food security tagged posts

Invasive species threaten plant biodiversity and food security, year-long study shows

Researchers identified 4,979 invasive plant species globally. Image courtesy Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

Researchers identified 4,979 invasive plant species globally. Image courtesy Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

Today we now have more clarity on global vegetation than ever before due to a year-long, first-of-its-kind scientific study. With 390,900 plant species in the world, 21% of those are threatened with extinction according to ‘The State of the World’s Plants Report – 2016’, commissioned by Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, in the UK. The study involved many scientific experts and is essential reading for any person, organisation or political party who truly cares about the health status of nature today.The study shows the global cost of invasive species is estimated at nearly 5% of the world’s economy — on the British economy alone that’s about £1.7 billion (€2.15 billion) annually.

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How the UN, Monsanto and microbes can help improve global nutrition

On 1 April 2016, the United Nations General Assembly in New York, proclaimed a ‘UN Decade of Action on Nutrition’ to run from 2016 to 2025. This initiative by the UN is an approach which recognises the importance of tackling the fight against world hunger and malnutrition by working with the private sector.

It will be led by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO), in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The fundamental role of the business community was already highlighted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the United Nations forum in September 2015...

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New Monsanto team-up with HydroBio propels remote sensing in farming

This image is an example of the visual data that can be derived from remote sensing techniques. The top picture represents a true-color image, the middle an infrared image, and the bottom an elevation image. Image courtesy of  US National Ocean Service.

This image is an example of the visual data that can be derived from remote sensing techniques. The top picture represents a true-color image, the middle an infrared image and the bottom an elevation image. Image courtesy of US National Ocean Service.

Successfully feeding a global population of eight billion by 2030 is estimated to need 30% to 45% more water, according to the World Bank Group. It’s clear that we need to avoid wastage of the supplies we already have. Innovations in technology may well provide the key.

Remote sensing uses satellite imagery to scan the earth to collect data in the form of statistics or images...

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Synthetic biology: creating a better future for our global agricultural system

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Synthetic biology (SynBio) at its core is a meeting of minds between engineering and biotechnology. Researchers working on SynBio aim to understand how life starts by studying DNA engineering; that is to say, how to write and program DNA in order to create novel organisms. This tool could be used in medicine to develop vaccines and make cancer cells self-destruct said George Church, Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, US,  in 2010.

While traditional genetic engineering is a matter of cutting and pasting gene-parts from one organism to another, synthetic biology engineering is able to write an entire genetic code. SynBio researchers use online databases of genetic codes to put together genes and gene-parts via computer modelling...

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Closing the gender gap: Empowering women through agriculture

Women are one of the world’s most underutilised resources. Closing the gender-gap in farming by giving women the same access as men to resources could increase yields in developing countries by up to four percent, which in turn has the potential to reduce the number of undernourished people by 130 million. Yet, women rarely come to mind when agriculture is mentioned.


Photo: Gates Foundation

According to WorldWatch, “roughly 1.6 billion women depend on agriculture for their livelihoods” but there are many obstacles stopping women farmers from being as productive as farmers who are men - both institutional and cultural.The fifth Sustainable Development Goal is gender equality...

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Global Warming: New report warns of food security threat

By Aoife O’Halloran 

Global warming leads to extreme weather conditions, such as extreme drought in some areas and severe flooding in others around the globe. Together, they could conceivably wreak havoc with global food security, a new study warns.

According to a report by experts from the UK-US Taskforce on Extreme Weather and Global Food System Resilience, global food production will decrease dramatically in the next 25 years as a result of extreme weather conditions. Unless we do something, fast, this will lead to more people going hungry every day, since more than 800 million people – or one in every nine people on the planet – already suffer from hunger and our planet’s population continues to grow rapidly.

Image of a maize field decimated by drought. Global Warming.

A maize field decimated by drought.

We will not have enough food to feed t...

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ARC approves drought-tolerant maize trait for South Africa

By Rachel Moore

On 19 June, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) announced the authorisation of new drought-tolerant maize trait MON 87460 in the Republic of South Africa. The trait was originally licensed by Monsanto as part of the Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project, which has been in a public-private partnership with the ARC since 2008.

Dr Kingstone Mashingaidze, Research Team Manager, Plant Breeding and Country Coordinator of the WEMA project in South Africa, called the authorisation “a significant step forward” in the “fight against food shortages” that plague smallholder farmers. “The ARC, with its WEMA partners, is excited to bring this new drought trait to the market for smallholder farmers royalty-free in South Africa,” he said.

WEMA farmerThe ARC previously launched two ...

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Hungry for Change – Why does chronic hunger still exist in 2015? – Encore la faim – Pourquoi la faim chronique existe-t-elle encore en 2015?

For many of us, thankfully, hunger is not an everyday reality we face, however for approximately 795 million people worldwide, chronic hunger is not only daily reality, but also–tragically–the future.

On 27 May, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) released its annual State of Food Insecurity in the World report. The results are startling and saddening. What is even more unsettling is the fact that the 795-million figure is seen as triumph. 25 years ago, one billion people were suffering from starvation. How jubilant can we be, though, when such a large number of people still go hungry every day? José Graziano da Silva, the director general of the FAO, stated that the “near achievement” of the Millenium Development Goals was a step in the right direction...

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Thanks for reading – The Monsanto Europe-Africa blog is one year old

91_Catalog_Sm_RGBAs the month of May gets into full swing, Europe is a hive of activity celebrating food and agriculture. This buzz is of course led by EXPO Milano 2015, which kicked off its 6-month-long celebration of the food we eat on the 1st of May under the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

The aim of the EXPO Milano is to embrace technology, innovation, culture, traditions, creativity and how they relate to food and diet, with a principal focus on the the right to healthy, secure and sufficient food for all the world’s inhabitants. We couldn’t agree more with these aims, and we have long been proud to champion them.

At Monsanto we also have another reason to celebrate. This May marks the first anniversary of this blog.

The initial reason we started this blog was to raise awareness of...

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Food for thought from this year’s Forum of the Future of Agriculture

On Tuesday, we attended the 9th Annual Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) in Brussels. The FFA addresses key issues relating to food and environment security agendas throughout Europe and the world. This year, key speakers included European Union Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan, Cass Sunstein, Behavioral Economics and Public Policy professor at Harvard, and UN Special Advisor on post-2015 Development Planning, the formidable Amina Mohammed.  Whilst the day-long conference raised a number of challenging issues, for us, three issues really stood out.

We are the first generation able to end hunger, the last to be able to avoid the worst impacts of man-made climate change

MVI_4125.MOV.Still003It’s a pretty startling thought. We have at once a foot on the mountain top, and a foot on the precipice...

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