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Showing posts with label Food and Agriculture Organisation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food and Agriculture Organisation. Show all posts

Thursday, July 28, 2016

FAO says ‘When protecting forests, don't forget the trees’

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that forests have an acclaimed role as a carbon sink needed to tackle climate change and called to mind that when protecting forests, people should not forget the trees, reports NaijaAgroNet.

FAO, in its latest study said that less known is how their contribution could be scaled up even after a tree has been logged.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that the new publication, Forestry for a low-carbon future: Integrating forests and wood products in climate change strategies, offered insights in how to catalyse a "virtuous cycle" that exploits the life cycle of wood products - ranging from home furniture to wood pellets burned for fuel - to enhance and even multiply the well-known ability of forests to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere.

The Assistant Director-General for Forestry, René Castro-Salazar, said that forests are at the heart of the transition to low-carbon economies, stressing "not only because of their double role as sink and source of emissions, but also through the wider use of wood products to displace more fossil fuel intense products."

Forests, Castro-Salazar pointed out, do herculean work in locking carbon dioxide into leaves, branches and soils, while deforestation and forest degradation account for up to 12 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. The relative speed and cost-effectiveness with which forests make their presence - or absence - felt is one key reason they figure prominently in the plans countries are crafting to meet commitments made in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Designed primarily for policy makers and experts but of interest to architects and the energy industry, the report - the fruit of innovative collaboration involving more than 100 experts - looks at how forests can be harnessed to the global climate change challenge.


FAO further said that its guiding message is that optimal engineering of the carbon lifecycle of trees and wood products allows, over the long term, for sustainably harvested forests to complement and even enhance the climate mitigation benefits provided by conserved forests.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2bn people live in drylands globally says FAO

A total of 2 billion people live in drylands globally says the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports NaijaAgroNet.

The new study from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) helps to fill a significant knowledge gap on the presence and extent of forests and trees in the world's drylands, where the food security and livelihoods of millions of people, already precarious, are increasingly being threatened by climate change.

The study's preliminary findings made available to NaijaAgroNet Tuesday showed the full report will be launched later this year, showed that trees are present with hugely varying densities on almost one-third of the world's 6.1 billion hectares of drylands, which cover an area more than twice the size of Africa. Almost 18 percent of this area contains forests.

In addition to an estimated 2 billion people, FAO said, 90 percent of whom are in developing countries, live in drylands. Recent studies have indicated the need to restore these areas to cope with the effects of drought, desertification and land degradation.

In particular, water availability in drylands is expected to decline further due to changes in climate and land use.  Poor people living in remote rural areas will be most vulnerable to food shortages, which combined with violence and social upheaval, are already leading to forced migration in dryland regions in Africa and western Asia.

NaijaAgroNet gathered that until now, there has been little statistically based knowledge on dryland trees - particularly those growing outside forests - despite their vital importance to humans and the environment.


FAO further said that the leaves and fruit of trees are sources of food for people and fodder for animals; their wood provides fuel for cooking and heating and can be a source of income for poor households; trees protect soils, crops and animals from the sun and winds, while forests are often rich in biodiversity.

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Friday, May 6, 2016

SOS: Ethiopia farmers need $10m to provide seeds

In less than five weeks to the main cropping season in Ethiopia, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called for urgent funding to the tune of $10 million, to help farmers sow their fields and prevent drought-hit areas of the country from falling deeper into hunger and food insecurity, reports NaijaAgroNet.

According to FAO, if seeds are not delivered in time, help will be too late to secure a decent harvest from the imminent meher season, which produces 85 per cent of the nation's food supply.

FAO also said that while the food security situation is worsening, the overall funding response to the crisis has so far been disappointing, with just 15 percent of FAO's 2016 appeal for Ethiopia covered.

"The meher season will be critical to improving families' food security and self-sufficiency in 2016. Seed distributions allowing farmers to plant crops and produce food must be a humanitarian priority," said the agency's country representative Amadou Allahoury Diallo, stressing that decreasing dependence on external humanitarian assistance will diminish the costs of food aid.

Therefore, FAO said, some $10 million is needed within the next two weeks to distribute seeds to Ethiopian families at risk of hunger and losing their livelihoods.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that about 10.2 million people in Ethiopia are food insecure following successive crop failures and widespread livestock deaths caused by the El Niño-induced drought since early 2015. With this year's delayed and erratic spring rains, the situation may become worse in the most affected areas, particularly in the north.


Even as Ethiopia's government has already dedicated considerable resources to the El Niño response and is working closely with FAO to help ramp up joint efforts.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Outlook for cereals output improves slightly

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in its latest Cereal Supply and Demand Brief, has raised the forecast for world cereal production in 2016 slightly to nearly 2,526 million tonnes, reports NaijaAgroNet.

This figure, NaijaAgroNet notes is virtually the same as in 2015 and potentially on course to be the second-largest global harvest ever.

According to FAO, the larger figure results almost entirely from improved prospects for wheat production, as winter weather conditions have been favourable for prospective yields in the European Union, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

“At 717 million tonnes, the 2016 wheat output forecast remains 16 million tonnes short of last year's record,” experts at FAO said.

The Cereal Supply and Demand Brief made available to NaijaAgroNet, FAO says new production forecast for global coarse grains including barley, maize, millet, oats, rye and sorghum stands at 1,314 million tonnes, about one per cent below the 2015 output.

FAO, NaijaAgroNet gathered, left unchanged its worldwide rice production forecast at 495 million tonnes, about one per cent higher than the previous year, although the full impact of the El Niño weather phenomenon will not be clear for a few more months.

“World cereal utilization in the season ahead is expected to rise by only 1.1 percent due to slower growth in the use of cereals - especially wheat and barley - as livestock feed,” FAO said.

As a result, the world body also said that cereal stocks are likely to drop by 3.3 per cent or 21 million tonnes over the course of the new season, while stocks are forecast to drop most in Brazil, Thailand, India, China, Morocco, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Argentina and South Africa.

As said by FAO world trade in cereals is expected to decline slightly to 367 million tonnes with sharp drops in China's imports of barley and sorghum as well as EU imports of maize, more than offsetting soaring imports of maize by drought-stricken countries in southern Africa.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE


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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Palm oil keeps global food price trending in April

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has said that its latest founding shows that palm oil keeps global food price trending in the month of April 2016, reports NaijaAgroNet.

Just as NaijaAgroNet gathered that its updated global cereal harvest forecast points to stable markets for key staples, which also rose in April, marking its third consecutive monthly increase after four years of decline.

Also, NaijaAgroNet reports that the FAO Food Price Index averaged 151.8 points in April, a 0.7 per cent increase from March, which is about 10 per cent below its level a year ago and more than a third off its 2011 highs.

The gradual increase, FAO said, is far from even across the board, adding that April's increase was driven by palm oil prices and, in a minor key, cereals, while sugar prices tapered down after a strong increase in March.

The FAO Food Price Index is a trade-weighted index tracking international market prices for five key commodity groups, namely the major cereals, vegetable oils, dairy, meat and sugar. Its decline over the past year reflects ample food supplies, a slowing global economy and a stronger U.S. dollar.

The FAO Vegetable Oil Price index rose 4.1 per cent, due largely to a grim 2016 production outlook for palm oil coupled with a growing worldwide demand.

NaijaAgroNet equally reports that the FAO Cereal Price Index rose 1.5 per cent on the month, due primarily to international maize quotations, themselves influenced by a weaker United States dollar and spillover from the oilseeds complex.


However, rice prices declined marginally, while wheat markets posted limited gains amid expectations of large supplies in the new season for the crop.

Remmy Nweke
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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hackers invade FAO headquarters

Last Friday, a group of Italian and international hackers literally invaded headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome for a United States (US)- government-sponsored ‘Fishackathon’ reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Fishackathon, NaijaAgroNet reports, was aimed at cooking up high-tech solutions to problems that have long plagued fishing communities around the globe.

The Assistant Director-General of FAO's Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, Árni M. Mathiesen, said that working in teams in a marathon hacking session, the group of around 30 coders, technology students, developers and designers will be asked to harness FAO data to develop creative mobile applications, systems, and tools to help tackle key challenges facing sustainable fisheries.

Mathiesen also said that these range from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, to overfishing and degradation of fishing grounds, to post harvest losses of catches.

Teams of 2-8 people joined forces to brainstorm solutions that responses to one of nine fisheries-related problem statements to be provided.

On Sunday, FAO experts would judge the submissions and one team will be chosen as the winner.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that the exercise now in its third year, the Fishackathon was first launched in 2014 by US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Our Oceans conference is an event taking place in 40 cities around the globe.

The winners of each, including this weekend's Italian edition, will move forward into a global contest whose final outcome will be announced by the US government on June 8 at World Oceans Day 2016.

Last year's Fishackathon winners included a game to teach children about sustainable fishing, an app to help consumers find and eat sustainable seafood, and a reporting tool for marine mammal protection.


Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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Monday, March 14, 2016

FAO receives US ratification instrument against rogue fishing



The office of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has received the ratification instrument against rogue fishing from the United States (US), reports NaijaAgroNet.

This, industry watchers say adds momentum to global efforts targeting illegal fishing by adhering to a FAO-brokered international pact.

The US Ambassador to the United Nations agencies in Rome, David Lane, who formally presented FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva with the US' instrument of ratification of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, said, FAO is a strong partner in the promotion of sustainable fisheries, and US looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the organisation and the entire global community in the fight against illegal fishing.

FAO Director-General appreciated US for its partnership on such an important issue, adding that combatting illegal fishing is a crucial goal not only for small island developing states, but also for major countries like the US.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the Agreement comes into force when 25 countries or regional economic blocs have deposited their instrument of adherence with the FAO Director-General. 

To date 22 instruments of adherence have been deposited by 21 countries, and the European Union on behalf of its members. Among the latest are Barbados, Republic of Korea and South Africa.

Graziano da Silva told Ambassador Lane that several other countries have expressed a willingness to become party to the Agreement and that the target of 25 could be reached by July this year.

 +Naija AgroNet
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Friday, January 22, 2016

Syrian farmers need donors’ support


The Syrian farmers need donors’ support now than ever, says the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), NaijaAgroNet reports.

The United Nations Agriculture agency made this disclosure in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet on Friday in Rome, noting that with the war in Syria now approaching its sixth year, agricultural production has plummeted and food supplies are at an all-time low, pushing millions of people into hunger. 

“FAO today called on governments to provide a boost in funding targeted at helping farmers keep their lands in production to prevent the situation from deteriorating even further,” part of the statement read.

The agency's appeal comes ahead of a 4 February international donors' conference in London being convened by the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Kuwait and the United Nations to mobilize support for humanitarian work in Syria.

"The conflict has decimated the agriculture sector, which has had a major impact on food supplies and markets. Currently over half of Syrians remaining in the country are food insecure, with one in three people unable to afford basic foods," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

NaijaAgroNet recalls that as national food production has collapsed, food prices in Syria have soared with prices in some markets for wheat flour and rice jumping by as much as 300 percent and 650 percent, respectively, over the past 18 months.


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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Save & Grow adoption encourages ecosystem-based farming



A new book from the stables of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has shown that eco-system-based farming has come of age, through the adoption of Save and Grow initiative, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The new FAO book launched Wednesday in Rome, takes a close look at how the world's major cereals maize, rice and wheat - which together account for an estimated 42.5 per cent of human calories and 37 per cent of our protein - can be grown in ways that respect and even leverage natural ecosystems. 

Drawing on case studies from around the planet, the new book illustrates how the "Save and Grow" approach to agriculture advocated by FAO is already being successfully employed to produce staple grains, pointing the way to a more sustainable future for farming and offering practical guidance on how the world can pursue its new sustainable development agenda.

"International commitments to eradicate poverty and tackle climate change require a paradigm shift towards a more sustainable and inclusive agriculture able to produce higher yields over the longer term," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.

The two recent landmark global agreements, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - which require eradicating hunger and putting terrestrial ecosystems on a sound footing by 2030 - and the Paris Climate Change Agreement (COP21), only underscore the need for inclusive innovation in food systems, he adds. 

While the world's cereal harvests may be at record levels today, their productive base is increasingly precarious amid signs of groundwater depletion, environmental pollution, loss of biodiversity and other woes marking the end of the Green Revolution model. Meanwhile, global food production will need to grow by 60 percent - mostly on existing arable land and in the face of climate change  - to feed the future population in 2050,  making it all the more urgent for the smallholders who grow the majority of the world's crops to be enabled to do so more efficiently and in ways that don't further increase humanity's ecological debt.

Save and Grow is a broad-based approach to environmentally friendly, sustainable agriculture aimed at intensifying production, protecting and enhancing agriculture's natural resource base and reducing reliance on chemical inputs by tapping into the Earth's natural ecosystem processes, and to increase farmers' gross income. As such it is an approach intrinsically crafted to contribute to the SDGs and foster resilience to climate change.

Viable Save and Grow practices range from growing shade trees that shed their leaves when  adjacent maize crops most need sunlight, as tried with success in Malawi and Zambia, to scrapping tillage and leaving crop residues as soil surface mulch, a method applied on a massive scale by wheat farmers on the Kazakhstani steppe and increasingly by innovative slash-and-mulch practices adopted by farmers in the highlands of Central and South America

The time has now come for ideas that have proven themselves in farmers' fields to be upscaled in more ambitious national programmes, FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva says in the foreword to Save and Grow in Practice in Practice: A Guide to Sustainable Cereal Production, a book he described as "a contribution to creating the world we want."  

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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