Food Policy News
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Food Policy News
EU and global policy concerning the production, distribution, and consumption of food
Curated by Knapco
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The Emerging Ecological Paradigm for Agriculture and Scholarship

The Emerging Ecological Paradigm for Agriculture and Scholarship | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

2012 Karl Maramorosch Lecture

 

The Emerging Ecological Paradigm for Agriculture and Scholarship

 

Four lectures organised by the State University of New Jersey and given by:

- Xenia Morin

- Robert Goodman

- Randy Gaugler

- Karl Maramorosch

Knapco's insight:

How to produce enough food for increasing world population taking into account ecological imperative of agricultural production with limited land use and minimal use of fertilisers and pesticides? Answers are not all available, but discussion very well pointed out, why institutions and science are needed.

Karl Maramorosch is professor emeritus, a living legend, a scientist, who linked plant pathology and entomology in his pioneer molecular work, studying virus and phytoplasma transmission by insect vectors since 1956. At his age of 98 he is still present at university and scientific events all over the world.

See also: http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/Maramorosch2012.pdf

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Building on the good support and collaboration from the European Union

Building on the good support and collaboration from the European Union | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

On 5 February, 2013, in Rome, the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and representatives from the European Commission’s (EC) DG Sanco and DG Trade met to continue their discussions on issues of common interest and collaboration.

The Secretariat and the EC spoke about the progress of current projects concerning capacity building in the field, electronic phytosanitary certification (ePhyto) developments, and the ongoing Implementation Review and Support System (IRSS).  Sustainable support of such issues will lead to a more transparent and collaborative working environment.

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Wheat Gains as Freezing Weather in Europe May Curb Production -

Wheat Gains as Freezing Weather in Europe May Curb Production - | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Will the cold in Europe and in Russia and Ukraine influence grain prices?

By Tony C. Dreibus, Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Temperatures reached minus 15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) in France’s Alsace and Lorraine regions yesterday, according to forecaster Meteo France. In northern Germany, where some areas lack snow cover, soil temperatures have dropped below minus 8 degrees Celsius, Deutscher Wetterdienst said. Cold weather in the so-called Black Sea region also has hurt crops.

Soil temperatures dropped to minus 20 degrees Celsius for more than two days in the Dnipropetrovsk region, where 44 percent of planted grain failed to emerge after an autumn drought, Adamenko said by telephone from Kiev.

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Eco-Farming or Agro-ecology can double food production in 10 years, says new UN report

GENEVA – Small-scale farmers can double food production within 10 years in critical regions by using ecological methods, a new UN report shows. Based on an extensive review of the recent scientific literature, the study calls for a fundamental shift towards agro ecology as a way to boost food production and improve the situation of the poorest.

 

“To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available,” says Olivier De Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report. “Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agro ecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live -- especially in unfavorable environments.”

 

Agro ecology applies ecological science to the design of agricultural systems that can help put an end to food crises and address climate-change and poverty challenges. It enhances soils productivity and protects the crops against pests by relying on the natural environment such as beneficial trees, plants, animals and insects.

 

“To date, agro ecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80 per cent in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116 per cent for all African projects,” Mr. De Schutter says. “Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of 3-10 years.”

 

“Conventional farming relies on expensive inputs, fuels climate change and is not resilient to climatic shocks. It simply is not the best choice anymore today,” Mr. De Schutter stresses. “A large segment of the scientific community now acknowledges the positive impacts of agro ecology on food production, poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation -- and this is what is needed in a world of limited resources. Malawi, a country that launched a massive chemical fertilizer subsidy program a few years ago, is now implementing agro ecology, benefiting more than 1.3 million of the poorest people, with maize yields increasing from 1 ton/ha to 2-3 tons/ha.”

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2012 Annual Letter From Bill Gates | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

2012 Annual Letter From Bill Gates | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
Read Bill Gates’ 2012 Annual Letter update on the Gates Foundation’s work in health, poverty, and education.
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Discovery of plant 'nourishing gene' brings hope for increased crop seed yield and food security

Discovery of plant 'nourishing gene' brings hope for increased crop seed yield and food security | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

InDaily: January 17th 2012: University Warwick scientists discovered "nourishing gene" which controls transfer nutrients from plant to seed - significant step which could help increase global food production. The original research paper was published in Current Biology under the title Maternal control of nutrient allocation in plant seeds by genomic imprinting.

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FAO, IFAD and WFP reach 22 million people with massive EU investment in agriculture

FAO, IFAD and WFP reach 22 million people with massive EU investment in agriculture | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
In just two years FAO, IFAD and WFP have assisted over 22 million people hardest hit by the global food price crisis thanks to generous funding from the European Union’s Food Facility — providing tangible evidence that investing in agriculture and...
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FAO-EU project to promote climate-smart farming

FAO-EU project to promote climate-smart farming | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

FAO Media Centre, @FAOCLIMATE:

FAO and the European Commission announced today a new €5.3 million project aimed at helping Malawi, Vietnam and Zambia transition to a "climate-smart" approach to agriculture.

 

See: Smallholder Adoption and Implications for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

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EU Smarter Rules for Safer Food - the Animal & Plant Health Package

EU Smarter Rules for Safer Food - the Animal & Plant Health Package | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The European Commission has adopted on Monday 6 May 2013 a package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain.

The package of measures provide a modernised and simplified, more risked-based approach to the protection of health and more efficient control tools to ensure the effective application of the rules guiding the operation of the food chain. Five draft regulations are put into adoption procedure with other EU institutions, including the European Parliament and the Council. The main four are foreseen to be adopted in next 2 years:

- Official controls,

- Animal health,

- Plant health,

- Plant reproductive material (including seeds)

 

The current body of EU legislation covering the food chain consists of almost 70 pieces of legislation. The package of reform will cut this down to 5 pieces of legislation and will also reduce the red-tape on processes and procedures for farmers, breeders and food business operators (producers, processors and distributors) to make it easier for them to carry out their profession.

Knapco's insight:

The package is particularly relevant in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

"Restoring the trust and confidence of our citizens and trading partners is key given that the agri-food industry is the second largest economic sector in the EU, employing over 48 million people and is worth some €750 billion a year," he said.

"Let me highlight three issues that will be dealt with in the context of the proposal with respect to this issue as proposed in the control regulation :

Firstly: sanctions for operators who commit fraud will be commensurate to the economic gain as a result of fraud

Secondly: the legislation now enables the Commission to require testing and controls in areas such as food fraud and not only to recommend as has currently been the case

Thirdly: the legislation now requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen our tools to fight fraud."

The legislation requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen the tools to fight fraud.

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Knapco's curator insight, May 6, 2013 11:22 AM

As announced by the commissioner Borg, the EU's from farm-to-fork policy aims to ensure a high level of health for humans, animals and plants through the development of risk based rules as well as preventing, managing and mitigating risks that threaten our food chain. The package is particularly relevant in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

The legislation requires that official controls should also be unannounced in order to strengthen the tools to fight fraud.

"Another key part of the Commission's proposal is extending and strengthening the financing of the effective implementation of these controls but it must be noted that microenterprises will be exempted from the new fees system – but not from controls," said commissioner Borg.

 

He stressed the importance of plant health. Crops that are grown in the EU account for €205 billion annually. Europe's agriculture, forest and natural heritage are being threatened by the introduction of new pest species as a result of globalisation and climate change. The proposal aims to address these threats by upgrading the existing plant health regime; increasing the traceability of plant material; focusing on high risk trade and providing better surveillance and early eradication of outbreaks of new pest species as well as providing financial compensation for growers.

 

Borg has highlighted that 60% of the world export value in seeds originates from the EU. With this in mind, this reform provides simpler and more flexible rules for the marketing of seeds and other plant reproductive material to ensure the productivity; adaptability and diversity to Europe's crop production and to facilitate their trade.

"Our aim is to introduce a broader choice for the users thus including new improved and tested varieties, material not fulfilling the variety definition (heterogeneous material), traditional varieties and niche market material. This will contribute to protection of biodiversity and to breeding oriented towards sustainable agriculture," he said at today's launche of the package.

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Effect of the Timing of Fungicide Application on Fusarium Head Blight and Mycotoxin Contamination in Wheat

Effect of the Timing of Fungicide Application on Fusarium Head Blight and Mycotoxin Contamination in Wheat | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

Fungicide application to control Fusarium head blight (FHB, Fusarium graminearum) and accompanying mycotoxin contamination in wheat is generally performed at anthesis because wheat is most susceptible to FHB around this stage. In this study, we evaluated the effect of the timing of fungicide applicatio. The results and their previous findings suggest that around 20 DAA (late milk stage) is a potentially critical timing for mycotoxin control in wheat.

Plant Disease, Volume 96, Issue 6, Page 845-851, June 2012. By Megumi Yoshida, Takashi Nakajima, Kenta Tomimura, Fumihiko Suzuki, Michiyoshi Arai, and Atsushi Miyasaka, NARO Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center (NARO/KARC), Kumamoto, Japan

http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-10-11-0819

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Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry Advocates Bolstering Efforts To Counteract Illegal Turnover Of Foodstuffs

Ukrainian Agriculture Ministry Advocates Bolstering Efforts To Counteract Illegal Turnover Of Foodstuffs | Food Policy News | Scoop.it

The Ukrainian Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Supplies Mykola Prysiazhniuk underlined importance of fight against contraband and gave a task to the State Veterinary and Phytosanitary Service to step up struggle against illegal turnover of products for ensuring safety of the country's food market.

The Minister underlined, quality and safety of agricultural commodities that are exported and realised at the home market need tough control, which is possible only with a package approach towards the management system in the provinces.
Following results of the panel meeting, the Veterinary Service says in a statement that an urgent issue remains expansion of the market outlets for animal derived materials, specifically in the European Union.


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Food security and agriculture - the missing part of the picture

Food security and agriculture - the missing part of the picture | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
It’s been very clear – from the submissions to the Rio+20 compilation document, the
statements at Rio+20 preparatory meetings, and in numerous research papers- that food security and sustainable agriculture need serious attention at the Rio+20 Conference in June. A commitment to resilient and equitable food system must be the goal.

Via CGIAR Climate
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Plant-based foods decrease risk of health problems | Buzz About Health

Plant-based foods decrease risk of health problems | Buzz About Health | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
Flavonoids found in various fruits, vegetables, and beverages have been linked to benefiting human health by reducing the risk of major health problems.
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Agricultural cooperatives are key to reducing hunger and poverty

Agricultural cooperatives are key to reducing hunger and poverty | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
Smallholder farmers gain big benefits from agricultural cooperatives including bargaining power and resource sharing that lead to food security and poverty reduction for millions, the three Rome-based UN food agencies stressed today on the occasion...
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Mozambique: Better seeds for better crops

Mozambique: Better seeds for better crops | Food Policy News | Scoop.it
With financial support from the European Union, FAO has assisted Mozambique in stepping up quality seed production to increase crop yields, something that is crucial to unlocking the country’s vast agricultural potential.
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