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How a Seed Bank, Almost Lost in Syria’s War, Could Help Feed a Warming Planet

Ali Shehadeh, a plant conservationist from Syria who fled the war in his country, at work in Terbol, Lebanon. Credit Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

Image: Ali Shehadeh, a plant conservationist from Syria who fled the war in his country, at work in Terbol, Lebanon. Credit Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

nytimes.com - Somini Sengupta - October 13th 2017

Ali Shehadeh, a seed hunter, opened the folders with the greatest of care. Inside each was a carefully dried and pressed seed pod: a sweet clover from Egypt, a wild wheat found only in northern Syria, an ancient variety of bread wheat. He had thousands of these folders stacked neatly in a windowless office, a precious herbarium, containing seeds foraged from across the hot, arid and increasingly inhospitable region known as the Fertile Crescent, the birthplace of farming.

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The Fight Against Famine Needs More Voices

           

A woman dries a small quantity of sorghum on May 31, 2017, outside her house in Panthau, Northern Bahr al Ghazal, South Sudan. Albert Gonzalez Farran—AFP/Getty Images

CLICK HERE - International Rescue Committee (IRC) - Ending famine is defining global issue for millennials

time.com - by Liz Schrayer - August 3, 2017

 . . . A recent poll by the International Rescue Committee found that an astounding 85% of Americans are unaware that 20 million people — more than the populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia combined — are living on the verge of starvation in just three African countries plus Yemen.

We have news on 24 hours a day. We live with unprecedented connectivity. And yet we don’t even know that simple fact. That is disturbing.

But that same poll also bears some good news: Once they learn about the famine crises, the vast majority of millennials see it as one of the world’s most pressing global issues . . . 

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Graziano da Silva: 20 Million People Could Starve to Death in Next Six Months

The 156th session of the FAO Council runs from 24-28 April 2017.

Famine in the spotlight at FAO Council

fao.org - April 24, 2017

Urgent action is needed to save the lives of people facing famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, FAO Directory-General José Graziano da Silva said today at the opening of the UN agency's Council. 

"If nothing is done, some 20 million people could starve to death in the next six months," the Director-General said in his opening address. "Famine does not just kill people, it contributes to social instability and also perpetuates a cycle of poverty and aid dependency that endures for decades."  

Council members will be briefed on the extent of the hunger crises, and the steps required to prevent catastrophe, during the week-long session.

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Compassion and Resilience in Haiti

Southern Haiti after Hurricane Matthew–October, 2016
(Photo by John Carroll)

blogs.pjstar.com - by John Carroll, MD - March 31, 2017

The Gallup Poll recently reported that “even before Hurricane Matthew ravaged Southern Haiti in late 2016, the small Caribbean nation was already in deep distress, with more than four in 10 Haitians (43%) rating their lives poorly enough to be considered suffering”. The only country suffering more than Haiti in the world is South Sudan where famine already has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, and 1 million people there are on the brink of dying from a lack of food. Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti last October; according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the storm left nearly 140,000 Haitians homeless . . .

 . . . The hurricane took the people’s lives, homes, chickens, goats, crops, trees, schools, and churches. They had little food and water. They had no money. What was left? . . . 

 . . . a plea for us to find humanity again.  With compassion, followed by action, we would create resilient societies which care for one another.

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Evaptainers - Evaporative Cooling - Refrigeration Solutions for Developing Markets

Evaptainers are electricity-free mobile refrigeration units which run at low-cost. Utilizing the phenomenon of evaporative cooling, rather than more energy-intensive vapor compression refrigeration, they are ideal for use in off-grid rural areas with low relative humidity.

Evaporative cooling has been employed successfully for centuries in products like the Zeer Pot. Proven to be effective for agricultural use, these products have been known to triple or quadruple the shelf-life of most produce. The company has taken these inventions and upgraded them for modern and commercial use. Using state-of-the art materials and improved design, they have created more effective, more durable, easier to use, mass-producible units. The units reach the same thermal efficiency as the Zeer Pot and have extended storage times of fresh food from days to weeks in pilot program tests.

The Evaptainer has a wide range of applicability and potential markets given the current post-harvest food spoilage levels in developing markets.

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FarmBot Genesis - Humanity’s First Open-Source CNC Farming Machine

FarmBot Genesis is humanity's first open-source CNC farming machine designed for at-home automated food production.

CLICK HERE - FarmBot Genesis

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7 Forgotten World Crises That Urgently Need Your Support

The global need for humanitarian aid has reached a level not seen since World War II. More than 128 million people in 33 countries are now affected by crises, including conflict and natural disaster.

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Report: Food Stocks Low in Southern Haiti in Wake of Storm

submitted by John Carroll

           

FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2016 file photo, banana and coconut trees are bent and broken along a southern coast road near the town of Roche-a-Bateau, Haiti, left behind by Hurricane Matthew. Hundreds of thousands of people in southern Haiti are facing food shortages three months after the storm destroyed crops and livestock in the region, international aid organization Oxfam said Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)  (The Associated Press)

Associated Press - January 4, 2017

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti –  Hundreds of thousands of people in southern Haiti are facing food shortages three months after Hurricane Matthew destroyed crops and livestock in the region, an international aid organization said Wednesday.

A "very poor" harvest is expected over the next two months in the South and Grand Anse departments of the southern Haitian peninsula, an area where most people depend on subsistence farming to survive, Oxfam said in a report calling for more support for a U.N. assistance fund.

The U.N. announced it would provide $139 million in assistance to the region, but that program is underfunded by 38 percent, the aid group said.

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A Chemical Reaction Revolutionized Farming 100 Years Ago. Now It Needs to Go

Anhydrous ammonia plant, ca. 1954. ROBERT W. KELLEY/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

Image: Anhydrous ammonia plant, ca. 1954. ROBERT W. KELLEY/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

wired.com - Sarah Zhang - May 16th 2016

Of all the elements that make up Earth’s atmosphere, nitrogen is by far the most abundant. It is also one of the most inert. Nothing happens when you breathe it in, swallow it, or let it suffuse your skin.

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President Koroma Opens West Africa’s Biggest Palm Oil Refinery In Pujehun

The President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma  has official opened the largest palm oil refinery  in the country and in West Africa at Sahn-Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District.

SOCFIN Company has invested over $US 130 million to reach this stage, planting 12,319Ha of hybrid oil palm trees and building a mill currently with a 30t/hr of Fruit Bunch(FFB) capacity and able to increased to 60t/hr
President Koroma says Sierra Leone is now for business.

 

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