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Feeding Ourselves Versus Climate Change

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Touch the Soil News #272   For 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO (a division of the United Nations) thought we ought to put climate change into perspective. That perspective being how climate change poses risks to global food production. Following are their some of their top concerns:   75 percent of the world’s poor and food insecure rely on agriculture and natural resources for their livelihoods. They are unprotected in the path of climate change. World food production must rise 60 percent to keep pace with population gains and emerging nations eating higher on the food chain. Crop yield declines of 10-25 percent may be widespread by…

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Will Fossil Fuel Divestment Force Agriculture to Change Dramatically?

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Touch the Soil News # 152 The social pressure, to move civilization beyond fossil fuels is growing by the day. Divestitures of fossil fuel investments are becoming the new way to demonstrate “green.” Fossil fuel divestment is the removal of investment assets including stocks, bonds or other investments in fossil fuel industries. The thought is to reduce carbon emissions and accelerate renewable energy. Driving the popularity of divestments are the physical manifestations of climate change. The fossil fuel divestment movement is no small movement. It is the fastest growing divestment movement in history. HSBC bank – one of the world’s largest – recently reported that international climate change actions could…

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“Irrigation Subsidence” – Is This the Makings of a Hollywood Thriller?

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Touch the Soil News #106  –  includes 1 info graphic and 2 videos With California providing over 50 percent of the nation’s primary fruit and vegetables, water will be directed towards fruit and veggie production at the expense of other crops. Some of the crops getting the ax include alfalfa (hay), rice, cotton, wheat and barley. American consumers will see short-term benefits from this water allocation in that increases in the price of our fresh fruits and vegetables is forecast to be modest this year. However, in California proper, there will be around 560,000 acres fallowed (not farmed) and a loss of around 19,000 jobs. See (info graphic #1) below…

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Palm Oil – A Food Goliath Run Amok (Part 2 of 2)

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The overtaking of rainforests for farmland to produce palm oil has environmental and social organizations crying foul. The goal is to limit corruption in governments and greed in the multi-national corporations developing palm oil plantations over rainforests. While there is corruption and greed, are they the root cause of the situation? Is it the financial and economic opportunity created by a hungry world causing the greed and corruption? The causes of deforestation include a world looking for cooking oil at an affordable price. In addition, decades of loss of best top soils in the U.S., Europe and China, have pushed agriculture into the rainforests. As we quoted in Part 1,…

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Climate Smart Agriculture – A New Concept and Tools for Gardeners

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Awareness of climate smart agriculture is growing around the world – in some cases ahead of the U.S. When a small subsistence farmer in Kenya buys a bag of seeds, he can begin practicing climate-smart agriculture. Inside the seed bag is a scratch card with code, which the farmer can text to ACRE (Agriculture Climate Risk Enterprise). It’s a mini replanting insurance program. For a fee, deducted automatically via a mobile phone-based money transfer service, the farm will be monitored by satellite for 21 days. If germination fails due to drought, the farmer receives the full cost of the seeds via mobile transfer. Small farmers, researchers and other local partners…

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