Sunday, January 27, 2013

'World needs to work together to feed itself' - Cargill's Greg Page

In a BBC interview Cargill chief executive Greg Page talks about the importance of the global food system, giving the example of how Brazilian feed was key for the American livestock industry during last year's drought. 
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Request for Information on Extension Workers

See below a special request from Jessica Fanzo. A group of Columbia students (including yours truly) is working with her in this initiative. Any information is more that welcome. 
The Secure Nutrition Knowledge Platform and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) are undertaking a mapping exercise on home economics and nutrition in extension and advisory services and workers in Africa, South Asia and the Americas. Currently, the role and status of extension and advisory services in nutrition is largely unknown. Except for home economists, many extension services do not have a focus on nutrition. Moreover, home economics extension is no longer present in many countries.

The objective of this work will be to document and map the past, current and future rural extension services that include nutrition, home economic and diet related activities within their portfolio, and identify good practice country or program cases, and note comparative advantages of different types of models. We hope that this mapping exercise informs the nutrition sensitive dialogue in the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and other global, regional and country initiatives.
We are interested in hearing from individuals who have had experience with integrating extension services with dietary, nutrition, and/or home economic activities. This experience could be through trainings, programs, or research. If you are interested in sharing your experiences, please email Jessica Fanzo at We appreciate your responses and participation.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mark Lynas Speech on GMOs

Mark Lynas' video has been circulating the blogosphere for a while now. For those of you seeing this for the first time, Mr. Lynas presents a robust defense of biotechnology and GMOs at a lecture to Oxford Farming Conference in 3 January 2013. What made so popular though, was the fact that Mr. Lynas was a former anti-GMO crusader, publishing books against it and spreading myths about the technology. Now, in a complete reversal, he tells his the world audience how he was dead wrong to oppose biotechnology.

Also, don't forget to check The Economist debate about whether biotechnology and sustainable agriculture are complementary or contradictory.