Child labor on the rise in world’s rural areas

While the UN’s sustainable development goals call for an end to child labor by 2025, an official at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization says “child labor is mostly concentrated in agriculture and is growing,” reports Inter Press Service.

War and weather end decade-long decline in world hunger

The report on global hunger was the first since the UN set a goal of eradicating hunger by 2030. UN agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, have cited the role of warfare in hunger. According to the new UN report, 60 percent of the world's hungry people "live in countries affected by conflict," some 489 million people. But even in regions that are more peaceful, droughts or floods linked in part to the El Niño weather phenomenon, as well as the global economic slowdown, have also seen food security and nutrition deteriorate, said the report.

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.

Former South Carolina governor to head World Food Program

David Beasley, governor of South Carolina from 1995-99, will become executive director of the UN World Food Program on April 4, succeeding fellow American Ertharin Cousin for a five-year term, announced UN Secretary General António Guterres. The WFP describes itself as the world's largest antihunger agency, assisting 80 million people annually.

Kansas governor to become U.S. ambassador for food and ag

Second-term Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will be named U.S. ambassador to UN agencies on food and agriculture in Rome, says Kansas Public Radio, based on information from "a former high-ranking government official." There was no immediate comment from the governor's office and KPR quoted an unnamed source as saying the appointment was "a done deal."

FAO tries to push agriculture into spotlight at climate talks

Agriculture produces nearly 20 percent of greenhouse gases, which is why the industry should play a fundamental role in mitigating the impact of climate change, said the head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization at climate talks in Morocco.

France and UN pressure Trump to respect climate treaty

At climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco, leaders from France and the United Nations urged President-elect Donald Trump to rethink his promise to back out of the Paris Agreement, reports Reuters. Trump has said he wants to cancel the U.S. commitment to the treaty, which aims to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Food-import costs down 11 percent this year, lowest in six years

The world will spend $1.17 trillion on food imports, including freight costs, this year, the smallest figure since 2010 due to low prices for meat, dairy, and grains, said the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

UN makes historic commitment to fight antibiotic resistance

On September 21, the United Nations General Assembly took an historic step: It acted on the danger posed by antibiotic resistance, which is rising around the world, killing an estimated 700,000 people each year. The U.N. action was only the fourth time that the General Assembly, which usually addresses economic and social issues, had ever considered a health problem. Its all-day “high-level meeting,” in which representatives of 70 governments shared their concerns about controlling resistance, resulted in a commitment by all 193 member nations to begin working on the problem. The first step was to create a “coordination group” to bring all the international efforts in line.

A yardstick for measuring food waste

One-third of the food grown in the world goes to waste, from causes that range from spoilage in the field to uneaten food at the dining table, according to a common estimate. A public-private partnership unveiled a standard format for measuring losses, with the dual goal of a more precise measurement of where losses occur and a spur to prevent waste in the future.