Strengthening the resilience of small-scale farmers is critical to reversing the rise in hunger and ending poverty

Today, on the UN International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, I wanted to step back and reflect on the progress we have made collectively and through IFAD‘s work and also look at the challenges we are facing to further reduce poverty.
— Read on www.ifad.org/en/web/latest/blog/asset/41385382

Livestock and agroecology

A summary

  • key opportunities for livestock to contribute to the agroecological transition
    Livestock is found in all agroecosystems and includes a diverse range of species and breeds raised in a variety of production systems.
    Livestock play an important role in enhancing food security and nutrition of the public at large and the rural and urban poor in particular by providing access to nutrient dense food (meat, milk, and eggs)
    Livestock is key to the livelihoods of small-scale farmers, particularly women, providing them with income, capital, fertilizer, fuel, draught power, fibers, and hides.
    Agricultural productivity, income, and resilience can be increased by integrating livestock with other production system components such as trees and crop plants.
    By eating fibrous feeds (e.g. grass and straw) and waste (e.g. swill), livestock makes use of biomass that humans cannot eat and increase natural resource use efficiency.
    Animal mobility within and between agroecosystems and landscapes transfers nutrients, biomass and water in the form of animal manure, and moves people’s assets in times
    of disasters such as floods or drought.
    Manure is rich in nutrients and organic matter, which are key to the physical, chemical and biological properties of healthy soilsGood livestock management practices increase plant biodiversity in grasslands, which in turn enhances productivity, resilience, and other ecosystem services
    Livestock are part of climate solutions, through reducing enteric methane emissions and deploying diverse livestock resources to increase resilience on farm

Details in the FAO Report

Click to access i8926en.pdf

Goat is playing a Pivotal role in Rural Economy! Small Scaled Farming is a Hope

An article in ‘Animal’ compares the lifetime performance (mortality, maturity, nutrition, birth weight etc.) of West African Dwarf goats kept under various feeding systems.

via Lifetime performance of West African dwarf goats under different feeding systems — ILRI news

Small Scaled Family Farming

In my view, farming is only profitable and sustainable in true form when it is practice as people’s agriculture, not the machine’s agriculture. With the people’s agriculture, the orchard/garden is considered as part of the home and the animal cares as a family member. images

I have the background of the subsistence rural agriculture and know the link between the small scaled farmer and their farm and animals. Such farmers only pick the fruit and vegetables when it is needed for food and cash money. The same they do with the animals. They hardly sell their animals when there is no extreme demand for the money. 

Added benefits of reducing meat and dairy consumption

When we think of the big drivers of climate change, cars and air travel often come to mind. But transformations over the past century in the way food is produced and consumed have resulted in more greenhouse gas emissions than those from transportation. The biggest culprits? Industrial meat and dairy.

In addition to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, reducing consumption in the countries that currently eat too much meat and dairy could have significant health and social welfare benefits. One study shows that reducing meat consumption as a means of fighting climate change would also cut the risk of colon cancer, heart disease and lung disease worldwide by 34 percent.[31] Another says it would reduce global mortality by 6 to 10 percent by 2050, translating into a healthcare cost savings of US$735 billion per year.[32]

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Other scientists point out that cutting meat and dairy consumption would cut infectious disease and reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance, and have secondary effects as well.[33] One model shows that the worldwide adoption of a healthy diet could reduce mitigation costs for the energy sector by more than 50 percent by 2050.[34] It would also free up land now used for animal feed production and, if combined with other policy measures, could help small farmers access much-needed land.

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For details, please go to the link below for GRAIN Report

Grabbing the bull by the horns: it’s time to cut industrial meat and dairy to save the climate

German toxicologist accuses EU authorities of scientific fraud over glyphosate link with cancer

Dr Peter Clausing says the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have twisted scientific facts to give glyphosate a clean bill of health. Report by Claire RobinsonGerman toxicologist accuses EU authorities of scientific fraud over glyphosate link with cancer

copied from GMWATCH.

The German toxicologist Dr Peter Clausing has accused the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) of committing scientific fraud by twisting scientific facts and distorting the truth, with the aim of concluding that glyphosate is not a carcinogen. EFSA and BfR thereby accepted and reinforced the conclusion proposed by the Monsanto-led Glyphosate Task Force (GTF).The Poisonous Fields

Clausing made this accusation in front of five judges at the Monsanto Tribunal, held in The Hague from 14–16 October.

The background to this latest allegation of foul play by the EU authorities over glyphosate is the high-level dispute over whether or not the pesticide causes cancer.

In March 2015 the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC concluded that glyphosate was a probable human carcinogen.[1]

For further details, please go to the link below.

  1. http://gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/17307-german-toxicologist-accuses-eu-authorities-of-scientific-fraud-over-glyphosate-link-with-cancer
  2. https://raziqkakar.wordpress.com/2016/08/21/the-poisonous-fields/

 

GMO Law Review Articles (Including Notes and Comments) — Ban GMOs Now Blog

Originally posted on Ban GMOs Now: “The pursuit of food security faces an uncertain future.Biocultural community protocols: tools for securing the assets of livestock keepers In the absence of a robust consumer rights framework, both farmers and consumers are heading into a future replete with unsafe and insecure food. Moreover, if the federal regulatory framework continues to rely on arcane federal laws, without incorporating modern…Characterization and significance of Raigi camel, a livestock breed of the Pashtoon pastoral people in Afghanistan and Pakistan

via GMO Law Review Articles (Including Notes and Comments) — Ban GMOs Now Blog

The Poisonous Fields

Do we really eat safe food? The reply cannot be a clear yes. The factory farming is producing toxic foods as the scientific findings revealed.  Sometimes I think ‘a day will come when the living people will say “those who killed in wars and disasters are luckier. Eating from the poisonous field make us prone to various health issues. Just watched a TV program on RT, how the factory farming is poisoning our field and ultimately our bodies. poison fields

Roundup (active ingredient Glyphosate) is the world’s most widely-used weed killer. Some claim it’s completely harmless, others say it’s a serious health hazard for humans and animals. The WHO has suddenly called for an all-out ban on glyphosate, considering it toxic and probably carcinogenic. This film sets out in search of sick animals, humans and plants in Germany, Denmark and the US, and asks how the WHO reached these new conclusions and what action the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment is taking poisoned fields: Glyphosate, an underrated risk?

While googling, there are many research based peer reviewed articles proving that this product is causing cancer and also developing Autism in the kids. Are our generations are safe? The decision makers should not ignore this fact. There must be a concreted outcome of the whole discussion as going on among the scientists.

I found Dr. Stephanie Seneff, the author of more than 170 peer reviewed scientific article is focusing especially on this alarming issue. Stephanie Seneff is a well-known scientist emphasizing on the consequences of the Monsanto roundup, GMOs and the factory farming.  Some scientists and activists have the fears that up to 2050, around half of the kids in USA will be autistic. Also, Glyphosate causes low or poor fertility in dairy cows who depend on the food coming from such a poisonous fields.

I have been arguing since last 12 years that small scaled ecofriendly agricultural system is the solution to such threats like poisonous fields. We should eat less but quality products. We should not pose threat to the whole humanity just to earn some extra pennies. Let’s advocate small farming and promote the products come from small farmers and pastoralists.

Sustainable breeding strategies for Red Maasai sheep in Kenya — ILRI BioSciences

Although environmentally-adapted strains of livestock, are essential to smallholder farmers, there has been a decline in the populations of such breeds, such the ‘hardy’ Red Massai sheep. A recent poster by scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) emphasizes that through the implementation of various breeding strategies it may be possible to safeguard this drought- and disease-resistant sheep breed, helping increase food security and productivity across southern Kenya

via Sustainable breeding strategies for Red Maasai sheep in Kenya — ILRI BioSciences

Small Scaled Livestock Farming! Glimpses from Indian Gujrat

Small  Scaled Livestock Farming and pastoralism are synonymous in many parts of the world. This beautiful system produces unique quality of food items in a very ecofriendly way. The system is sustainable, having no negative effects on the mother earth’s health.

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This system is community centered, rich with traditional knowledge, a full family business and based on very low inputs.13310593_10209113242725732_55280275851466963_n.jpg

camel play very pivotal role in this system.13335785_10209113243045740_2276470669661594807_n.jpgAmong them women play significant role..to manage heard as well the family.

Small Scaled Farming Promotes Diversity

Contrary to factory farming, small scaled farming promote diversity. The factory farming promotes uniformity. Here are the key massages of the International Penal of Expert on Sustainable Food Systems (iPES)’s discussion.

The slogan of the IPES is “FROM UNIFORMITY TO DIVERSITY”

The key massages are here below.

  • Today’s food and farming systems have succeeded in supplying large volumes of foods to global markets, but are generating negative outcomes on multiple fronts: widespread degradation of land, water and ecosystems; high GHG emissions; biodiversity losses; persistent hunger and micro-nutrient deficiencies alongside the rapid rise of obesity and diet-related diseases; and livelihood stresses for farmers around the world.
  • Many of these problems are linked specifically to ‘industrial agriculture’: the input-intensive crop monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots that now dominate farming landscapes. The uniformity at the heart of these systems, and their reliance on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and preventive use of antibiotics, leads systematically to negative outcomes and vulnerabilities.
  • Industrial agriculture and the ‘industrial food systems’ that have developed around it are locked in place by a series of vicious cycles. For example, the way food systems are currently structured allows value to accrue to a limited number of actors, reinforcing their economic and political power, and thus their ability to influence the governance of food systems.* Sacks - Kibera, Kenya - Photo Avantgardens - 24631_623615430985555_2019559313_n_2.jpg
  • Tweaking practices can improve some of the specific outcomes of industrial agriculture, but will not provide long-term solutions to the multiple problems it generates.
  • What is required is a fundamentally different model of agriculture based on diversifying farms and farming landscapes, replacing chemical inputs, optimizing biodiversity and stimulating interactions between different species, as part of holistic strategies to build long-term fertility, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods, i.e. ‘diversified agroecological systems’.
  • There is growing evidence that these systems keep carbon in the ground, support biodiversity, rebuild soil fertility and sustain yields over time, providing a basis for secure farm livelihoods.
  • Data shows that these systems can compete with industrial agriculture in terms of total outputs, performing particularly strongly under environmental stress, and delivering production increases in the places where additional food is desperately needed. Diversified agroecological systems can also pave the way for diverse diets and improved health.small scaled
  • Change is already happening. Industrial food systems are being challenged on multiple fronts, from new forms of cooperation and knowledge-creation to the development of new market relationships that bypass conventional retail circuits.
  • Political incentives must be shifted in order for these alternatives to emerge beyond the margins. A series of modest steps can collectively shift the centre of gravity in food systems. Key messages 2 RE

For details, please go to the link below;

Click to access UniformityToDiversity_ExecSummary.pdf

 

Factory Farming Leads to Soil Erosion

Small-scaled subsistence farming is the key to keep our soil healthy and fertile. On the other hand the factory farming is resulting in the soil erosion and narrowing the genetic resources (biodiversity). The erosion of soil has largely occurred due to the loss of structure by continual disturbance for crop planting and harvesting. If soil is repeatedly turned over, it is exposed to oxygen and its carbon is released into the atmosphere, causing it to fail to bind as effectively. This loss of integrity impacts soil’s ability to store water, which neutralizes its role as a buffer to floods and a fruitful base for plants.

Featured Image -- 66The world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution in the past 40 years, with potentially disastrous consequences as global demand for food soars, scientists have warned.

For details, please go to the link below;

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/02/arable-land-soil-food-security-shortage