Archive for the ‘Funding’ Category

Dec13

European Campaign Raises Awareness of Aging-Farmer Crisis

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By Carol Dreibelbis

Only 6 percent of farmers in the European Union are under the age of 35, while one-third of the region’s farmers are over the age of 65, according to the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA). The lack of generational renewal in European agriculture puts future food production and the vitality of rural areas at risk, the council argues.

“Future Food Farmers” aims to address the age crisis in European agriculture. (Photo credit: www.futurefoodfarmers.eu)

To raise public and political awareness about the age crisis in European agriculture, CEJA recently launched a Europe-wide campaign called “Future Food Farmers.” The primary objective is to make young farmers a priority in the upcoming reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU’s leading agricultural policy framework. CEJA hopes to shape European legislation and regulation to make agriculture more accessible to young people.

Specifically, CEJA advocates that Measure 112 in the current CAP, which provides for the “setting up of young farmers,” be made mandatory. Under the measure, EU member states can provide aid to their young farmers in the form of land, credit, or low-interest loans. But because this action is voluntary, some countries ignore it, leading to a lack of cohesive implementation and, CEJA argues, resulting in a lost opportunity to support Europe’s next generation of farmers. According to an October 2012 progress report from the European Network for Rural Development, just under half of the €4.9 billion (US$6.4 billion) budgeted for Measure 112 from 2007 to 2013 has been spent, and some 70,000 farmers have received support—only 42 percent of the set target.

In early 2013, CEJA plans to present its petition and signatories to European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dacian Ciolos; President of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council and Irish Farm Minister, Simon Coveney; and Member of European Parliament and Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Paolo de Castro.

To pledge to support “Future Food Farmers” or to find out more about the campaign, visit www.futurefoodfarmers.eu.

Carol Dreibelbis is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet project.

Aug21

First Peoples Worldwide Awards Over US$1 Million in Grants to Indigenous Communities

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By Sophie Wenzlau

This past July, First Peoples Worldwide (FPW) reached a milestone of US$1.2 million in grants awarded “directly to Indigenous projects, programs, and communities” around the world. First Peoples, an international, Indigenous-led advocacy organization, seeks to promote economic determination and strengthen Indigenous communities by awarding grants directly to Indigenous Peoples. To fulfill these objectives, the organization provides “Indigenous Peoples with the tools, information and relationships they need to build community capacity to leverage assets for sustainable economic development.”

First Peoples Worldwide has surpassed $1 million in grants to Indigenous organizations. (Image credit: FPW)

According to the United Nations’ State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, “Indigenous Peoples all over the world continue to suffer from disproportionally high rates of poverty, health problems, crime, and human rights abuses.” In the United States, for example, Indigenous Peoples are 600 times more likely to contract tuberculosis and 62 percent more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Worldwide, Indigenous Peoples’ life expectancy is 20 years lower than the non-Indigenous average.

Despite these sobering statistics, Indigenous Peoples are responsible for some of the most vibrant and diverse cultures on earth. Of the world’s 7,000 languages, the UN estimates that over 4,000 are spoken by Indigenous Peoples. Indigenous communities are also strongholds of traditional knowledge, preserving ancient technologies, skills, and beliefs.

The grants awarded by FPW have funded innovative projects in countries like Botswana, Bolivia, Ghana, and Sri Lanka, and have focused on topics as diverse as land reclamation, water development, and traditional medicine.

In Ghana, FPW funded a project designed to prevent wild elephants from destroying farms located along the boundaries of Kakum National Park. The Association of Beekeepers in Ghana, the organization that received the grant, developed the novel idea of constructing a beehive barrier along the community’s perimeter. According to FPW, “the presence of the hives has naturally prevented elephants from crossing the grounds, and the honey production has increased income for farmers through sales, which has improved local commerce.”

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Aug14

Helping Poor Children Avoid Poor Diets

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Check out our latest op-ed about improving school meals and students’ eating habits, published in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, one of the largest daily newspapers in the United States with a daily print circulation of over 220,000.

For many children in Austin and around the country, heading back to school means a return to terribly unhealthy school lunches fried chicken, pizza pockets, corn dogs, and desserts loaded with high-fructose corn syrup. But by emphasizing hands-on nutrition education, such as school garden projects and classroom cooking demonstrations, and by providing fresh, local fruits and vegetables in cafeterias, schools can encourage students to improve their diets.

Click here to read the full article.

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE.

Aug04

City Orchard: Nourishing the Capital

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By Jameson Spivack

Bread for the City, a nonprofit group dedicated to providing food, medical care, and other necessities to D.C. residents who cannot afford them, recently began its newest project, City Orchard. City Orchard is a program that grows fruits and vegetables, which are then used to stock the shelves of Bread for the City’s food pantry. Whereas most food pantries rely on donations, Bread for the City is growing its own fresh, local produce, in partnership with Casey Trees, a group that protects the plant life in the D.C. area.

The City Orchard project grows fruits and vegetables for a D.C. food pantry. (Image credit: Bread for the City)

The project has already planted 200 apple, Asian pear, and persimmon trees and blueberry and blackberry bushes, and plans to have 800 more in the ground over the next year. Once they have matured in 2014, they will provide up to 40,000 lbs. of fruit per year, all of which will be given to the needy.

The idea for City Orchard came from Bread for the City’s nutrition consultant Sharon Feuer Gruber, who noticed there wasn’t enough fresh fruit on food pantry shelves. She then teamed up with Casey Trees, who had already been in talks with the University of the District of Columbia’s College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) about using some of their property to create a community garden.

Through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, Bread for the City received the funding it needed to get the garden started. City Orchard will provide fruits and vegetables to Bread for the City’s “Glean for the City” project, which collects fresh, free surplus produce. It will then distribute the nutritious food to the hungry in D.C. through its food pantries.

The project also provides a place for both D.C. residents and Bread for the City clients to learn about nutrition, urban farming, and the benefits of local, nutritious food. Through programs like nutrition and cooking workshops, residents can become more knowledge about and involved in the food they are eating.

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Aug03

Investment in Women Farmers Still Too Low

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Women farmers produce more than half of all food worldwide and currently account for 43 percent of the global agricultural labor force, yet few extension or research services are directed at women farmers, according to new research conducted for our Vital Signs Online service. Women produce as much as 50 percent of the agricultural output in South Asia and 80 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.

Women produce as much as half of the world’s agricultural output. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

In spite of women farmers’ essential roles in global and local food security, there is a persistent gender gap in agriculture. Cultural norms and restrictive property or inheritance rights limit the types and amount of financial resources, land, or technology available to women. Studies in South Asia and throughout the Middle East also show that women receive lower wages and are more likely to work part-time or seasonally than men in comparable jobs, regardless of similar levels of education and experience.

Recognizing the factors restricting women from receiving full compensation for their role in global agriculture is key to alleviating the gender gap in agricultural employment, resources, and development. Women produce 60–80 percent of the food in developing countries but own less than 2 percent of the land. They typically farm non-commercial, staple crops, such as rice, wheat, and maize, which account for 90 percent of the food consumed by the rural poor.

Fewer extension or research services are directed at women farmers because of perceptions of the limited commercial viability of their labor or products—and only 15 percent of extension officers around the world are women. Yet the Economist Intelligence Unit’s newly developed Global Food Security Index has a 0.93 correlation with its index of Women’s Economic Opportunity, showing that countries with more gender-sensitive business environments—based on labor policies, access to finance, and comparative levels of education and training—have more abundant, nutritious, and affordable food. This relationship provides evidence that when women have equal resources and opportunity, they can produce higher—and higher-quality—agricultural yields.

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Jul29

Crowd Sourcing Financial Solutions to Hunger: What Will the Policy Outcome Be?

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By Ioulia Fenton

A recent FAO online forum invited suggestions and ideas on improving agricultural development. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

Over the last few weeks, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held the 81st online Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition. Drawing on 4,000 members from 170 countries and territories, the platform claims to allow “stakeholders such as academics, researchers, development practitioners, governments, and the civil society to actively participate in [key debates].”

The latest discussion, “Innovative financing for agriculture, food security and nutrition,” invited participants to comment on different Innovative Financing Mechanisms (IFMs) that have been suggested to complement Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) efforts in developing nations and come up with novel ideas of their own.

IFMs are mechanisms that lie outside traditional channels of funding (like ODA and private sector investment) that aim to reach under-serviced rural and poor populations. According to the FAO, they are needed now more than ever because, due to population growth and lifestyle change, the world’s food requirements are expanding at a time when ODA destined for agriculture is declining and private investment is found to be wildly lacking or even, at times, non-existent.

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Jun21

Women and Sustainability: Rio+20 Leaders and Activists Convene to Discuss the Future Women Want

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By Seyyada A Burney

Nourishing the Planet is collaborating with Women Deliver to highlight the important role of women, youth, and reproductive and sexual rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

UN Women led a powerful forum on what is needed to boost women's rights and empowerment. (Photo credit: UN Women)

As the long-awaited ‘Future We Want’ draft was being released at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, leaders, experts, and activists were already gathering to discuss the future that women want.

Yesterday, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, UN Women, led the first of two Women Leader’s Forums’ focused on women’s innovations and contributions to development; promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the green economy; and integrating the three pillars of sustainable development–economy, society, and the environment–into a new, inclusive development framework. Global sustainable development leaders including Mary Robinson, former President of the Republic of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Michele Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, moderated four panel discussions throughout the day. Each culminated in an interactive Q&A session that invited civil society activists from around the world to contribute their opinions and insight to the global sustainable development dialogue taking place at Rio+20, either in person or via the panel’s twitter feed (#WomenRio).

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Jun20

Women and Sustainability: Women and Business Development at Rio+20 – An Interview with Tess Mateo

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Nourishing the Planet is collaborating with Women Deliver to highlight the important role of women, youth, and reproductive and sexual rights in sustainable development at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.

Name: Tess Mateo

Tess Mateo speaks on the importance of women's business development. (Photo credit: Tess Mateo)

Affiliation: Managing Director and Founder of CXCatalysts

Bio: Tess has served as director in the office of the CEO at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the strategic advisor to the Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy, and has launched a real estate group, technology company, and innovative specialty clothing line. Tess is also a member of the New York chapter of the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. Tess will be a panelist at the Innovative Collaborations Driving Inclusive Sustainable Growth event at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development. The program is organized in part by CXCatalysts and BPW and will focus on women empowerment and clean water and clean energy business for sustainable growth.

What motivated you to get involved with BPW International and why is developing professional and leadership potential in women important?

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Jun15

De Schutter Highlights the Importance of a Rights-Based Approach to Food Security

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By Olivia Arnow

Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food,  spoke yesterday at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) about the “right to food.” According to De Schutter, a rights-based approach is crucial in attaining global food security, particularly in developing nations.

Olivier De Schutter has been instrumental in building discussion about the right to food. (Photo credit: Oxfam)

Addressing recent developments in the right-to-food movements in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, De Schutter described the potential of a rights-based approach in replacing the current supply-and-demand model. This approach is not just about availability, but requires that we pay attention to both food accessibility and adequacy.

By regulating private actors and de-emphasizing state power, De Schutter believes that populations can protect their right to food. “I believe that accountability, participation, and empowerment are absolutely key ingredients in the success of food security strategies,” he said.

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Jun08

Ford Foundation leads discussion on Sustainable Cities at Rio+20

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By Seyyada A Burney

From New York to Kuala Lumpur, cities are sites of rapid economic growth and mass consumption.  Despite this, governments and NGOs around the world are increasingly concerned about whether cities, by their sheer size and the economic and social relations they foster, and urban growth are sustainable.

High property values and unemployment have led to rapid slum development in many cities. (Photo credit: Cityform Network)

The Ford Foundation, a private New York-based foundation that supports programs encouraging democratic values, education, and economic and social progress, is working to promote a vision of inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development in cities. On June 17 and 18 it will host side events, entitled ‘The Just City’, at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development where leaders and innovators such as Luis Ubiñas, President of the Ford Foundation, Joan Clos, Director of UN-Habitat, and Jeb Brugmann, founder of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, will gather to discuss the opportunities and challenges afforded by sustainable and inclusive urban development.

Discussions will focus on individuals, areas, or programs contributing to equality and integration in cities, such as public transport or participatory urban planning, and will also identify some of the common barriers they face when trying to expand, or scale up, such initiatives.

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