Foreign investment in agriculture increases productivity of subsistence farming

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Food securityForeign investment in agriculture increases productivity of subsistence farming

Published 2 July 2014

The improved infrastructure brought about by foreign investment could increase the productivity of subsistence farmlands in countries such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and could mean these lands can feed at least 300 million people around the world. This is compared to about 190 million people that could be fed if the land was left tended to by the local population. The most targeted countries for land grabs are Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the former Sudan. Altogether, these nations account for around 82 percent of the total food calories that can be produced by acquired croplands worldwide.

Crops grown on “land-grabbed” areas — that is, land owned by foreign investors — in developing countries could have the potential to feed an extra 100 million people worldwide, a new study has shown.

The improved infrastructure brought about by foreign investment could increase the productivity of subsistence farmlands in countries such as Indonesia and Papua New Guinea and could mean these lands can feed at least 300 million people around the world. This is compared to about 190 million people that could be fed if the land was left tended to by the local population.

The findings have been published in IOP Publishing’s journal Environmental Research Letters.

The large-scale acquisition of land by foreign governments and business — more commonly known as land grabbing — is a contentious issue, particularly in Africa where a large number of deals have taken place in regions facing food security problems and malnutrition.

An IOP release reports that some argue that investment by foreign governments and business will drastically improve crop yields, generate new jobs, and bring new knowledge and infrastructure to often deprived areas. Others highlight the fact that any food grown is often exported to other regions and argue that such deals can strip local communities of their land, water and natural resources, leaving them in a far worse state.

In their study, the researchers, from the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and the University of Virginia quantified the maximum amount of food that could be produced from crops grown on acquired lands and the number of people that this could feed. They also compared the use of traditional farming techniques to industrialized agricultural methods, to come up with the yield gap.

To arrive at their results, the researchers used a unique dataset of all land deals, greater than 200 hectares, which had occurred after 2000. Each land deal included information regarding the spatial extent of the acquired land, the dominant crop, and whether a deal was concluded with a signed or oral contract, or just intended with an expression of interest.

The researchers calculated the potential maximum crop yield from each of these deals and then used the crop’s food calories to determine the amount of people it could feed.

If all of the acquired lands were farmed to their full capacity — a 100 percent closure of the yield gap — there would be a 308 percent increase in rice production, a 280 percent increase in maize production, a 148 percent increase in sugar cane production, and a 130 percent increase in oil palm production, the researchers calculated.

Taking into account the proportion of crops that can be used for food production, as well as the amount needed for a “balanced diet,” the results showed that between 300 and 550 million people could be fed by crops grown in the acquired land, compared with between 190 and 370 million people that could be fed if the local community used the land without making major investments.

The results also revealed that the most targeted countries for land grabs are Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and the former Sudan. Altogether, these nations account for around 82 percent of the total food calories that can be produced by acquired croplands worldwide.

It has been reported in previous studies that around 32.9 million hectares of land have been acquired by large-scale international investors for different purposes. A total of 22 million hectares were acquired for agriculture.

The authors, Maria Cristina Rulli from Politecnico di Milano and Paolo D’Odorico from the University of Virginia, said: “Our study has provided a comprehensive assessment of the amount of food that can potentially be produced in land acquired by foreign investors in countries such as Sudan and Indonesia.”

Accordingly, “Policy makers need to be aware that if this food were used to feed the local populations it would be sufficient to abate malnourishment in each of these countries even without investments aiming at the closure of the yield gap. Such investments would lead to substantial improvements in crop yields mainly in African countries.

At the moment there are still open questions which would help inform the debate over what happens to acquired land such as, what happens to food produced? Is it shipped abroad? Were these lands already used for agriculture prior to the acquisition, and (if so) for the cultivation of what crops? With what yields? Answers to these questions would allow us to quantify the decrease in food available to the local communities, and come up with management strategies to mitigate possible negative impacts on the local communities of large scale land acquisition.”

— Read more in Maria Cristina Rulli and Paolo D’Odorico, “Food appropriation through large scale land acquisitions,” Environmental Research Letters 9, no. 6 (21 May 2014) (doi:10.1088/1748-9326/9/6/064030)

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Diva Coffee: 100% Carbon Offset ECO Coffee

SYDNEY, July 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — When Jim Storey started Diva Coffee, he believed that through business he could make the world a better place.

“When you run your own business you get to make your own choices,” said Jim, owner of Diva Coffee. “So I decided to make positive choices for our planet and the communities supported by the coffee industry.

And so Diva ECO Coffee was born – coffee that’s Ethical, Community focused and Organic. It’s also 100% carbon offset.

“We’ve chosen the best of the best in terms of Ethical products,” Jim said. “The coffee is Fair Trade certified which ensures that farmers get paid a reasonable amount for their work. By choosing Organic we’re ensuring the sustainability of the coffee farms and communities that the beans are from, and 100% carbon offsets are helping keep the planet safe for our children.”

A study in 2012 published in the Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology regarding the carbon footprint of coffee found that for every kilo of coffee harvested, approximately 5kg of carbon was released in its journey across the supply chain. So from the tree to your waste bin 5kg of carbon is released as the coffee is harvested, transported, roasted, packaged, ground and consumed. The packaging in capsules is even higher with a greater carbon footprint.

“The most exciting part of launching this product is choosing where to buy the carbon credits,” said Jim. “It’s like Christmas having money to spend helping others, especially choosing projects like the Kenya Lifestraw Project.

Traditionally water is purified in Kenya by boiling it – and the fuel for heating the water is the local forest. The Kenya Lifestraw Carbon Offset Program reduces deforestation by providing a healthy alternative using clean drinking water filters. Not only is this reducing carbon, providing clean drinking water is also saving lives.

“As soon as I saw the Kenya LifeStraw program I fell in love with it,said Jim. “As a parent I can only imagine the anguish of having to give your children potentially harmful drinking water. The LifeStraw project ticked all the environmental and ethical boxes for me.”

To read more about this project, or Diva Coffee, head over to divacoffee.com.au.

Contact:

Jim Storey, CEO
15/20 Narabang Way
Belrose NSW 2085
Phone: +612-9986-3053
Email: sales@divacoffee.com.au

IOM implements out of country voting for Libya

Libya – IOM in its role as implementing partner to Libya’s High National Election Commission (HNEC) worked to make it possible for 10,087 registered voters to participate in the process in 22 locations across 13 countries.

The countries where registration and voting were made possible are Canada, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Tunisia, Turkey, Malaysia, the UAE, UK and the US. This election saw the addition of Toronto, Alexandria and Chicago to the list of locations where out of country voting took place in Libya’s 2012 General National Congress election and in the 2014 Constitutional Drafting Assembly election.

Thirteen teams on the ground worked in a seven-week timeframe to set up the operation, and reach out to communities with information necessary for registration and voting using a wide variety of tools including posters and brochures, community meetings and the organization of special events for Libyans overseas.

Working with HNEC-appointed National Advisors, OCV teams engaged students, volunteers, Libyan embassies and consulates to ensure as many Libyans as possible were informed of the opportunity to contribute to the democratic process in Libya.

Voting took place in person, with approximately 38 per cent of those registered or 3,816 Libyans in the diaspora coming out to vote. Thirty per cent of the voters were women. Accredited observers and media were on hand in most locations to observe the process. Following the vote, ballots were safely secured and counted in tandem with the in-country process.

“Our teams were quickly mobilized at HNEC’s request and we are pleased that we were able to deliver a smooth and transparent process in line with HNEC’s policies and procedures,” said IOM’s Chief of Mission in Libya, Othman Belbeisi. “IOM will continue to remain a steadfast partner to HNEC in its important role for the future of Libya and the betterment of its people.”

Under the overall guidance of the HNEC, IOM serves as a member of the integrated UN Election Support Team (UNEST) in Libya, which combines UNSMIL, UNDP and IOM.

For further information, please contact

Mr. Jeffrey Labovitz
IOM’s Elections Specialist
 Email: jlabovitz@iom.int  
Tel. +66 2 343 9353

The Asia Livestock Series Move Positively Ahead

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —The globally renowned major Asia Livestock Industry Event Series by UBM ASEAN feature a wide range of innovative products and solutions, including improved farming systems, genetics and feed to help the feed, livestock and meat industries meet the challenges. UBM organised livestock events are held across ASEAN countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar and the series continues to expand each year after proving to be a cost- effective marketing platform for industry players.

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VIETSTOCK 2014 With the theme “Restructuring The Livestock Industry For Sustainable Development, the 7th edition of VIETSTOCK will gather together more than 250 leading local, regional and international suppliers representing the entire livestock value chain from ‘farm to fork’. The event was launched in 2004 and has become the country’s showcase for attracting investments in feed and livestock. Now in its 10th year, VIETSTOCK continues to get bigger and better with more comprehensive seminars and a wider showcase featuring the modernisation of livestock rearing and feed manufacturing, both of which will greatly benefit both local and international firms. Enjoying strong support from The Department of Livestock Production (MARD) since the first staging of the event, VIETSTOCK will be held at the Saigon Exhibition & Convention Centre (SECC), HCMC from 15-17 October 2014. Pre-register at http://www.vietstock.org and plan your visit today!

LIVESTOCK MYANMAR 2015 Following the success of its debut edition Livestock Myanmar 2014, several exhibitors have already rebooked for 2015. The event will follow in the footsteps of other UBM livestock events and will certainly be another successful event – one especially designed for Myanmar’s regional industry. This event, Myanmar’s first official feed, livestock & meat industry event will take place on 29 – 31 January 2015 at Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall, Yangon. Find out more about Livestock Myanmar 2015 by visiting http://www.livestockmyanmar.com.

LIVESTOCK PHILIPPINES 2015 will be the third staging of the event following its great success of the 2013 event. Livestock Philippine 2013 drew more than 200 exhibitors from 20 countries and was officially opened by no less than Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III. Foreign participation was evidenced by international pavilions from China, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the UK. Supported by the Department of Agriculture, LIVESTOCK PHILIPPINES 2015 is expected to attract more than 5,000 industry participant. The show will take place at the SMX Convention Centre,Pasay City, Philipphines from 24 to 26 June 2015. To discover more on the event, please log on to www.livestockphilippines.com .

LIVESTOCK ASIA 2015 has developed an outstanding reputation since 2001 as Asia’s leading event for feed, livestock and meat industries. With the theme “Feeding AEC’s Future”, the 8th edition of Livestock Asia is timely as it falls just before the single integrated market and production base, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which becomes effective on 31 December 2015. Co- located with Livestock Asia 2015, a new event ASIA MEATEC the show will focus specifically on the needs of the meat industry from production, processing and packaging all the way through to the plate. With a floor plan expanded by 30%, Livestock Asia 2015 will take place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 21 – 23 September 2015. For more information, kindly go to http://www.livestockasia.com.

“Asia Livestock Series developed an outstanding reputation as Asia’s leading event for the feed, livestock and meat industries and efficiently accommodate industry professionals and players interact with their ASEAN and other foreign counterparts to discuss challenges and opportunities forging mutual partnerships towards harmonies global competitiveness,” said Ms. Rungphech Chitanuwat, Business Development Director, UBM Asia.

Exhibitors and visitors both understand that meeting face-to-face is important, as it gives the opportunity not just to see products and have hands-on inspection of the latest equipment, but also to exchange valuable ideas and experiences with other industry professionals and find solutions for their business challenges – all in one place. The Livestock Event Series also feature a comprehensive seminar and conference program featuring industry experts to keep you up-to-date the latest products, developments and industry trends.

Notes to Editors:

1. About UBM Asia (www.ubmasia.com)

Owned by UBM plc listed on the London Stock Exchange, UBM Asia is Asia’s leading exhibition organiser and the biggest commercial organiser in mainland China, India and Malaysia. Established with its headquarters in Hong Kong and subsidiary companies across Asia and in the US, UBM Asia has a strong global presence in 25 major cities with 30 offices and over 1,400 staff.

With a track record spanning over 30 years, UBM Asia operates in 21 market sectors with 160 dynamic face-to-face exhibitions, 75 high-level professional conferences, 28 targeted trade publications, 18 round-the-clock vertical portals and virtual event services for over 1,000,000 quality exhibitors, visitors, conference delegates, advertisers and subscribers from all over the world. We provide a one-stop diversified global service for high-value business matching, quality market news and online trading networks.

UBM Asia has extensive office networks in China, Southeast Asia and India, three of the world’s fastest growing B2B events markets. UBM China has 11 offices in the major cities in mainland China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Shenzhen, where we organise more than 70 exhibitions and conferences. In ASEAN, UBM Asia operates from its offices in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines with over 50 events in this region. UBM India teams in Mumbai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad organise 20 exhibitions and 60 conferences every year across the country.

2. About UBM plc (www.ubm.com)

UBM plc is a leading global business media company. We inform markets and bring the world’s buyers and sellers together at events via online and print providing them with the information they need to do business successfully. We focus on serving professional communities from doctors to game developers, journalists to jewellery traders, farmers to pharmacists. Our 6,500 staff members in more than 40 countries are organised into specialist teams that serve these communities, helping them do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.

This press information is issued by:

MARKETING COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENT
United Business Media (M) Sdn Bhd
A-8-1, Level 8, Hampshire Place Office,
157, Hamphire 1, Jalan Mayang Sari
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +603-2176-8788 Fax: +603-2164-8786
E:  sufian.zahari@ubm.com      W: www.ubmasia.com

For more information on Livestock Series Show, contact:

LIVESTOCK SERIES
Ms. Rungphech Chitanuwat – Director of Asian Livestock Series
E:rose.c@ubm.com

VIETSTOCK 2014
Ms. Chau Tran
E: chau.tran@ubm.com  / vietstock@ubm.com

LIVESTOCK MYANMAR 2015
Ms. Yee Mon
E: yeemon.c@ubm.com / livestockmyanmar@ubm.com

LIVESTOCK PHILIPPINES 2015
Ms. Jessica Go
E: jessica.go@ubm.com / livestockphil@ubm.com

LIVESTOCK ASIA 2015
Ms. Rita Lau / Ms. Salmiza Salim
E: rita.lau@ubm.com / salmiza.salim@ubm.com / livestockasia@ubm.com

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