improving market information. We also need to close the gap between the knowledge we have and what farmers and other actors in the food chain are actually doing.”

He called for more “innovative thinking” to keep retailers and each household from throwing food away. Per capita consumer waste is around 100 kilograms in Europe and North America per year. In Africa, it is less than 10 kilograms a year per person.

FAO works on numerous initiatives to reduce the loss of food in the agricultural process and throughout the food system ‘from field to fork.’

It launched the SAVE FOOD initiative together with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Messe Dusseldorf to reduce food loss and waste along the entire chain of food production and consumption.

This image shows all countries classified as &...
This image shows all countries classified as “Food Insecure” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, between 2003 and 2005. more than 5% of the people have insufficient food more than 15% of the people have insufficient food more than 25% of the people have insufficient food more than 35% of the people have insufficient food more than 50% of the people have insufficient food (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It also collaborates with UNEP, WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) and other partners in the Think.Eat.Save. campaign designed to target and change wasteful practices, especially at the retail and consumer end of the food-supply chain.

UNCHR and WFP Providing New Grant of £6.3 Million of Lifeline Assistance to Help Congolese Refugee’s


The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of...
The Coat of arms of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new £6.3 million grant to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) follows a sharp increase in the number of refugees who have fled fighting and unrest in the North Kivu and Orientale provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo since the start of the year.

Existing aid supplies in the region have been severely depleted following a sharp rise in refugees in the region.

In total, since the beginning of 2012, over 115,000 new Congolese refugees have been assisted in Uganda, with more arriving on a daily basis.

International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

Thousands of families who have fled into Uganda could face hunger and destitution unless aid agencies get the supplies they need. Our support will help families to survive and begin to rebuild their lives.

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version ...
Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version made by user Kashmiri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The UK’s funding will allow UNHCR and WFP to continue their support to refugees in in Bundibugyo, Kisoro and Koboko districts in western Uganda along the border with DRC, including transit centres and settlements.

UNHCR and its partners have provided shelter, household items, healthcare and nutrition, water and sanitation services, and various protection activities for children and adults while the WFP has provided food rations.

Britain’s support will enable the UNHCR and WFP to continue their support into the first quarter of next year. This will include:

  • Purchase of full food rations for 105,000 refugees for a period of 3 months.
  • Registration, transport, shelter, health services and clean water for 40,000 new arrivals.
  • One health centre and one school constructed and opened in Kyangwali refugee settlement.

WFP provides food that is cooked for refugees while they are at the transit centres, and then provides monthly family rations when they are relocated to settlements.

UNHCR supports refugees countrywide through five transit centres and eight settlements in north and southwest Uganda and in Kampala. Over 65 per cent of the more than 234,000 refugees in Uganda are from the DRC with most of the remainder originating from South Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. About 70 per cent of refugees have arrived in the last five years.

“High-Seas Fisheries Support the Food Security and Livelihoods of Millions of People Worldwide,”


English: A Food and Agriculture Organization (...
English: A Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) postage meter marking. Airmail letter from Italy to the U.S., 2007. Detail (FAO logo) Русский: Штамп франкировальной машины (Продовольственная и сельскохозяйственная организация ООН (ФАО), 2007). Письмо авиапочты из Италии в США. Деталь (логотип ФАО) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) just recently hailed a multi-partner project focused on improving global sustainable tuna fisheries by reducing illegal catch and supporting biodiversity in the common oceans.

“High-seas fisheries support the food security and livelihoods of millions of people worldwide,” Árni M. Mathiesen, FAO Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture said in a <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/204028/icode/“>statement announcing that Global Environment Facility (GEF) CEO Naoko Ishii has approved a project coordinated by FAO to boost the sustainability of tuna fisheries worldwide.

According to FAO, around one-third of the world’s seven major tuna species are currently overexploited. Given continued strong consumer demand and the overcapacity of fishing fleets, the status of tuna stocks is likely to deteriorate further if fisheries management is not improved.

“Through collective action at all levels and broad cooperation that optimizes the use of scarce resources, this project – and the wider Common Oceans initiative – will help move the world away from ‘the race to fish’ and towards implementation of an ecosystem approach,” said Mr. Mathiesen, stressing that it is vital to ensure the future well-being and productivity of these crucial marine ecosystems.

“Early successes will create incentives for donors and agencies to further invest in these types of catalytic projects.” he added.

By creating synergy between FAO and its global partners, the global tuna project on fisheries management and biodiversity conservation, set to run from 2013 through 2018, is vital to advance more sustainable and efficient fisheries management and to share the best fishing practices; to reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing through reinforced monitoring and control; and to lessen ecological impacts from illegal fishing.

This image shows all countries classified as &...
This image shows all countries classified as “Food Insecure” by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, between 2003 and 2005. more than 5% of the people have insufficient food more than 15% of the people have insufficient food more than 25% of the people have insufficient food more than 35% of the people have insufficient food more than 50% of the people have insufficient food (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The GEF, an international organization specialized on environment and sustainable development, has committed $30 million in support of the program, leveraging an addition $150 million of co-financing.

“I am pleased that we are able to bring together both public and private partners in this project, which give us a fighting chance to work on a scale sufficient to reverse negative trends threatening the global tuna fishery and the ocean environment that sustains it” said Mr. Ishii, commented on GEF’s funding.

Further to the tuna project, key partners including FAO, the UN Environment Program (UNEP), the World Bank, Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the World Wildlife Fund – US and the Global Oceans Forum are also involved in other relevant initiatives:

Increasing sustainable use of deep-sea living resources and ecosystems; strengthening global capacity to manage the areas beyond national jurisdiction  (ABNJ) and fuelling oceans partnerships to promote investment in long-term, sustainable fisheries management.

FAO estimates that tunas and tuna-like species account for the most valuable fishery resource caught in the areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). About 5.4 million tonnes are landed each year, with over 85 countries harvesting tuna in commercial quantities. Capture levels are highest in the Pacific Ocean, followed by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

BENIN: UN AGENCY PROGRAMME TO HELP FLOOD-HIT FARM COMMUNITIES REBOUND


United Nations The United Nations today launched an emergency response programme to support farmers in northern Benin who lost crops, livestock and fishing grounds when the region was hit by floods in August.

“This is emergency assistance with a longer-term view, in that it includes awareness raising and training on resilience for community members and local authorities, <“http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/203975/icode/“>said the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), José Graziano da Silva, who was in the country to launch the programme.

“This can help shape a new approach that looks to the future beyond the short timeframe of immediate emergencies.”

Agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of employment in Benin. In the rural and impoverished northern region, families are even more dependent on agriculture and less able to cope with repeated setbacks.

Many of the villagers who were hit by the floods this year were only getting back on their get from the last floods in 2012. The Government estimates that crop losses alone are estimated at some $20 million. Due to the scale of the destruction, the Government has nearly exhausted its resources assisting victims with food, shelter and cash transfers, with little possibility to help re-launch the agricultural sector.

The emergency programme will launch immediately, assisting some 7,500 households that have been worst-affected by the floods by supplying quality seed for rice, off-season vegetables and maize, farming equipment, fertilizers, training in seed production and conservation, and storage infrastructure to reduce production losses.

Farmers will also be trained in modern technologies and best practices, such as micro-dosing of fertilizers, to increase production, reduce costs and protect the environment.

English: The logo of the Food and Agriculture ...
English: The logo of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, white and red (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Sunday, Mr. da Silva took part in a ceremony to immediately activate the emergency assistance in the northern villages of Malanville and Karimama, the worst affected by the flooding, where nearly all agricultural production was wiped out, and farmers were left with no crops and no seed for planting anew.

FAO said a portion of the emergency funding will go to rehabilitate the commercial activities of some 1,300 young people who had started farming under a Beninese Government programme for creating rural jobs and economic opportunity.

The programme’s resilience workshops will also benefit local community services by raising awareness of good agricultural practices, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and natural resources management.

 

New Academic Study Shows Benefits For: food security, resource efficiency, economic stability, improved biodiversity, climate-change mitigation


Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University of Berlin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New academic study shows that productive agriculture brings significant benefits for food security, resource efficiency, economic stability, improved biodiversity, climate-change mitigation. Productive agriculture delivers important benefits to Europe and the world from increased food security and more efficient land use to climate change mitigation, biodiversity protection and economic and social stability – according to a landmark academic study released today.

The new report, “The social, economic and environmental value of agricultural productivity in the European Union“, has been published by the Humboldt Forum for Food and Agriculture, an international non-profit think tank based in Berlin.

The study assesses data on the economic, social and environmental effects of productive agriculture (which uses modern technologies such as agricultural machinery, new seed varieties, organic and/or mineral fertilizers, and plant protection products and solutions) in the EU.

According to the findings, each percentage point increase in agricultural productivity in the EU:

1. Feeds more than 10 million humans per year.
2. Increases the annual social welfare generated in European agriculture by approximately 500 million.
3. Contributes EUR 500 to the annual income of an average EU farmer and reduces our net virtual land imports by about 1.2 million hectares.
4. Acts to save 220 million tons in CO2 emissions preserves global biodiversity, equivalent to fauna and flora of up to 600,000 hectares of     rainforest
5. Switching to low input agricultural methods, with average 31 per cent lower yields than productive agriculture in the EU, would come at the cost of these benefits, according to the report’s authors.

“This study – the first scientific analysis of its kind – quantifies the various benefits of productive agriculture in the EU,” said one of the study’s authors, Dr.Steffen Noleppa of agripol GbR, an agricultural policy research firm based in Berlin. Harald von Witzke from Humboldt University Berlin, president of the Humboldt Forum forFood and Agriculture and also an author of the study, adds: “Clearly, when it comes to agriculture, productivity matters.”

ecpa 2012 grade 8 diversity
ecpa 2012 grade 8 diversity (Photo credit: mosaic36)

Dr. Friedhelm Schmider, Director General of ECPA, the European Crop Protection Association, said: “This study reminds us all that productive agriculture, which incorporates pesticide use and other modern agricultural technologies, has contributed to improve our way of life in many ways. The benefits pesticides bring to the table are often taken for granted, and the reasons for their use in agriculture are rarely discussed.
Nevertheless, we are hopeful that this new research will serve as base for increasing the understanding of the accomplishments which have already been achieved in agriculture. Innovation in crop protection has delivered a lot and for this to continue we need policy and regulatory frameworks that foster innovation and help Europe’s farmers to stay competitive, in order to meet the challenges of tomorrow and to continue to deliver affordable and healthy food available for all, whist protecting environment and consumer health.”

To download the study, visit this link: http://www.hffa.info/index.php/resources/download-publications/publications/working-paper-5.html

For the online version please follow the link: http://www.ecpa.eu/news-item/agriculture-today/10-31-2013/817/why-europe-needs-more-productive-agriculture

For comment from the study’s authors, contact: office@hffa.info

The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) represents the crop protection industry interests at European level. Its members include all major companies and national associations across Europe.

For more information: http://www.ecpa.eu

For more general information:

http://www.hungry4change.eu

facebook.com/cropprotection

twitter.com/cropprotection

The European Crop Protection Association (ECPA)

 

Bread for the World Urges Congress to Protect Food Stamps and Improve International Food Aid in the Farm Bill


Bread for the WorldAs millions of families brace for automatic cuts to SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps), members of the House and Senate meet today to finalize a farm bill that will impact vital anti-hunger programs–specifically SNAP and international food aid.

“Struggling U.S. families will suffer enough hardship as a result of this week’s food stamp cuts,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We must urge Congress to protect life-saving anti-hunger programs and not balance the budget on the backs of hungry people who cannot afford additional hardship.”

SNAP effectively and efficiently helps more than 47 million low-income Americans put food on the table. Even though unemployment and poverty have remained high, the number of families at risk of hunger has not increased since 2008. Unfortunately, Congress voted twice in 2010 to cut SNAP in order to pay for other priorities. Eleven billion dollars in cuts to the program–or nearly 10 million missed meals per day–will take effect this Friday.

Food StampsProposed food stamp cuts the range from $4 billion to $39 billion.

Congress is also considering improvements to international food aid programs that will increase flexibility, cost-effectiveness and efficiencies in order to better respond to global hunger and malnutrition in the 21(st) century.

“Last year, international food aid programs reached more than 66 million people affected by famine, disasters and other emergencies,” added Beckmann. “Still, our food aid programs could be more efficient. Bread for the World supports these and other changes that reduce global hunger and malnutrition.”

Bread for the World urges lawmakers to support a farm bill that reduces hunger in the United States and around the world by protecting and strengthening SNAP and improving international food aid.

Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

SOURCE  Bread for the World

Courtesy of Bread For The World  

Website: http://www.bread.org

 

Over 2 Million Zimbabweans will Need Food Assistance in the Near Future According to WFP


English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme i...
English: Logo of the UN World Food Programme in SVG format (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some 2.2 million Zimbabweans will need food assistance in the pre-harvest period from January to March next year, a United Nations agency said today, warning that food security in the southern African country continue to deteriorate.

Harsh weather conditions, the high cost or lack of available fertilizers and seeds, and the prospect of high food prices due to poor harvest, have all contributed to high food insecurity levels, the World Food Programme (WFP) said in its latest assessment of the country.

In a briefing to reporters in Geneva, WFP spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs said the food security situation is at it worst since 2009, with the national maize harvest being less than last year’s 1 million metric tons, and less than the country’s requirement of 2.1 million metric tons.

Grain prices are currently 23 per cent higher than this time last year, and many people have exhausted their personal stocks and are relying on buying cereals from the market. Job opportunities are also scarce and cash flow is a major challenge.

The Government of Zimbabwe has requested international support for food assistance to meet the growing needs. In response, WFP is launching a relief programme in the worst-affected areas this month and will gradually scale up assistance over coming months, Ms. Byrs said.

This month, WFP and partners will begin food distributions and will expand its operations until the end of March when the next harvest comes. Three distributions will start in three districts of Midlands and Matabeleland North provinces, and will be scaled up to 19 districts in November, 38 in December, and 41 districts from January to March.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL’S LEADERSHIP ROLE VITAL TO END ‘APPALLING SUFFERING’ IN #SYRIA


United Nations

UN OFFICIAL POST   
After its call on all parties in Syria for humanitarian access to relieve the plight of civilians trapped by heavy fighting, the Security Council must show leadership to ensure cooperation for delivery of food and medicines, and protection measures, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator urged today.

“I am extremely disappointed that we have not been able to make further progress on the ground,” said Valeria Amos as she briefed the Council this morning on the humanitarian situation in Syria.

“Three weeks have passed since the adoption of the Council’s Presidential Statement [on the issue]; with little change to report. Each day that passes without the parties upholding their most basic obligations results in more lost lives, more displaced people and more people denies access to the most basic services,” added Ms. Amos, who is also the Under-Secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs.

On 2 October, the Council, in a Presidential Statement, urged the Syrian Government to immediately allow cross border aid deliveries, and also called on all parties to the conflict to agree on humanitarian pauses in the fighting, with special attention to key delivery routes.

The statement also deplored the escalating violence in a conflict that has already killed more than 100, 000 people and driven some 6.5 million other form their homes since opposition protesters first sought the ouster of the Government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

“Words, despite their ability to shock, cannot really paint a picture of the grime and gruesome reality of Syria today,” Ms. Amos said in today’s briefing. “I call upon all members of the Council to exert influence and take necessary action to stop this brutality and violence. This Council’s leadership role is vital.”

She said humanitarian pauses are needed in all locations “where communities are being held hostage by one party of the other to the conflict” to deliver food, medicine and shelter. “We need those who control the check-points, on both sides of the conflict to ensure the safe and unhindered passage of humanitarian convoys,” she added.

English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 20...
English: Valerie Amos, Baroness Amos at the 2007 World Economic Forum on Africa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ms. Amos also said that people must be allowed to move to safer areas without fear of attack and that he Syrian Government must immediately lift all bureaucratic impediments to humanitarian operation, including visa delays.

The suffering will only get worse as the fighting intensifies and winter sets in, she said, warning: “this is a race against time.”

Speaking to reporters after her briefing, Ms. Amos reiterated her disappointment at the lack of progress in efforts to alleviate the suffering in Syria and said: “What we are seeing is a deepening of the crisis, more and more people affected and in particular I expressed my concern about the extremely brutal and violent nature of this conflict.”

Ms. Amos said she asked the Council to consider a number of measures which would help implement the Presidential Statement and had expressed the desire to discuss the issues in further detail.

She said Council members had listened to her proposals “very carefully” and had asked questions of their own, including on the attitude of both the Government and the opposition to the aims of the Statement; on the security situation and what might be hampering aid delivery; and on specific issues such as the situations of women and children.

“The situation on the ground has not fundamentally changed [since the adoption of the Presidential Statement]. What I need is the political support of the Security Council members and other Members of the United Nations to really make a difference,” she said.

On the political front, UN Spokesperson Martin Nesirky said the Joint Special Representative for Syria of the UN and the League of Arab States, Lakhdar Brahimi, is in Qatar today, where he met the Emir to discuss the crisis and preparations for an international conference on Syria, to be held in Geneva.

He said that yesterday, Mr. Brahimi was in Turkey where he met with General Salim Idriss of the Free Syrian Army and 10 of his military commanders, and they also discussed the holding of a conference on Syria. “The Joint Special Representative reiterated his view that there is no military solution to the Syrian crisis and that all efforts should be exerted to stop the conflict and end the suffering of the Syrian people,” Mr. Nesirky said.

He said that before travelling to Doha, Mr. Brahimi met today in Ankara with Ahmet Davotuglu, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to discuss preparations for the Geneva conference. Mr. Brahimi heads to Tehran tomorrow.

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