What we’ve been reading this week

This week’s summary on the news stories, reports and blogs that have grabbed our attention. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these articles.

Africa Conference on Land Grabs 2014, PAEPARD

A Meta-Analysis of the Impacts of Genetically Modified Crops, PLOS One

Climate change a “threat multiplier” for farming-dependent states-analysis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

10 billion people for dinner | Nina Fedoroff | TEDxCERN, YouTube

Biotechnology: Against the grain, Nature

Climate smart, sustainable agriculture, AgriPulse

Thirty percent of world’s food wasted, new online platform seeks savings, Thomson Reuters Foundation

How To Eat For The Climate, Forbes

mNutrition – how mobile phones are improving nutrition, The Guardian

South Africa: Five Diseases, One Vaccine – a Boost for Emerging Livestock Farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, All Africa

New project to boost yam production in West Africa, IITA

IPCC preparing ‘most important’ document on climate change, BBC

Resilience for food and nutrition security, IFPRI [Read more…]

Hunger – An Outdated Problem

Agriculture for Impact recently found out about a new online platform and campaign, Transfernation, aiming to tackle hunger through food re-distribution. Here one of their founders, Samir Goel, talks about why we need to shift our thinking about food to tackle hunger, an issue that should be a problem of the past.

THunger is an issue that is talked about constantly: at conferences and congregations, by the average farmer to senior world leaders. In the earlier days of mankind, well before industrialization and the rise of mass food production, this problem made logical sense. The challenge of getting enough food to feed ones family let alone society was a day-to-day struggle for many. Given the massive strides we have made in technology and education since; hunger should be a thing of the past. The fact of the matter is that we produce more than enough food to feed significantly more people than the entire world’s population.

If there is enough food for everyone why are we faced with widespread hunger and disparity in terms of access to food? We believe the problem lies in our own production system and cultural norms, problems that we can fix right now. Imagine if we could do that: a world in which people no longer go hungry. Perhaps hunger will never be entirely eliminated but it could very well become an afterthought, secondary to some of the other issues we face. In fact if just in America we stopped wasting the estimated forty percent of food produced that goes to waste each year we would be able to feed the entire food insecure population of America and then some. That’s what we are aiming to do here at Transfernation. Transfernation was co-founded in autumn 2013 by Hannah Dehradunwala and myself during our sophomore year of college. Transfernation aims to connect corporations and social institutions so that all the extra food from corporate events can go to homeless shelters and soup kitchens to help those in need. We are currently developing our online platform, which will act as a connector by providing corporations and social institutions with the necessary information to schedule food pick-ups to redistribute corporate extra to where it is needed. Eventually we aspire to become the person-to-person food-sharing network, essentially a “Craigslist for food”. [Read more…]