In Case You Missed it: This Week in Review

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This week, PBS’ Newshour featured the One Acre Fund and their work helping small farmers in East Africa by providing them with credit, good-quality seeds and fertilizer, and insurance. In this post, we examine how the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to fully implement a high-speed poultry production, which could pose serious health risks by allowing a greater chance for contaminated meat to reach consumers. And in this Citywatch post, food policy analyst Wayne Roberts discusses the importance of policies that stimulate resource conservation and the need for a “resource revolution” for better economic and environmental health.

Photo credit: Bernard Pollack

We received some exciting news coverage this past week. Our research on land grabs was featured in Colombia’s Semana Magazine. And our article on how agriculture can help address some of our most pressing social and environmental challenges, including hunger and climate change, was published in the Harvard International Review.

Highlight from this past week:

As part of its THRIVE campaign, the grassroots organization The One Campaign has released a report, FOOD. FARMING. FUTURE. Breaking the Cycle of Malnutrition and Poverty. The report points out that reactive measures, such as early warning systems, safety net programs, and coordinated humanitarian responses have not been enough to eradicate the food crises and famines that result from drought and national disasters. A more preventative approach, beginning with increased investment in agriculture—and the financial and infrastructure systems that support it—is needed to increase incomes and eradicate food security.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Commission have announced a €5.3 million (approximately US$7 million) three-year project to promote “climate-smart” approaches to agriculture. FAO says that “climate-smart” agriculture “sustainably increases productivity, resilience (adaptation), [and] reduces/removes greenhouse gases (mitigation) while enhancing the achievement of national food security and development goals.” FAO reports that crop agriculture is responsible for 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Efforts, therefore, will need to be aimed at both improving livelihoods of farmers and improving food access, as well as reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

Now it’s your turn: What were your favorite posts from the week? What do you hope we’ll write about next week? Let us know in the comments!

To purchase State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet please click HERE. And to watch the one minute book trailer, click HERE.

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