• Jamaica: Engaging young people in agriculture can help curb crime

    Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, JC Hutchinson, says the active engagement of young people in agriculture can turn them away from a life of crime. “I just want to say that one of the areas that I feel confident that we can curb crime with is agriculture, by putting some of our young people, who are the main perpetrators of crime to work,” he argued. He was speaking at the Women and Youth in Agriculture Consultation Forum held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.
  • Limerick farmer in court over cow dung which caused accident

    A County Limerick farmer has been brought to court for permitting cow dung to be left on the Effin Road, which allegedly caused a motorbike accident. Patrick Fitzgibbon, aged 45, of Maiden Hall, Kilmallock pleaded not guilty to the offence that neither the judge or solicitor had ever come across before in County Limerick. Garda Grace O’Sullivan said at 11.50am on November 3, 2016, she received a call that there was a traffic accident on the Effin Road. “I saw a man standing beside a motorbike. There was damage to the right side of the bike. He said his name was Donal Sheedy and he was travelling from Effin to Charleville. He said he was familiar with the road and that there was an animal crossing on a section of the roadway.
  • Switzerland: Anti-pesticide farm initiative passes signature stage

    Campaigners have handed in 114,420 signatures by Swiss citizens in favour of the “Clean Drinking Water and Healthy Food" initiative, which aims to cut direct subsidies to farmers who use pesticides or antibiotics. The text of the initiativeexternal link, presented on Thursday, states that the federal authorities must ensure that agriculture contributes to the security of the population's supply of safe food and clean drinking water. Under current policy, Swiss farmers receive CHF2.8 billion ($2.9 billion) in subsidies. Most farms must meet minimum standards known as ‘required ecological services’, with production that encourages biodiversity, respectful animal-rearing, soil rotation, and other measures. The initiative, however, calls for pesticide-free
  • German farm minister sees no timetable for end to glyphosate use

    German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt said on Thursday he could see no set date for an end to use of the controversial weed-killer glyphosate in Germany. Schmidt caused international controversy and a major row in Germany’s government coalition in November by unexpectedly backing an European Union Commission proposal to permit use of glyphosate for the next five years despite a heated debate over whether it causes cancer. Schmidt’s vote effectively allowed the extension in glyphosate use in the face of opposition from France and the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) in Germany’s government coalition.
  • Two boys arrested after half a million bees killed in US honey farm

    Two boys have been arrested for allegedly vandalising a honey farm and killing half a million bees in the US. The damage to 50 beehives at the Wild Hill Honey farm in Sioux City, Iowa, resulted in the bees freezing to death. The youngsters, aged 12 and 13, have been charged with three offences following the alleged incident in December. Wild Hill Honey’s owners branded the crime “completely senseless” and said damages amounted to $60,000, or £43,400.
  • Gambia gets a $210 million loan to support agriculture and energy

    Gambian government has signed a $210 million framework agreement with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB). This agreement, over a 3-year period, will enable the country to import refined petroleum products and agricultural inputs. It will also provide funding for agricultural goods’ production directed to export including peanut and cashew. “The continuation of this important cooperation reaffirms ITFC’s proven strategy of investing in key economic sectors in our member countries, and thus contributes to member countries’ development objectives", explained Hani Salem Sonbol (picture), ITFC’s CEO.
  • NAFTA plays big role in US agriculture

    USDA economist Robert Johansson says trade pacts such as NAFTA are important to the U.S. agricultural economy. Agricultural production alone, he says, may not account for a big percentage of the U.S. economy, but when you add in other aspects of the entire ag industry--packing, food processing, and transportation, among others-- agriculture's footprint gets much bigger.
  • Urban farming is the 'future of agriculture'

    The planet is growing more food than ever, and yet millions of people continue to starve worldwide. People are hungry everywhere — in the country, in the suburbs. But increasingly, one of the front lines in the war against hunger is in cities. As urban populations grow, more people find themselves in food deserts, areas with “[l]imited access to supermarkets, supercenters, grocery stores, or other sources of healthy and affordable food,” according to a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. New technologies are changing the equation, allowing people to grow food in places where it was previously difficult or impossible, and in quantities akin to traditional farms.
  • Hope for heroes: How farming Is helping veterans find purpose

    Digging in the dirt may not heal the emotional wounds of war, but for some battle-scarred veterans, farming sure as hell helps. When the Gulf War erupted in 1990, John Bauman shipped off to Kuwait. Then a hopeful 25-year-old from the Chicago suburbs, he’d joined the Navy a year before, in peacetime, to pay for college. Instead, Bauman received a different kind of education. As he watched hundreds of oil wells ablaze, transforming the emirate into a constant gloaming of smoke and ash, the aspiring engineer realized he’d never seek a career in the lucrative petroleum industry. “I saw Kuwait on fire,” Bauman says. “I saw how this ends.”
  • Historic farms recognized by Ohio Department of Agriculture

    Over 120 new century sesquicentennial or bicentennials farms were recognized by the Ohio Department of Agriculture in 2017. The 125 farms that were recognized were owned by a family for at least 100, 150, or 200 consecutive years, according to a news release. As a result of the recognition, there are now approximately 1,500 farms that are registered in the Ohio Historic Family Farms program.
  • Colombia: Low risk of frost will benefit agriculture

    Producers are used to expecting frosts and sunny days at the beginning of the year. This year, however, most of the country is affected by heavy rains and there are little or no frosts. The frosts were, for many years, a headache for farmers and ranchers. Luis Alfonso Lopez, the head of the Forecasts and Alerts Service of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam) said there had been no frosts in the Cundinamarca, Boyaca, Antioquia, Santander, and Nariño so far this year.
  • Telus, Microsoft backing agriculture innovation project

    Some of this country’s largest technology companies are backing a $250 million, nationwide industry-led project shortlisted for federal innovation funding and designed to spur economic growth by better utilizing agricultural data. Telus, Microsoft and IBM officials were among the more than 100 attendees who participated in a day-long data discussion organized by the Smart Agri-Food Super Cluster (SASC) in Ottawa, Tuesday. SASC, valued at $250 million and pegged to create up to 300,000 new jobs, is one of two industry-led agriculture innovation projects to be shortlisted for up to $950 million in federal funding.
  • "Census of Agriculture" underway in Montana

    Montana farmers and ranchers are being asked to fill out a very important survey that helps paint an accurate picture of American agriculture - the Census of Agriculture. “By filling it out you let your voice be heard. You let everyone know how Montana’s agriculture economy is; basically, telling us your story” says USDA-NASS MT State Statistician Eric Sommer. Conducted every five years, the Census of Agriculture is the USDA’s largest data collection endeavor and serves a very important role.
  • Trump has come to see Nafta's benefits, agriculture secretary says

    President Donald Trump has come to see that Nafta has some benefits to the U.S., particularly for farming, even as he stays firm in his demand for a new deal, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. Trump “probably left the campaign trail literally believing that Nafta had not been good for any sector of the economy,” Perdue said in an interview at his office on Wednesday in Washington. But “I think that he has now come to realize that agriculture has been benefited by a Nafta agreement.”
  • What the 2018 farm bill means for urban, suburban and rural America

    Since the turn of the year, Congress and the Trump administration have been haggling over legislative priorities for 2018. Many issues are on the agenda, from health care to infrastructure, but there has been little mention of a key priority: The 2018 farm bill. This comprehensive food and agriculture legislation is typically enacted every four or five years. When I became U.S. secretary of agriculture in January 2009, I learned quickly that the bill covers much more than farms and farmers. In fact, every farm bill also affects conservation, trade, nutrition, jobs and infrastructure, agricultural research, forestry and energy.
  • China's farming costs to rise in 2018 as fertiliser prices jump

    China’s agriculture production costs are set to rise fairly quickly in 2018, pushed up by higher fertiliser and pesticide prices, an agriculture ministry official said on Wednesday. Domestic urea prices rose 34.0 percent in December on a year earlier and compound fertiliser rose 17.1 percent due to higher raw materials prices and falling operating rates at fertiliser producers, said Tang Ke, director of the agriculture ministry’s market and economic information department.
  • USAID, FAO launch 3-year agriculture development project

    The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have launched the Promoting Value Chains–West project, a statement from the USAID said on Tuesday. The project would promote inclusive growth and job creation in the agricultural sector by strengthening the capabilities of producers and private enterprises to effectively link Afghan farmers to domestic and international markets, the statement said.
  • India looks for more private capital in farms to boost incomes

    India is considering simpler regulations to attract more corporate investment in agriculture as Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to keep his promise to double farmers’ income by 2022, an adviser to the government said. Asia’s third-largest economy, more than half the country’s population depend on farming for their livelihood, should relax rules for companies investing in contract farming, transport, marketing, warehouses and food processing, said Ramesh Chand, member of the government think tank National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog. India’s farms should become outsourcing hubs for global supermarket chains, he said, noting he expects an announcement on the policy in the 1 February budget.
  • How the AgTech boom will create wave of 'agriculture unicorns'

    Mega funding rounds from companies like Farmers Business Network, Gingko Bioworks, Indigo Ag and Plenty are redefining the agtech investment landscape as we move into 2018. Consistent with the first wave of agtech startups maturing, companies are looking to scale in a sector that has around $3 trillion value at the farm gate, and multiples of that downstream. In turn, a more diverse universe of investors supporting these companies is signaling a sea change in agtech investing. The total investment in 2017 topped $1.5 billion-- setting a new record. With indoor farming, disruptive retail, along with genome and microbial tech all vying for the big dollars, there is understandable angst for the “have nots” trying to attract capital to compete with the “have
  • Farm groups meet to examine role of agriculture in building climate resiliency

    Farm organizations are beginning to talk about the evolution of climate-smart agriculture and the need to ensure the U.S. remains at the table as the United Nations begins developing an agricultural framework for climate change. Representatives from more than 30 organizations were scheduled to meet in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for the steering committee for the North America Climate Smart Agriculture Alliance. The meeting was hosted by the American Farm Bureau Federation and sponsored by the group Business for Social Responsibility. Beyond the U.S., farm leaders from Canada and Mexico also were scheduled to talk about climate-smart agriculture strategies in their countries as well.

News source: Farming UK