Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Asia

Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent. It hosts many densely populated and large cities as well as enormous barely populated regions, which all together host over half of the human population. Agriculture as a source of income is of major importance in the region. In most Asian countries, agriculture is the biggest user of water and in some regions can be responsible for to 90% of total water consumption through irrigation.

Photo credit: Michael Foley, Paddy harvest ballet, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
17 November 2016

Over the past half-century, the paradigm for agricultural development has been to maximize yields through intensifying production, especially for cereal crops. But achieving food security and building a healthy, resilient global food supply is about more than just the quantity of calories provided. New metrics of success and methods of evaluation are needed in order to measure progress towards meeting the world’s nutritional needs within environmental limits.

Photo credit: James Anderson, photo-oil-palm-fruit-original, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
24 October 2016

The largest share of agricultural land in tropical landscapes is managed, not as large-scale industrial plantations, but by smallholders. This Nature Communications article integrates the interdisciplinary research of more than 20 research groups, and seeks to address gaps in our understanding of the ecological impacts of this smallholder-managed agricultural land. The study uses a multifaceted approach to investigating the crop choices that farmers make and how these choices impact on ecological and economic outcomes.

Photo: Smitty42, China Shipping Line, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
11 October 2016

This blog by Thomas Verhagen, the Senior Programme Manager at Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership, details how Chinese banking regulators and collaborators are aiming to change Chinese food imports. 

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Photo: David Leo Veksler, Binjang Forest Park, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
11 October 2016

Initiated in 1999, the Grain-for-Green Program was set up primarily to reduce soil erosion and uses cash payments to incentivise people to replant trees on sloped crop and scrubland. This study examines the effects on bird and bee species in the scheme across the country. It finds that the program has not greatly benefited birds and bees due to the common practice of monoculture tree planting.

 Photo: Global Water Forum, Agriculture in China, Creative Commons License 2.0
4 October 2016

China’s influential Agricultural Development Bank has agreed to lend at least 3 trillion yuan (US$450 billion) by 2020 to China’s agriculture industry to promote a large scale modernisation process. The move was made together with the Ministry of Agriculture and included an agreement to protect national food security, develop China’s seed industry and support agricultural investors who wish to expand abroad.  

4 October 2016

China’s premier has announced that the country will begin accepting U.S. beef from animals under 30 months of age. When speaking to U.S. business groups, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China would soon allow imports of U.S. beef.  China has conditionally lifted an import ban on some shipments of U.S. boneless beef and beef on the bone, and will also ease restrictions on Canadian beef, the Asian nation's agriculture ministry and its premier said on Thursday.

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Photo: Marufish, palm oil mill, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
20 September 2016

Strong demand for vegetable oil has led to a boom in the Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil industries since 1990. Typically planted in extremely large monoculture plantations, the crop has been implicated in biodiversity loss and human rights issues.

Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read, Meat, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
20 September 2016

This short article runs through consumption data on meat and dairy products in China in urban and rural areas in 1990, 2002 and 2012. It uses data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China and the National Nutrition Survey.

20 September 2016

Meat consumption is increasing, especially in the emerging economies. The Chinese government has an increasing interest in making steps towards sustainable livestock production, and the more GHG (greenhouse gas) “efficient” pork and poultry industries have seen substantial progress towards sustainability in the recent past.

Photo: Sam Sherratt, Meat, Flickr, creative commons licence 2.0
23 August 2016

In their latest dietary guidelines, the Chinese government recommends a slightly lower meat intake than it did in its previous 2007 guidance.

28 June 2016

A new report by McKinsey & Company argues that China seems to be abandoning Western fast food for healthier options. Only 51% of consumers in China said they ate Western fast food in 2015, signalling a drop from the 67% who said they consumed fast food in 2012.

20 April 2016

This report written by Andreas Wilkes and Lanying Zhang for the International Institute for Environment and development (IIED) provides an overview of issues in sustainable agriculture in China, the country’s evolution to a modern, high-external input agriculture and the sustainability implications of this development. The report also looks into issues such as land tenure reforms and roles of cooperatives. 

20 April 2016

This paper looks at China’s National Forest Conservation Program (NFCP) and concludes that overall, it has been successful in reforesting the country. Prior to this study, scientists did not have proof of China’s claims of forest growth and the effectiveness of the program and China has been under international pressure to scientifically report their findings.

18 January 2016

In this paper, researchers at the National University of Singapore identify the major land use changes associated with mangrove deforestation in Southeast Asia, with an aim of ultimately facilitating appropriately targeted policy interventions to manage the forests. Over a 12-year period, the researchers quantified LULCC in deforested patches, and classified the replacement land uses (e.g. aquaculture).

16 October 2015

Growing affluence and increasing demands for meat in China, a country where meat consumption has already quadrupled since 1971, will place a very high pressure on agricultural production and trade both in China and globally says a new PwC report entitled China’s agricultural challenges – roads to be travelled.

30 September 2015

Officials in Mumbai have imposed a four day ban on the slaughter and sale of meat. The ban was introduced after increasing pressure from the vegetarian Jain community - a financially very powerful community in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

3 September 2015

An international research project co-led by the University of East Anglia suggests that international agencies have overestimated Chinas carbon emissions for more than 10 years. The research team re-evaluated emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and cement production from 1950-2013 and their results suggest that China produced 2.9 gigatonnes less carbon between 2000-2013 than previous estimates of its cumulative emissions.

20 May 2015

This article from Nature Climate Change discusses a research project that investigates the impacts of both traditional and transitioning Indian diets on the climate. Funded by Wellcome Trust, the goal is to obtain a detailed picture of what people are eating throughout India and calculate both the climate and health impacts of different types of diets. 

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