agriculture

After drought and failed harvests, people of Madagascar reduced to eating mud 

After years of drought, and with what little the people of Madagascar have managed to grow, destroyed by flashflooding, more than 1.3 million are in crisis - and some are even eating ground-up clay just to survive.  

In an interview with UN News’s Daniel Johnson, WFP’s regional director for southern Africa, Lola Castro, explains how the UN agency is helping by empowering communities to withstand future climate shocks

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11'14"

FAO Podcast: A Hungry World Rolls Up Its Sleeves 

The death rate through hunger and starvation in World War Two, rivals the number of those killed in combat. By 1945, agriculture had effectively ground to a halt, leaving hundreds of millions to survive on the equivalent of two potatoes a day.  

It was against this desperate backdrop that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was born.  Marking the UN agency’s 75th anniversary, FAO’s Andre Vornic has produced a short podcast series on the founding of the key UN agency. In this first episode, ‘a hungry world rolls up its sleeves’. 

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14'32"

FROM THE FIELD: Growing potatoes in the air: agricultural innovation in Rwanda

A Rwandan entrepreneur is pioneering the use of innovative farming technology that, he believes, is set to play a major role in feeding the growing population in his country, amid increasing pressure on arable land.

Fact-checking becoming ‘as important as handwashing’

Whilst COVID-19 has posed a serious threat to food security overall, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) believes agricultural commodity markets are proving to be more resilient to the pandemic, than many other sectors.

But the real test in terms of food security will come now, “with lockdowns ending, and people having to go back to their jobs to support themselves”.

That’s according to Sridhar Dharmapuri, a Senior FAO Food Safety and Nutrition Officer from the Asia Pacific region.

While stressing the importance of maintaining good food safety practices at home, Mr. Dharmapuri told UN News’s Li Zhang, that cutting through the tide of misinformation was also key to battling the coronavirus.

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13'20"

Child labour gains since 2000 ‘could be wiped out by COVID’, UN warns

Huge gains made towards ending child labour over the last 20 years, risk being reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN said on Friday, in an appeal for governments to continue investing in measures that have helped reduce the number of youngsters working, by 94 million, since 2000.

News in Brief 11 June 2020

  • Alarm over reported ‘pushbacks’ from Greece at EU border with Turkey
  • 108 million children forced to work in agriculture and rising, warns UN agency
  • Iconic Lake Geneva fountain returns to live-streaming after COVID-19 stoppage
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3'59"

FROM THE FIELD: The UN’s mission to transform agriculture, for people and planet

How can agriculture become better able to resist major international shocks such as climate change, and health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic?

News in Brief 18 March 2020

  • Africa should wake up to COVID-19 epidemic, the says UN health agency chief 
  • Pandemic could mean 25 million jobs threatened – ILO 
  • Blueprint launched to manage Earth’s fragile peatland carbon sinks 
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3'46"

Brazilian mountain farmers reap recognition, through UN heritage listing

Farmers who gather flowers from the Espinhaço Mountain Range in Brazil received well-deserved recognition on Wednesday for their crucial role in enhancing biodiversity and preserving traditional knowledge.

Biodiversity ‘fundamental’ for global food systems, at “heart’ of development – UN agriculture chief

Because the production of everything we eat transforms the environment, the United Nations agriculture chief told a high-level UN meeting on biodiversity that careful discussions are needed to decide on the scale of acceptable transformations.