A 12-year plan to move hundreds of millions of rural residents into cities is intended to spur economic growth, but could have unintended consequences, skeptics warn.
Victor LS's insight:
"The ultimate goal of the government’s modernization plan is to fully integrate 70 percent of the country’s population, or roughly 900 million people, into city living by 2025"
Well, this is a risky plan. On one side we have the fact that social benefits do not reach rural areas what causes the feeling that to give more appropriate attention to the population, moving to the cities is the solution. On the other side, implementing this forced migration does not sound as a natural consequence of development. Risks include marginalization, food insecurity, gentrification or uncontrolled land grabbing.
It is interesting to notice that most of the so-called developing countries -or economies in transition- bet for urbanization strategies while there is a minor but growing trend across the so-called developed countries to move back to the farms (this is a private decision as opposed to the earlier)...
Demand for food is set to surge within the region. Can productivity growth keep pace?
Victor LS's insight:
Economic growth in Asia has already increased demand for higher protein and more diverse diets, including more dairy, fish and meat. higher levels of urbanization are only expected to exacerbate this trend further.
By 2025, nearly 2.5 billion people in Asia– over half of the world’s urban population – are expected to be living in cities, with the number rising to 3.3 billion by 2050...
FAO makes a strong statement towards blending small/scale local food and large production for food security purposes. Each of them has its own purpose, value and beneficiaries. This is a great statement to support and ease the understanding of both systems coexistence.
TEXCOCO (Reuters) - Carlos Slim and Bill Gates, the two richest men on the planet, inaugurated a new agricultural research center outside Mexico's capital, touting the millions they have donated to bolster...
Voters are counting on the next president to find a solution to the country's alarming rise in organised crime.
This interactive features shows temporal and spatial data on drug-related deaths in Mexico since 2007. Also connected are profiles of the presidential candidates of the three major political parties (PRI, PAN and PRD) and with their platform on drugs and ways to curtail the accompanying violence. Mexico's presidents can only hold office for one term, but it is a six-year term...2012 isn't just about Obama and Romney.
After years of negotiation, Iceland was able to declare a full victory in the Icesave dispute. The EFTA Court announced some days ago that the Icelandic state had won both cases filed against it by the EFTA Surveillance Authority.
Find in Iceland Review a list of important events in the saga 2008-2013.
Once shuttered off by tariffs and trade controls, Mexico has opened up to become a place where the world does business. Each year Mexico exports manufactured goods to about the same value as the rest of Latin America put together. Mexico has become indeed a popular place for entrepreneurs in recent years. Venture capital firms are popping up quickly, and the country’s economy is developing at a relatively rapid pace. Now, crowdsourcing is expanding as a cheap, quick and efficient way to raise funds for every kind of business.
Crowdfunder, a business crowdfunding platform and social media network for entrepreneurs and
investors, recently expanded into Mexico with the launch of Crowdfunder.mx.
New FAO report focuses on investments in developing countries, urging caution on large-scale land acquisitions.
International investments that give local farmers an active role and leave them in control of their land have the most positive effects on local economies and social development, according to a new FAO report published today.
The report, Trends and Impacts of Foreign Investment in Developing Country Agriculture, emphasizes that investment projects that combine the strengths of the investor (capital, management and marketing expertise, and technology) with those of local farmers (labour, land, local knowledge) are most successful.
IDB launches new version of INTrade with access to information about tariffs and trade agreements. It is the most complete trade information system in the region.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched a new version of the INTrade portal, with an enhanced design and user-friendly structure for easy access to content that will help companies and countries in Latin America and the Caribbean navigate through complex trade agreements to find new markets for their products.
INTrade is a free web-based tool that combines information on integration agreements in the region, trade statistics, and indicators that measure the export performance of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Talks to free up more trade and investment between the European Union and the United States got under way early in 2013. A good agreement in 2014 would be...
Victor LS's insight:
if successfully concluded, TTIP would be the most significant bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) to date, covering approximately 50% of global output, almost 30% of world merchandise trade (including intra-EU trade, but excluding services trade) and 20% of global foreign direct investment (FDI).
After months of discussions and debates on the scientific evidence regarding conservation agriculture for small-scale, resource-poor farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, a group of 40 scie...
Victor LS's insight:
According to the Declaration, most efforts to date in developing countries have promoted conservation agriculture as a package of three practices: minimum disturbance of soil, retention of sufficient crop residue, and diversified cropping patterns. However, the situation on the ground shows limits of this strict definition... Emphasis needs to be placed on diagnostic agronomy and participatory on-farm research to identify the constraints faced by farmers and to guide farmers in finding solutions to them. As there is a range of sound agronomic, economic, and/or social reasons for choosing not to adopt the three-component conservation agriculture package, it is necessary to systematically assess the suitability and viability of management options and practices while considering farmers’ objectives and constraints, the Declaration stresses.
Nearly all U.S. grown corn and soy are genetically modified, so why not wheat?
The industry is certainly interested. In 2002, biotechnology giant Monsanto submitted an application for a wheat strain engineered with the same herbicide-resistant signature found in its other successful seed crops. Federal regulators deemed it safe, but unlike corn and soy, wheat growers backed away, and approval was never granted.
Howard G. Buffett recently published a great article about his view of conservation agriculture and its importance for the future in which he is addressing ten common myths of conservation agriculture when applied to smallholder farmers.
In a world where some countries will experience temperature peaks over 45-50°C, finding crops and vegetation that can deal with such heat stress will be a struggle. There may in fact be a limit to how much we’ll be able to adapt. But there are things we can do that make us armed enough to tackle the climate challenge. One of these things is looking at what climate smart agriculture can offer smallholder farmers.
Can you imagine farmers in the field putting down their sickles, and picking up their smart phones? It’s happening. Mobile phones, internet cafés and sophisticated satellite devices are now literally everywhere.Read here a brief, well documented, piece of information on agriculture 2.0