The Barley Mow
Follow
Find
2.5K views | +0 today
The Barley Mow
Reaping what we sow
Curated by David Rowing
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Biodiversity projects improve lives in China | UNDP

Biodiversity projects improve lives in China | UNDP | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), identified 18 villages in the area to carry out community-based projects aimed at conserving biodiversity and improving local people’s...

 

Backed by US$1.8 million in grants awarded by the EU-China Biodiversity Programme, and with a total budget of US$3.5 million, this four-year project has seen a dramatic shift in the way people balance their short and long-term needs with those of future generations.  According to monitoring and statistics from the nearby protected areas, individual trespassing has decreased significantly.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Egypt: UAE backs agriculture projects

Egypt: UAE backs agriculture projects | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
A United Arab Emirates firm has agreed to invest up to $3bn in Egyptian land reclamation “mega-projects” that would turn 100,000 acres into agricultural fields, according to the website of Egypt’s General Authority for Investment.

 

Egyptian minister of agriculture Mohammad Reda Ismail announced earlier this week the UAE’s Al Thaherah firm would turn 20,000 acres a year over the next five years into chicken farms as part of a massive agricultural project called Toshka, near Lake Nasser in the upper Nile River region of southern Egypt.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Land grabbers: Africa's hidden revolution

Land grabbers: Africa's hidden revolution | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Vast swaths of Africa are being bought up by oligarchs, sheikhs and agribusiness corporations.

 

... "Hearing his testimony of ancestral connection with this patch of forest, and his determination to keep it, I was struck by how most westerners have lost any sense of place and attachment to the land. I move around all the time and buy and sell houses without feeling ties to the soil. But here in Gambella, their land is like their blood. It is everything. And to lose it would be to lose their identity."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Bringing Garden Fresh into Food Banks

Bringing Garden Fresh into Food Banks | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Communities across North America are finding new ways to combine sustainability, volunteerism, and teaching about food to bring fresh and nutritious food to hungry children and families.

 

When people think of food banks, they often think of non-perishable food drives. Stacks of boxed mac and cheese, tons of canned foods, big bags of pasta and rice. Those foods certainly do fill bellies, which is good, but some organizations are stepping up their efforts to ensure more balanced nutrition and fresh foods for food insecure families. By thinking outside the box and engaging with local communities, schools, and farmers, these amazing programs are revolutionizing the food bank system.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Eating the planet - Feeding the world without factory farming

Eating the planet - Feeding the world without factory farming | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Compassion in World Farming (CIWF)...

 

Findings:- 

 

Feeding the world in 2050 is possible without using the most intensive forms of animal and crop production or a massive expansion of land for farming

 

Humane methods of farming animals can provide sufficient food to feed a growing world population

 

Providing sufficient food for all would be helped greatly if rich countries adopt healthier, lower meat-based diets and food is distributed more equally

 

Sufficient food can be provided in 2050 without further deforestation.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Seattle Creating Massive Edible Forest Filled with Free Food | Wake Up World

Seattle Creating Massive Edible Forest Filled with Free Food | Wake Up World | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

Taking the urban garden to the next level, Seattle, Washington has officially broken ground on a dedicated seven acre area of city land set to be converted into an “edible forest” that will produce free food for the city’s residents and visitors, human or otherwise.

 

According to the Beacon Food Forest’s website, the project’s mission is “to design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.” The perennial permaculture forest project, believed to be the first of its kind in the U.S., will eventually be self-sustaining, much like the way a forest in nature works. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Africa must end hunger to sustain growth

Africa must end hunger to sustain growth | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

The report said investment in agricultural productivity was important not only for reducing hunger but also in creating jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population, which is predicted to double to 2 billion by 2050.

 

"The demographic dynamics in Africa present a huge opportunity for the continent. We have seen in many countries that this usually results in more rapid rates of economic growth," said Conceicao.

 

Agriculture could provide jobs for many young people. "If agriculture becomes much more effective and much more interesting in terms of utilising and drawing on the skills of youth in new technologies, it will attract a whole new generation of youth and it will create job opportunities," Levine said.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Agricultural Pesticides in China

Agricultural Pesticides in China | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

Insecticides to remain largest market, fungicides to grow fastest. Insecticides will remain the largest product type through 2015 despite a relatively slow growth rate of 3.7 percent per year. Established products will continue to dominate the market going forward while the trend toward using less-toxic insecticides will contribute to the slow rate of growth.

 

Herbicides will see strong growth in both shipments and demand through 2015, driven by a decrease in farming manpower and growth in export markets.

 

Fungicides will post the fastest growth as farmers contend with resilient fungal problems.

 

Pesticide active ingredient sales will advance 4.8 percent annually through 2015 to 765,000 metric tons. By weight, active ingredients comprised 26 percent of formulated pesticide shipments in 2010. Growth will be stimulated mainly by increasing exports of pesticide active ingredients, while heightened domestic production of formulated pesticides will further boost demand. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Kenyan TV show ploughs lone furrow in battle to improve rural livelihoods

Kenyan TV show ploughs lone furrow in battle to improve rural livelihoods | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Clar Ni Chonghaile: A reality TV programme is providing Kenya's farmers with vital tips; its creator wonders why rich countries aren't doing the same...

 

George Mungai is an unlikely TV star. The softly spoken farmer and father of six lives in a tidy compound of houses, all wood and corrugated iron, among the cool, misty hills outside Nairobi. But thanks to Shamba Shape-Up, a reality show that does for Kenyan farms what Extreme Makeover does for homes, Mungai is a minor celebrity here in Limuru.

 

"[The programme] has taught me to practise better farming," says Mungai, 54, during a break from filming on a damp May day. "I've learned to plant potatoes well … poultry keeping, dairy farming. It has almost doubled my yields."

Perhaps more importantly, Mungai has also become a teacher. His neighbours are always popping over, eager to learn his secrets so they can likewise boost their farming yields.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

allAfrica.com: Africa: Small-Scale Farmers Key to Africa's Agricultural Growth

allAfrica.com: Africa: Small-Scale Farmers Key to Africa's Agricultural Growth | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

 THE key to increasing agricultural productivity in Africa lies in transforming the small-scale farming sector, whose potential has remained dormant for a long time, the World Economic Forum on Africa concluded here on Friday. Although Africa has 60 percent of the world's potentially available arable land, it has failed to contribute significantly to global food demand, largely because of a constrained smallholder farmer.

 

With about 70 percent of the continent's population living in rural areas, it was critical that more resources be channelled towards improving their farming activities.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Israel to ban insecticides that could cause neurological damage

Israel to ban insecticides that could cause neurological damage | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Health Ministry decides to reduce the number of pesticides permitted for use after studies show extended exposure causes neurological damage.

 

The committee decided that use of insecticides containing three types of organophosophate substances will be halted in two months, and use of other substances will be banned within two years.

 

The decision followed recent studies that showed that exposure to insecticides harms various systems in the body - especially the nervous system, which the organophosphates affect. Agricultural workers are the primary casualties of the substances, as are pregnant women living in agricultural areas.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

New study: Amish prove raw milk promotes health in children

New study: Amish prove raw milk promotes health in children | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

An international team of researchers recently confirmed that children who drink fresh milk–-unprocessed and unpasteurized-–have a better immune response to allergens and are far less likely to develop asthma.

 

Researchers from Indiana, Switzerland, and Germany ran surveys and tests on Swiss and US children aged 6-12 years and submitted their results to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology last month.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Facing water shortages, Indian farmers dig in | Marketplace from American Public Media

Facing water shortages, Indian farmers dig in | Marketplace from American Public Media | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Fast-growing India is pumping itself dry. For the "water man," the solutions will come from the grassroots.

 

" ... But Singh knew nothing about water. So he asked the old man what he should do. And the old man told him he should do what folks here used to do -- build a little dam to catch the rainwater that comes during the short, but intense annual monsoon.

 

Singh: So I start digging! And kept digging -- for four years. Some day 6 hours, some day 8 hours, some day 12 hours. ... Rajendra Singh finally finished digging his pond just in time for the monsoon.

 

Singh: And my structure full with water. Not only did the pond fill up, but the wells nearby started to fill. The dam wasn't just storing the water on the surface; it was sending it back into the ground, recharging the aquifer. It was just one pond, about three-and-a-half acres, but it was greening 500 acres around it. People from neighboring villages came to see.

 

Singh: So the wonderful thing is, in the fifth year, more than 30 villages start the work. The next year, in 200 villages. Today, he says, more than 1,200 villages have built more than 10,000 rainwater harvesting structures over an area larger than the state of Delaware. Seven rivers that were dry most of the year are now flowing year-round. Farmers are back, there's plenty of food, and Rajendra Singh is the best-known figure in what's become a national grassroots rainwater harvesting movement.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Organic farming growing; ND is No. 2 state

Organic farming growing; ND is No. 2 state | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

Organic farming is the fastest growing farming segment in a decade. California leads the nation in organic cropland, followed by North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

The USDA also reported in 2008 that 45 states had certified organic farmland, but organic farming still accounted for less than 1 percent of the nation's cropland.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Organic Seed Sources

Organic Seed Sources | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

"Organic seed sources must respect and promote ecological diversity and health to obtain desirable yields. Seed farmers encourage natural mating and evolution of strong seeds by breeding plants that perform well under local environmental conditions. Such seeds grow into plants well adapted to the local climate and inherently resistant to pests and disease. Naturally bred seeds also produce foods with increased nutritional value and taste."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Regenerating Landscapes for a Sustainable Future

Regenerating Landscapes for a Sustainable Future | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Let's start by taking a look at the root of the problem. Production agriculture today is one of man imposing his will on nature.

 

The living biology in our soil has increased to the point that we no longer use synthetic fertilizer. This soil biology provides the plants with the nutrients they need. We do not use any fungicides or pesticides. A healthy ecosystem thrives on its own. Skeptics say we cannot feed the world with this return to natural based farming and ranching on large scales. That is simply not true. Our average corn yield is over 20 percent higher than the county average and we've seen strong net profits consistently for many years.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

USAID | Infographic: How to Feed the Future

USAID | Infographic: How to Feed the Future | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

Poverty is a principal cause of hunger – it prevents people from having access to food and the tools they need to grow it. Natural disasters, conflict, lack of infrastructure, and poor farming practices also contribute to the growing problem of hunger as the world population increases.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Tasmania to ban battery hen farming - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Tasmania to ban battery hen farming - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Tasmania is to become the first Australian state to ban battery hen farming and will fast-track the phasing out of pigs in sow stalls.

 

The Government announced $2.5 million for animal welfare in yesterday's state budget, including a phase-out of battery farming and the fast-tracking of a planned ban on sow stalls by the middle of next year.

 

Primary Industries Minister Bryan Green says the Government will immediately ban any future battery hen operation and cap the existing number of pens in production.

The Government says it will help farmers transition away from battery hen and sow stalls in response to a growing consumer preference for products that are sensitive to animal welfare.

 

Lyn White from Animals Australia says it is a significant first step for Australia and follows the European Union battery hen ban at the start of this year.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

90 Percent of Corn Seeds Are Coated With Bayer's Bee-Decimating Pesticide

90 Percent of Corn Seeds Are Coated With Bayer's Bee-Decimating Pesticide | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

... "Bayer's neonicotinoid pesticides, which now coat upwards of 90 percent of US corn seeds and seeds of increasing portions of other major crops like soy, have emerged as a likely trigger for colony collapse disorder."

 

... What if a farmer wants to opt out, to plant seeds free of neonicotinoids? Good luck. According to a Pesticide Action Network press release I received today, farmers in the midwest are complaining that it's virtually impossible to buy untreated seeds. In other words, farmers there have two choices: either pay up for Bayer's poison, or exit the corn-growing business.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Nature & More: Sowing Seeds for Bees

Nature & More: Sowing Seeds for Bees | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

This spring, Science Magazine published two articles claiming that neonicotinoid pesticides are at least partly responsible for the infamous Colony Collapse Disorder.

 

Nature & More, a Dutch-based international distributor of organic fruits and vegetables with an estimated 100 Million USD turnover, decided to take positive action. Assisted by several environmental NGO's, "The bees love organic " campaign was established. One of its goals is to distribute 400,000 free bags of organic flower seeds for bees in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic; which will create over 400.000 square meters of bee flower pasture.

 

In the Netherlands, a popular 1000 km long cycle track along farms and countryside called the "Potato trail" is being transformed into a "Bee path".

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Insecticide resistance threatens malaria fight

Insecticide resistance threatens malaria fight | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes in Africa and India are becoming resistant to insecticides, putting millions of lives at greater risk and threatening eradication efforts, health experts said on Tuesday.

 

While existing prevention measures such as mosquito nets treated with insecticide and indoor spraying are still effective, experts said tight surveillance and rapid response strategies were needed to prevent more resistance developing.

Despite decades of efforts to beat it with insecticides, bednets and combination drugs, malaria still kills more than 650,000 people a year, most of them babies and young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

How soil and water conservation transformed the lives of people in a remote village - The case of Gulliyada village in Talavadi block of Erode district, Tamil Nadu | India Water Portal

How soil and water conservation transformed the lives of people in a remote village - The case of Gulliyada village in Talavadi block of Erode district, Tamil Nadu | India Water Portal | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

Community building is important for an organisation to bring about any kind of positive change in a region. Sustainability of any programme depends upon how well it is received by the people concerned. For this, it is important that the locals are involved at all stages of the programme.

 

MYRADA has been instrumental in bringing locals together in an organised manner in the form of Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Water User Groups (WUGs), both here as well as in their other project areas.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning in France

Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning in France | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it

A French court on Monday declared U.S. biotech giant Monsanto guilty of chemical poisoning of a French farmer, a judgment that could lend weight to other health claims against pesticides.

 

In the first such case heard in court in France, grain grower Paul Francois, 47, says he suffered neurological problems including memory loss, headaches and stammering after inhaling Monsanto's Lasso weedkiller in 2004. He blames the agri-business giant for not providing adequate warnings on the product label.

 

The ruling was given by a court in Lyon, southeast France, which ordered an expert opinion of Francois's losses to establish the amount of damages.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Peru's coffee growers turn carbon traders to save their farms from climate change

Peru's coffee growers turn carbon traders to save their farms from climate change | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Global warming threatens the future of Peru's poorest coffee farmers, but one brand thinks it has found an answer on the financial markets...

 

A report published today by the UK's leading ethical hot drinks brand Cafédirect (Cepicafe is one of its suppliers) warns that the effects of climate change on arabica production are likely to lead to worldwide shortages and an exodus from coffee growing by small-scale producers. However the company, which was formed 21 years ago to protect small-scale producers from poverty after the collapse of the coffee price, has come up with a potential game changer: a unique way of playing the carbon market to the advantage of the poor that will fund long-term strategies to adapt to climate change.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by David Rowing
Scoop.it!

Plastic Bags a Bigger Threat to India's Future Than Nuclear Weapons: Supreme Court Justices

Plastic Bags a Bigger Threat to India's Future Than Nuclear Weapons: Supreme Court Justices | The Barley Mow | Scoop.it
Unless India comes to terms with its plastic pollution problem, its rise on the global stage may be stunted.

 

Anyone that's spent any amount of time in India knows that plastic litter is everywhere and it's a growing problem—to the degree that if something's not done to stop it and remove the waste that's already there future archeologists could probably identify a site's age by its plastic layers.

 

The situation is so bad that, the Times of India reports, two Supreme Court justices have weighed in, saying plastic bags are a more serious threat to future generations than is posed by nuclear weapons.

 

It may be a bit of rhetorical flourish in terms of the immediacy of threat, but it's not entirely hyperbole.

more...
No comment yet.