The flourishing organic farm movement in North America proves that we can grow food economically and sustainably without resorting to an accelerating chemical arms race. Systemic pesticides are causing harm to our environment on a massive scale. We don't need them. There is no conclusive evidence that systemics are harmful to humans, but we've been consuming a cocktail of different systemic chemicals for decades now, and there's been virtually no study of what that might mean for our long-term health.
Twenty-two years ago, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 22 to be World Water Day. In a world is facing a severe and growing water crisis without a roadmap, this day is more important than ever. Our collective abuse of water has caused the planet to enter "a new geologic age" -- a "planetary transformation" akin to the retreat of the glaciers more than 11,000 years ago. This is according to 500 renowned scientists brought together in Bonn at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on May 2013.
Farming is a high stress occupation in which the job merges with personal identity. Relationships quickly become complicated if the job becomes the only focus. Children don't always become farmers. Many leave farm life forever, but some of those who return to the family farm bring innovations in technology and management that help reduce the stress of farming.
Mambo Jambo Radio is one of many radio stations around the world to benefit from JHR human rights media training. Knoll helped broadcaster Rotlinde Achimpota understand the importance of covering women's and children's rights stories, which has since made her a household name across northern Tanzania.
Farmers are committing suicide as you read this article. In countries like India, the rate of farmer suicides has become a national crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO) is particularly concerned with farmer suicides because of the impact it is having on families. WHO estimates that one person commits suicide every 13.3 minutes.
Farming is a fairly isolated occupation with a small, close-knit community of co-workers and family. In the small farming community, the saying that everyone knows everything about each other is true. Going to a mental health professional or admitting you are depressed quickly becomes the news. This reduced sense of confidentiality ensures farmers don't talk about their depression.
Though the atmosphere has apparently stabilized and winter will soon be gone for yet another year, for millions of people, this is no time to breathe easy. In the next few weeks, a new kind of trouble will emerge. Dubbed the 'pollen vortex' this rare springtime phenomenon will leave allergy sufferers just as miserable and clambering for the indoors.
On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I witnessed a "revolution," though thankfully not the kind that culminates in a coup d'état. What I saw was the so-called "micro-mill revolution" -- a new way in which coffee is processed and sold, that could help transform the way specialty coffee is traded, to the betterment of all involved.
As our population increases and fuel costs rise, how can we continue to take land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve? The demand for locally grown food is on the rise. Farmers are searching for innovative ways to grow and market their goods here in British Columbia, especially in Vancouver. If we fail to protect land in coastal communities as well as in the Interior, we will see the end of an era of agriculture.
Golden fields of wheat blowing in the breeze and cows lazily grazing in the lush green pasture are the first things that come to most people's minds when they think of Alberta agriculture, but there's more to the provincial ag industry than grain and cattle. The Wild Rose province is home to many different types of agricultural operations such as beekeeping, sugar beets, pulses, market gardens, elk, bison, pork, chicken, lamb, turkey, dairy, eggs and much more.
The Bowman vs Monsanto Supreme Court hearing is big news in the United States and we are seeing ripple effects of it up here in Canada. Although some headlines sparked by interest groups that oppose modern agricultural production methods, including use of genetically modified (GM) crops, might suggest otherwise, this case is not about farm-saved seed.
David Okidi is a journalist in Northern Uganda and was the station manager at Mega FM, a radio station in the northern Ugandan region of Gulu. He recently joined the board of directors of Farm Radio International. Farm Radio International (FRI) helps African radio broadcasters meet the needs of local small-scale farmers and their families in rural communities. I met him for lunch.
The irregular weather conditions most of Ontario has been experiencing over the past few months have set the province up for a particularly challenging harvest season. Some of the farms we talked to were not even sure if they would be opening to the public this season because it has been such a hard year. So what does this mean for Ontario? As a result of this spring and summer's hectic weather, experts are expecting to see food prices rise by 4 per cent across Canada in 2013.
I confess: I have been wrapped up in a bit of a love affair. I have always enjoyed potatoes, but after my recent experience with our local potato festival, my love for that starchy tuber has been renewed. I don't know if it was the taste-testing on opening night or the experiences surrounding the festivities that further sparked my fever. All I know is this: from blossom to table, potatoes on P.E.I. rule the roost.
You find Saskatchewan people everywhere. We often stray from the province and find ourselves working, visiting or living our lives in other parts of Canada. When you discover one of us -- as you most certainly will -- there is a good chance that the conversation will turn, at some point, to farming. I guess people just really like to talk about farming and they believe that we're more likely than others to indulge them.
In its campaign against the Canadian Wheat Board's single desk system, the Conservative government has invoked the language of "choice," framing its intentions in terms of expanding farmers' options for marketing their produce. State intervention that forcibly undermines the CWB will accomplish exactly the opposite.