Category: Food Shortages

Pseudo-grains for Lesotho – Permaculture Design for Disaster

Quinoa This year’s very dry autumn, winter and spring in Lesotho is ringing alarm bells throughout the country. The capital city, Maseru, is down to a very limited supply of potable water. There is no significant rainfall forecast until the summer season, December / February. Last year’s grain crop was slightly better than the two previous years. This improved situation still left 40% of the population, some 725,000, reliant on […]

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World Food Day? How about World Food Life?

Next Wednesday, October 16, sees the marking of a rather bizarrely-named festival, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) organised ‘World Food Day’. The event is an annual one, which seems to highlight the rather curious focus of this festival: for if we are only celebrating food for one day of the year, what happens on the other 364? The aim of the event is to highlight food security […]

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Surviving Global Warming – Localized Food & Energy Systems in Nature’s Circular Economy

Record-breaking heat waves destroying harvests and worse predicted, localized food and energy systems urgently needed if we are to survive. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members website and is otherwise available for download here. Photo credit: SugarCreekPhoto via Flickr Across the world in both hemispheres, record-breaking summer heat waves and wild fires ravaged natural ecosystems, and sent hundreds of heatstroke […]

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Chalback Reg-Op Lesotho

Chalback Reg-Op Lesotho is the story about a sustainable farming system suitable for Lesotho and other similar regions of southern Africa. Chalback Reg-Op was the name of the donkey which J. J Machobane and his wife depended on to power the Machobane farming system in Lesotho. Chalback Reg-Op translated from the Sesotho as hardworking and straight up. This is a very suitable name for the unnoticed and humble donkey — […]

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The Global Land Rush

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute Between 2007 and mid-2008, world grain and soybean prices more than doubled. As food prices climbed everywhere, some exporting countries began to restrict grain shipments in an effort to limit food price inflation at home. Importing countries panicked. Some tried to negotiate long-term grain supply agreements with exporting countries, but in a seller’s market, few were successful. Seemingly overnight, importing countries realized that […]

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Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture – UN Agencies Call for an End to Industrial Agriculture & Food System

A rising chorus from UN agencies on how food security, poverty, gender inequality and climate change can all be addressed by a radical transformation of our agriculture and food system. by Dr Mae-Wan Ho A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members’ website and is otherwise available for download here. Agriculture the problem and the solution to climate change Record breaking heat waves sweeping over both […]

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Paradise Lost

Many of us who have been paying attention to the state of the world over the last half century have now begun to realize with growing horror that the progressive deterioration we have been tracking shows no signs of resolution. In fact, to some of us it looks as though there is no way to resolve this deepening crisis. The end of the track is in sight. The planetary factory […]

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Humanitarian Vetiver Project, East Sumba, Indonesia

Lined up for free treatment I am a young Christian missionary doctor on the Island of Sumba in Eastern Indonesia. My work entails providing health and welfare to the indigenous village people who live in remote areas of East Sumba. Most are either Christian or Marupa; they are extremely poor and many have no support income, yet they do have arable land and land similar to the rolling hills of […]

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It’s a Forest, You Just Can’t See It

An aerial view of a goat farm in the desert outside Dubai, a landscape that would benefit from Tony Rinaudo’s farmer-managed natural regeneration technique. Courtesy Mayang. Tony Rinaudo has an astonishing theory about the vast and apparently lifeless desert wastes of the UAE. He hasn’t been here, mind, and his observations are based on examining photographs of the region. But Mr Rinaudo’s theories merit serious consideration, because when it comes […]

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Across the Board, European Farms Planting Non-GMO Seeds More Successful than GMO Crops in the U.S.

by Shicana Allen, Institute for Responsible Technology On its website, Monsanto uses the slogan “Producing more, Conserving more, Improving Lives” and celebrates the five-year anniversary of its 2008 Sustainable Yield Initiative. Calling itself a “sustainable agriculture company… developing better seeds and systems to help farmers with productivity,” the biotech giant boasts that, despite anti-biotechnology activist claims to the contrary, “GM crops generally have higher yields due to both breeding and […]

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Grain Yields Starting to Plateau

Editor’s Note: As regular readers will know, I don’t agree 100% with everything I post to the site. The article below, for example, has somewhat of a focus on fossil-fuel-based fertiliser, as the means to increasing yields. But, I put this piece up anyway, as the statistical information it contains on plateauing yields is an important one for all permaculturists (and all humans in general) to consider, acknowledge, and prepare […]

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Permaculture in Lesotho

The PRI editor has been encouraging me to give a little more background info on my work on the ground here, so you can all better understand the situation I’m working in. Here’s a short attempt to do so. I have been living in Lesotho for two years, as a volunteer with Australian Volunteers International (AVI ). This is part of the Australian government’s southern African aid programme for 2012-2014. […]

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