India

How a broken village became a model for ending India’s farmer suicide crisis

In the 1980s, "Hiware Bazar, a village tucked deep inside the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Back then, the hamlet was a crime-ridden backwater, desperately poor and largely abandoned by government agencies," writes Puja Changoiwala in FERN's latest story, published with Grist.

Global demand for biofuels to slow in decade ahead, says forecast

Corn will become less important and sugarcane will become the dominant feedstock for making ethanol in the coming decade, said an agricultural outlook published jointly by the OECD and FAO on Wednesday. The report forecast a relatively slow growth rate for biofuels, averaging 0.6 percent a year worldwide, with growth in the United States constrained by declining gasoline consumption.

As heat wave scorches India, global wheat outlook tightens

The world wheat crop is trending downward, due to a brutal heat wave in India and dry weather in Spain and France, said the Agriculture Department in its monthly WASDE report. Although Russia is expected to sharply increase its exports, more than 12 million tonnes of wheat would be liquidated from global stockpiles over the next year in the face of unrelenting demand for food.

War to cut Ukraine and Russia wheat exports by 12 percent

The Russian invasion of Ukraine will slash wheat exports from the countries by a combined 12 percent, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday in an initial assessment of the short-term impact of the war. Nations from Europe to Asia and Africa will import somewhat less wheat in coming months in the face of higher prices and reduced supplies from the Black Sea region, it said.

India agrees to allow imports of U.S. pork

After years of U.S. prodding, India has agreed to allow imports of U.S. pork and pork products, said the Biden administration on Monday. Despite being the second-most populous nation on earth, India imports small amounts of pork at present, but U.S. farm groups believe there is great potential for sales.

With UAW on strike, Deere says, ‘We’ll keep running’

The world's largest farm equipment maker, Deere and Co., said managers and other salaried employees would keep its factories operating in the face of a strike by 10,000 union workers. "We'll keep running," the company said on Thursday.

U.S. ends organic recognition agreement with India

Organic producers in India have six months to gain certification with a USDA-accredited certifying agent, said the USDA on Monday in announcing the termination of an organic recognition agreement dating from 2006. “We need a more active oversight presence in India to more directly protect …

Global glut of palm oil adds to India’s health woes

Rates of obesity, diabetes and other diet-related diseases have soared in India and other developing countries in recent years, coinciding with a flood of cheap palm oil that is used in everything from processed snacks and fast food to traditional foods like samosas and poori, according to the latest story from FERN, published with The Nation. No paywall

Climate change puts more than a billion people at risk of iron deficiency

Rising levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will reduce the amount of nutrients in staple crops such as rice and wheat, say researchers at Harvard's public health school. As a consequence, more than 1 billion women and children would lose a large amount of their dietary iron intake and be at larger risk of anemia and other diseases.

In novel filing, U.S. says India grossly over-subsidizes wheat and rice production

It is clear that India violates WTO limits on trade-distorting farm subsidies, said the Trump administration on Wednesday in announcing a “counter-notification” that could be the first step to a formal challenge of India’s wheat and rice subsidies.

Greenhouse-gas emissions again on the rise

Global climate emissions are on the rise again, after staying relatively flat between 2014-2016. Researchers with the Global Carbon Project predict that emissions levels will increase anywhere from 0.8 to 3 percent in 2017, says NPR.

‘Golden rice’ advances in Philippines, hits pothole in India

Philippines officials are considering a request for a biosafety permit for so-called golden rice, which would allow use of the vitamin A-enriched GMO rice as food or feed and for processing, says the Cornell Alliance for Science. The biosafety permit would allow researchers to conduct human nutrition studies, the alliance said during the summer, and an application to allow cultivation of the rice in the Philippines "will be submitted in the future."

Climate change policies in India, China could make up for U.S. regression

Climate change is likely to be slightly less damaging thanks to policies in India and China that could offset the U.S.'s reduced environmental efforts under President Trump. “The Carbon Action Tracker (CAT) report, by three independent European research groups, said current policies meant the world was headed for a warming of 3.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 Fahrenheit) by 2100, down from 3.6 degrees (6.5) it predicted a year ago,” explained Reuters.

India emerges as No. 1 in the world for cropland

A high-resolution search by satellite found 15 to 20 percent more cropland in the world than previously thought and identified India as the world leader, says the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS says its new map, showing 1.87 billion hectares of cropland, will help "to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way."

Study: antibiotic use in India’s chicken industry is a looming disaster

Poultry farms in India are dosing their chickens with antibiotics at such high rates that 94 percent of meat chickens and 60 percent of laying hens tested in a new study harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria that can cause grave human infections.

Global rebound in cotton production to flatten prices

Two years ago, world cotton production was the lowest in 13 years, due to smaller plantings and plunging yields. This year, the world will produce 14 percent more cotton than in 2017 for a harvest of 24.6 million tons that will drive down the season-average cotton price by 13 cents a pound, says the International Cotton Advisory Committee.

In population leapfrog, India to top China, Nigeria to hurdle U.S.

The most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria, with 191 million people today, will easily pass the United States to become the world’s third most populous nation by mid-century, says the UN Population Division in a biennial global population forecast. In a much shorter time span—just seven years—India will become the most populous nation on Earth, displacing China.

Palm oil industry confronts its human rights problem

In the last decade, consumers across North America and Europe have become increasingly aware of the environmental costs of producing palm oil, now the world’s most widely consumed vegetable oil. The industry’s social problems, however, have remained largely in the dark.

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