Piccolo Mondo
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Piccolo Mondo
Global impressions for a local picture
Curated by Victor LS
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Nebraska Declaration on Conservation Agriculture signed

Nebraska Declaration on Conservation Agriculture signed | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
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.

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World Wheat Market Fears GMO Contamination

World Wheat Market Fears GMO Contamination | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

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.


Via CIMMYT, Int.
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About wheat and GMO...

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Howard G. Buffett: In Support of Conservation Agriculture for Smallholder Farmers

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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.

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What's so smart about climate smart agriculture? | CGIAR Climate

What's so smart about climate smart agriculture? | CGIAR Climate | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
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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.

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Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 12 Fabulous Academic Search Engines

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 12 Fabulous Academic Search Engines | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
Victor LS's insight:

An interesting list of academic search engines!Bookmark them!

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Andrea Ange's curator insight, February 8, 2013 8:04 AM

If we are going to advance media literacy, we need to advance the way our students perceive information! Thanks Pam!

Jan MacWatters's curator insight, February 16, 2013 12:35 PM

The mobile world is expanding. This is good to have information.

Philippe Trebaul's curator insight, February 18, 2013 9:17 AM
Technologie de l'éducation et de l'apprentissage mobile: 12 Fabulous moteurs de recherche universitaires.

De www.educatorstechnology.com -Février 5, 00:16


Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 12 Fabulous Academic Search Engines via @eddebainbridge http://sco.lt/...

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What we can learn from Mexico

What we can learn from Mexico | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

Earlier this month, the president told a newspaper the solution to partisanship is politics and more politics.


Via Seth Dixon
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Kendra King's curator insight, February 2, 2015 8:37 PM

The title of this article was what enticed me as I was hoping to find an actual answer. However, based on this article alone, I don’t actually think there is much the United States can learn from Mexico about politics or economics.

 

This author failed to mention that a difference in political systems could also attribute to the new Mexican leader’s ability to obtain “endorsements from across the spectrum.”  Mexico recently had an election. The new President this article is praising is part of a party that controlled the land for 70+ years until Nieto's predecessor. His predecessor messed up with the cartels so badly that Nieto was elected back into office. Given the amount of support Nieto had going into office, it doesn't seem so challenging to negotiate with opposing parties. Plus, I doubt the opposing parts are as unreasonable as some of the United States members of congress, like the Tea Party.   

 

I also see little to glean from the manufacturing route that Mexico is on at the moment. I will admit that the projected GDP growth of 4% mentioned in the article is impressive. However, thinking that the key to economic growth in the United States is through a similar “manufacturing boom” is just out of touch with the times. As stated in class our wages can’t keep up with the cheaper wages of developing countries (a point the author eluded to in the section discussing “the three main factors at play,” factor number three). Thus, doing what Mexico is doing doesn’t fit the American economy. What the United States might try doing is finding a manufacturing niche that no one has a market on in order to obtain more jobs. Maybe something higher end or medically related would be of benefit to the United States. Even these jobs would end up comprising a small part of the United States economy because the United States is more of a white collar economy. As such, more should be done to protect that sector of our economy from things like outsourcing given its relevance to our modern economy.

 

 Overall, I think the media’s quick comparisons of other countries falls under the bad category of globalization. A fair amount of people would just use this article to say things like, if Mexico’s leader can do X Y & Z then so should Obama. Yet, many of those people wouldn’t actually think about all the differences or reasons why Obama can’t compromise or revert the economy backwards. Am I saying Obama shouldn’t try more or that I am happy with the lack of compromise by all, no. However, I think it is dangerous for journalist to gloss over the situation since many people will take them as a credible source to cite. Mind you not all journalism is bad though. The Scoop.It article I read this week regarding Walmart is a great example of how investigative journalism can have positive consequences. The major difference being one actually did their homework that cited concrete specifics, while the other made a flimsy analogy.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 22, 2015 7:44 AM

While our government is perpetually mired in gridlock, the Mexican government is making lasting reforms to their nation. News attention on Mexico is almost always negative. While the violence and the drug trade are serious issues,  not enough attention is being devoted to the rapid growth of the Mexican economy. Politicians in Mexico are coming together to create an environment for positive economic growth. The article describes three factors that are leading to the growth of the Mexican economy. The first factor is Mexico's geographic location. Being located right next door to the United States is an enormous advantage for Mexico. Industrial goods are easily and cheaply being transported across the border. The second factor is the ever controversial NAFTA. The agreement ratified during the Clinton Administration allows for Mexican goods to be sold at lower rates than their Asian counterparts. The final factor is wages. The cheap labor environment has made the nation a manufacturing hub. So what can the United States learn from Mexico? Many of their economic advantages are not applicable to our country. However, we can look to Mexico for an example of functioning government. It well past time that our political parties come together and actually try to govern our nation.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, October 7, 2015 1:47 PM

Wow, what an interesting article about the direction Mexico is taking off on. Their GDP is increasing and the worker's wages are surprising better than Chinese workers. Both are huge exports of good and as a younger country than China, Mexico is on it's way to manufacture and economic boom. As neighbor country to Mexico, I am curious to see the actions U.S will take to learn and mirror Mexico's growth.

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Cell phones, mobile apps and internet cafés are changing agriculture

Cell phones, mobile apps and internet cafés are changing agriculture | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

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

 

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Guiding Principles for Just Jobs

Guiding Principles for Just Jobs | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

Ben Moxham from the Trades Union Congress in the United Kingdom applauds the U.N. effort to hold businesses accountable worldwide for their labor practices, but suggests further steps...


Via ethicaltrade
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European Commission proposes a new fund for providing aid to the most deprived Europeans

European Commission proposes a new fund for providing aid to the most deprived Europeans | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

The European Commission proposes a fund that would support Member State schemes providing food to the most deprived people and clothing and other essential goods to homeless people and materially-deprived children in the EU. The EC proposes a budget of €2.5 billion for the Fund for the period 2014-2020. Member States would be responsible for paying 15% of the costs of their national programmes, with the remaining 85% coming from the Fund.

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London Could Spend Tens Of Millions On Bike Highways In The Sky

London Could Spend Tens Of Millions On Bike Highways In The Sky | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
Not as crazy as it seems....
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New Financial Instruments for the Agricultural Sector by the IDB

New Financial Instruments for the Agricultural Sector by the IDB | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

The MAP (Better Conditions for Productivity) program of the IDB will support two activities and two research projects as the winners of the MAP Third Call for Proposals. The awarded projects will improve risk management in the agricultural sector, helping to develop new financial instruments, such as insurance products or rural credit portfolio analysis, in order to mitigate food security risks, improve income stability, and promote productive investments. The MAP also seeks to conduct research and activities that provide lessons and best practices through nuanced and sound impact evaluation and cost benefit analysis. Thus, the projects awarded will provide important lessons for public policy making.

 

One of the selected projects takes place in Mexico:

Technology Guarantee Program: "How to improve the productivity of maize in Mexico"

 

The Mexican institution Fideicomisos Instituidos en Relación con la Agricultura (FIRA) will provide adequate risk management and improved productivity of maize producers through a Technological Guarantee Program (Programa de Garantías Tecnológicas, PGT). This innovative program combines three major components: investment financing, technical assistance for technological change and a basic income guarantee. In order to extract relevant policy lessons an impact evaluation of the program will be conducted by the MIT Poverty Action Lab team.

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Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, Stanford dixit.

Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, Stanford dixit. | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

You’re in the supermarket eyeing a basket of sweet, juicy plums. You reach for the conventionally grown stone fruit, then decide to spring the extra $1/pound for its organic cousin. You figure you’ve just made the healthier decision by choosing the organic product — but new findings from Stanford University cast some doubt on your thinking.

 

A team of Stanford did the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date of existing studies comparing organic and conventional foods. They did not find strong evidence that organic foods are more nutritious or carry fewer health risks than conventional alternatives, though consumption of organic foods can reduce the risk of pesticide exposure.

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China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities

China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
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)...

 

What is your view?

 

Let´s hope for the best!

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Can Asia Urbanize Without Starving?

Can Asia Urbanize Without Starving? | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
Demand for food is set to surge within the region. Can productivity growth keep pace?
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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...

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FAO praises trend toward small-scale local food production

FAO praises trend toward small-scale local food production | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
Victor LS's insight:

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.

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Tycoons Carlos Slim and Bill Gates support CIMMYT´s agricultural research and development projects

Tycoons Carlos Slim and Bill Gates support CIMMYT´s agricultural research and development projects | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
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...
Victor LS's insight:

Bill Gates pledged some 18 million USD to help expanding the Masagro programme beyond. Learn more about this project activites in Mexico at: http://www.cimmyt.org/what-we-do/projects-by-region/modernizacion-sustentable-de-la-agricultura-tradicional?lang=en-GB

 

Visit CIMMYT´s website for more information on this organization: http://www.cimmyt.org

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Mapping Mexico's gang violence

Mapping Mexico's gang violence | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it
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. 


Via Seth Dixon
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James Hobson's curator insight, September 23, 2014 12:46 PM

(Mexico topic 7)

A picture (specifically a map, in this case) is absolutely worth a thousand words, and can invoke many more. Over 10,000 deaths in Chihuahua but less than 20 in Baja California Sur, for example - though Chihuahua's population is greater, the percentages based upon population are still way out of proportions. For some perspective, If Rhode Island were in Chihuahua's situation, that would mean over 3000 cartel-related deaths every year in the state (~0.3% of the total population).

Jason Schneider's curator insight, February 3, 2015 3:35 PM

I just finished reading a scoop about violence in Mexico getting worse and I discovered that violence in Mexico comes from its poor economy, drugs and dead-end lives. Chihuahua, the largest state in Mexico has the most number of violent deaths in Mexico with over 10,000 deaths. The smallest state in Mexico, Tlaxcala has only 13 deaths due to gang violence. YOu would think that the size matters in the number of deaths due to gang violence but that is not the case. Sinaloa is smaller than Sonora and Sinaloa's death rate due to gang violence is four times higher than Sonora's. Also, Baja California Sur is slightly smaller than Baja California Norte is Baja California Norte's death rate due to gang violence is 105 times higher than Baja California Sur's death rate.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 6, 2015 5:56 PM

After reading this article and playing along with the interactive map, which I think is a very well used resource, I can see that gang violence is a major issue in the country of Mexico, especially as stated in the article, areas near US borders and places with ports. For example, a place near a US border is Chihuahua with 10,134 deaths! In Chihuahua located at Ciudad Juarez, near El Paso is where the conflict between two cartels is focused. It is also scary to know that there is that much violence going on right next to our own territory. 

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Iceland triumphs in Icesave court battle

Iceland triumphs in Icesave court battle | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

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.

 

To be continued? Followed by other States?


If you want to learn more, check also the insights by Financial Times: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4258b6da-693b-11e2-b254-00144feab49a.html#ixzz2JPL625xD

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Entrepreneurship and crowdfunding rise in Mexico

Entrepreneurship and crowdfunding rise in Mexico | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

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.

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FAO Media Centre: Involving local farmers is key to success of foreign investment

FAO Media Centre: Involving local farmers is key to success of foreign investment | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

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.

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IDB launches INTrade

IDB launches INTrade | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

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.

 

INTrade: http://www.iadb.org/intradebid

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Latin American firms investing in China

Latin American firms investing in China | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

A new IDB study examines successful strategies adopted by dozens of pioneering exporters of goods and services

 

Latin American companies that took a bold, early plunge into China are providing a valuable roadmap for scores of smaller firms that are eager to follow their example, according to a new study published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that explores the successful strategies used to tap one of the world’s largest and most dynamic markets.

 

“Pathways To China: The Story of Latin American Firms in the Chinese Market,” looks at the challenges of investing in China and shows how companies from the region are boosting exports and linking up with global supply chains there.

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IDB launches I-LAB, Innovative solutions and disruptive ideas for labor inclusion of people with disabilities

IDB launches I-LAB, Innovative solutions and disruptive ideas for labor inclusion of people with disabilities | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

IDB launches call for innovative solutions and disruptive ideas to benefit people with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

Call for solutions for the labor inclusion of people-with a focus on gender-with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean. More inclusive, more responsible and more competitive firms through technology and innovation.Call for ideas that can break those barriers that limit the labor inclusion of women and men with disabilities.

 

The Inter-American Development Bank, through the competitiveness and Innovation Division’s Innovation Lab, is launching two international calls for proposals to benefit people with disabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean, based on a methodology called “crowdsourcing,” a process whereby certain activities are outsourced through a crowd of people (usually in dispersed locations) that respond to a call to try and solve a problem. This initiative is financed by the Italian Trust Fund on Information and Communication Technologies for Development.

 

Deadline for proposals submission is December 31, 2012.

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Global food security index examines the core issues of food affordability, availability and quality

Global food security index examines the core issues of food affordability, availability and quality | Piccolo Mondo | Scoop.it

The US, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Spain are amongst the most food secure countries in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Food Security Index recently released.

 

The index deepens the dialogue on food security by examining the core issues of food affordability, availability, and quality across a set of 105 developed and developing countries worldwide.

 

Food systems today are under severe and increasing strains from population pressures, high input prices, changing consumer patterns and dramatic weather and price shocks. In this context, the Global Food Security Index looks beyond hunger to examine the underlying factors and key risks affecting food security in a structured, rigorous framework. The index is a dynamic benchmarking model that uses quantitative and qualitative indicators to provide a standard against which countries can be measured.

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