Agriculture and environment Environmental sustainability in agriculture is no longer an option but an imperative...
Reconciling livestock and environment Without major corrective measures, livestock's environmental impact "will worsen dramatically"
Agribusiness boom Changes in agrifood systems have significant implications for growth, poverty and food security
Coping with water scarcity Given the state of global water scarcity, agriculture is under severe scrutiny to account for the water it uses
Brazilian technology for agriculture in Africa The objective is to optimize the use of farm labour and help reduce widespread land degradation
School kids and street food Street food could become "part of the solution" to alarming levels of micronutrient deficiency in Tanzania
How to bottle coconut water A simple cold preservation process keeps bottled coconut water fresh for three weeks
Livestock impacts on the environment The challenge is to reconcile demands for animal food products and environmental services
Buried treasure: the potato This Andean tuber is a staple food of millions of people around the world...
Starch market adds value to cassava Cassava-producing countries should turn more of that relatively low-cost raw material into high-value starch
Farm animal biodiversity Sustainable management and genetic improvement of local breeds are essential if countries are to meet their future food needs
Safer coffee An FAO project has developed good hygiene practices for coffee producers aimed at reducing contamination of raw beans by a potent fungal toxin
More fruit and vegetables An FAO/WHO initiative seeks to boost production, supply and consumption of fruit and vegetables worldwide
A global plant breeding initiative "Conservation of crop genetic diversity will be futile if plant breeding programmes in developing countries are unable to fully utilize it..."
Arsenic threat in Bangladesh High levels of arsenic in water used to grow crops could degrade soils, reduce yields - and find its way into food
Global pest control Natural and national borders that were once effective barriers to the spread of unwanted pests are now under intense pressure
Challenges to Near East agriculture Irrigated agriculture faces growing pressure for "cost recovery", while introduced pests jeopardize access to exports markets
Sustainable grazing systems In Latin America, even small payments for environmental services have encouraged livestock owners to adopt silvo-pastoral systems
What's water worth? Purely economic valuation of water often overlooks environmental values, such as water's role in maintaining ecosystems, and social values - such as growing food to eat
Conservation agriculture Around the world - from the humid tropics almost to the Arctic Circle - CA is practised on about 100 million ha of farm land
Food security in Ethiopia In two of the country's most disadvantaged rural areas, an FAO project achieved measurable improvements in the health and nutrition of an estimated 26,000 people...
Fighting hunger and obesity
A growing number of developing countries must cope with the persistence of undernutrition, along with a rapid rise in overweight and diet-related chronic diseases
New paradigm: Quality
FAO's Agriculture Department begins 2006 with a new, broader mandate and a new unit, the Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division (AGN).
Protecting the pollinators Farmers have long considered pollination as one of nature's many "free services". But mounting evidence indicates that pollinator populations are declining worldwide
Rice faces the future Urbanization, diminishing natural resources, climate change, and uncertainties over domestic support and trade pose new challenges to rice production
Stopping avian influenza The H5N1 virus has devastated domestic poultry, but has not yet mutated into a form transmissible to humans. The "window of opportunity" is still open
Science and the livestock revolution A range of "new" issues have social implications - such as the impact of livestock on the environment or the use of biotechnology
Water use in agriculture As cities draw on more water resources for their rapidly growing populations, agriculture must significantly improve its water use efficiency and productivity
Finance for the rural poor The future of rural poverty alleviation is investment in all aspects of rural development, not only agriculture
Area-wide integrated pest management While logistically complex and managerially intensive, the AW-IPM approach requires fewer inputs, and pest control is usually more effective and sustainable
Farmers and supermarkets in Asia The good news is that the region's rapidly expanding supermarket chains are particularly keen on selling fresh produce...
Globalization and livestock While market integration can increase national income and improve nutrition, it also "globalizes" potential threats to livelihoods, human health and the environment
Securing the food chain FAO is developing a comprehensive strategy to help countries ensure a "safe and nutritious" food supply...
Good and agricultural practices and SARD FAO's programmes for sustainable agriculture and rural development are responding to new challenges and targets
After the tsunami "Agricultural reconstruction will be a huge task - we are talking about damage to thousands of kilometres of coast and hundreds of small islands..."
Avian influenza in Asia Highly Pathogenic AI has become a major transboundary epidemic with wide-ranging economic, trade and social repercussions
Water, food and ecosystems in Africa "Agriculture and ecosystems are inherently linked: both use the same resources and are based on the same biological processes..."
The Joint FAO/IAEA Division at 40 Better cooperation, less duplication of effort and shared approaches to building a peaceful and prosperous world
Policy coherence for agriculture and development "Can we move beyond the myth of policy coherence and take realistic steps toward the Millennium Development Goals?"
Fertilizer and the future "There is still a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about mineral fertilizers. The public needs objective, science-based information from all partners involved in nutrient management..."
A new social contract on biotechnology The "molecular divide" between developed and developing countries threatens to aggravate current inequalities
Water management: towards 2030 Objective: unlock the potential of water management practices to raise productivity, promote equitable access to water and conserve the resource base
Raising water productivity The options include germplasm improvements, aerobic rice, water harvesting and trade in "virtual water"
Improving irrigation technology Affordable innovations, tailored to local conditions, are readily adopted by resource-poor farmers
Modernizing irrigation management Irrigation institutions need to improve their performance, both in economic and environmental terms
Rinderpest on the ropes Smallpox was the first disease in history to be eradicated. By 2010, bovine plague could be the second
Shaping the future of agriculture "In times like these, we have to look for opportunities, and reshaping agriculture for the common good presents just such an opportunity..."
Genetics and animal health As veterinary drugs falter in the face of increasingly virulent pathogens, an FAO report proposes a new animal health strategy - breeding for disease resistance
Agricultural heritage systems Developed over millennia, they represent a wealth of accumulated knowledge and biodiversity that needs to be preserved - and allowed to evolve
Water: Precious and finite resource Improved farming techniques and greater water use efficiency are the keys to food security for a growing world population
Big money in "speciality rices" While much research has been done on common, high-yielding rice varieties, far less attention has been paid to special kinds, even though they command higher prices
New animal disease threats A global early warning system would help control the current upsurge in epizootic emergencies
Urban food security In the "century of cities", a major challenge will be providing food for urban inhabitants, especially the poor
Early warning on hazardous pesticides
The Rotterdam Convention aims to create a shared responsibility between countries that export and import toxic agro-chemicals
Tick control in the Caribbean An FAO programme to eradicate tropical Bont tick is helping revive the livestock industry, reduce beef imports and enhance food security
World livestock trade Claims that developing countries stand to lose from economic globalization have "probably been exaggerated", says a new FAO discussion paper
Irrigation in the Near East With less
than 2% of the world's fresh water supply, the region's food
security depends on getting "more crops per drop"
In praise of family poultry
Backyard- and free-range birds account for as much as 70% of total poultry production in low-income, food-deficit countries
Toward "safe trade" At age 50, the International Plant Protection Convention adapts to new challenges in the era of globalization
Sweet sorghum in China This "camel among crops" could be the key to agricultural development in areas affected by aridity and saline soils
Oil palm in western Kenya A new hybrid tree will help reduce the country's edible oil deficit and provide a badly needed source of extra income for farmers
Opening the biotechnology toolbox Decisions on the costs and benefits of biotechnology need to be made within a policy framework that promotes and protects the public interest
A Treaty on agrobiodiversity
The historic accord represents a legally-binding, international commitment to improvement of the world's key food and feed crops
Agriculture after September 11 In a world shaken by terrorism and war, does it make sense to talk about agriculture, poverty and hunger? Yes...
Anthrax in animals
The deadly disease affects domestic animals, wild ruminants such as antelopes, gazelles and impalas - and even elephants
Genetically modified crops
Evidence suggests that the technology has so far addressed too few challenges, in few crops of relevance to production systems in developing countries
About camels and llamas Two of our most versatile domestic animals are also distant cousins...
Agribusiness and small farmers
Well managed contract farming contributes to both increased income for producers and higher profitability for "sponsors"
Global farming systems FAO's new "agricultural atlas" will help the World Bank target investment to relieve hunger and rural poverty
"Cover crops" save soil in Brazil Land preparation practices based on European models proved unsustainable in subtropical Santa Catarina state
"Today's market prices..." Agricultural market information services need to get their information to farmers. The solution may be local FM radio stations
Agriculture's role in climate change The Kyoto Protocol may provide incentives for improvements in the sustainability of farm and forestry production systems
Earth Summit+10 FAO undertakes a major review of achievements - and new challenges - in sustainable agriculture and land use
Toward biosecurity Biological and environmental risks associated with food and agriculture have intensified with economic globalization
Zero tillage: when less means more South Asian wheat farmers are increasing productivity and conserving their natural resources - by spending less time on land preparation
Measuring the potential of farmland FAO's GAEZ system produces an optimistic outlook for world food production - and reveals limits to growth in several regions
The life in soil Soil biota perform functions vital to the environment and, particularly, to agriculture
Domestic animal diversity at risk FAO/UNEP report says 1,350 mammal and bird breeds face extinction
Crop science and ethics In order to continue their contribution to human development, crop scientists must regain credibility
New on the menu for livestock FAO experts explore the untapped potential of mulberry trees and the cactus pear
Draught animals plough on Why animal power should become an integral part of strategies for rural development and agricultural mechanization
Input shortage hits Africa's export farmers Few traders are offering inputs on credit because of difficulties in obtaining repayment
New strategy for cassava The aim is to spur rural industrial development and boost incomes for producers, processors and traders
Bammy bread bounces back How an FAO project helped restore demand for a traditional Jamaican food product - and create new markets for the country's beleaguered cassava
Urban food marketing Feeding the cities requires coordinated action among city authorities, food producers, transporters, market operators and a myriad of retail sellers
FAO Committee on Agriculture 1999 The issues before COAG strongly reflect the challenges facing world agriculture and, consequently, FAO
Biotechnology in agriculture While respecting ethical concerns, governments should recognize biotechnology's
potential for increasing food supplies and alleviating hunger
Issues in urban agriculture Studies suggest that up to two-thirds of city and peri-urban households are involved in farming
Organic farming Demand for organic products has created new export opportunities for the
Monitoring land and water Data on land and water have large gaps and are often of poor quality,
especially in the less developed countries
Gabions in water development
A simple technique for building low-cost, long-lasting hydraulic structures in
Livestock issues in Asia
The capital-intensive sector generates little employment, poses environmental risks and creates challenges to human and veterinary health
Livestock and human needs
"Should intensification of production processes continue to be encouraged
globally or should alternatives be sought?"
Traditional technologies contribute significantly to food security, but risk being displaced by economic
development and cultural change
Livestock and environment
Shortsighted policies - and some programmes to "support" livestock owners -
contribute to land degradation
Contract farming in Asia
Market-oriented farming offers producers lower risks and gives
processors a guaranteed supply of raw materials
Conservation in Latin America
More than 3 million sq km of farmland have been degraded, and vast areas of
drylands are threatened by desertification
Managing plant nutrients
Nutrients available for recycling via plant and animal residues are rarely
sufficient to compensate for what is removed with the harvest
Interview: Brian Hursey
"Trypanosomiasis is the only animal disease that
completely determines where and how people grow
Cost of trypanosomiasis
The parasitic livestock ailment is most serious in areas of Africa that hold
the greatest potential for agriculture
Towards seed security
Local farmer varieties stored in the world's genebanks could be used to restore
crop production following disasters
New sports drink: coconut water Simple production process gives tropical countries the key to a booming market
Resolving conflict over land
Growing competition over land and water resources calls for greater cooperation
among all stakeholders
Women and farm tools
Study shows how poorly designed, poorly made farming implements add to
burdens on Africa's rural women
Rice crisis looms in Asia
Green Revolution technologies are "almost exhausted" of any further
Interview: James Cock
"Sustainability, profitability, employment: perhaps we're
asking too much of agriculture..."
Time to save the Aral Sea?
The destruction of this Central Asian lake is a textbook example of
Tropical starch misses market
Agricultural research needs to focus on product characteristics that make