News and Events

Ecological Farming: the Seven Principles of a Food System that has People at its Heart

Ecological © PeterCanon

Greenpeace’s Food and Farming Vision explains why Ecological Farming is the solution for a sustainable future and why we need to act now to hasten much-needed systemic change.

It needs no more than a few figures to see something is not right - almost one billion people go to sleep hungry every night. At the same time, the world produces more than enough food to feed all seven billion of us. Around one billion people are overweight or obese. A staggering 30% of the world’s food is wasted. Our problem today is not one of producing more food, but producing food where it is most needed and in a way that respects nature. The current industrial agriculture system fails to deliver this.

Meanwhile, the planet is suffering considerably. We are over-exploiting resources and reducing soil fertility, biodiversity, and water quality. Toxic substances are accumulating in our surroundings. Levels of waste are growing. And all this is occurring in the context of climate change and increased pressure on the Earth’s diminishing resources.

ICIPE Makes the first release of parasitoids into the farm in fight against Tuta Absoluta

Wasp release to fight tuta absoluta © H. Shiraku, BvAT
Filled with optimism that tomatoes would give him worthwhile returns, Mr Gabrielle Murgor had invested Ksh 400, 000 on a three-acre piece of land in Tinga, Magadi, growing tomatoes. Just when the crops had started to flower, Tuta absoluta struck and before he knew it, all the plants were wasting away. “From my huge investment, I only harvested a few crates which we used at home and shared the remaining with neighbours. I could not sell them as they were already affected and had little commercial value,” recalls Murgor. He regrets not having engaged a professional to do soil testing and an assessment of pest and disease prevalence in the area before plunging headlong into the project.

We can't achieve the SDGs without investing in animal health

A horse in Nepal
A horse in Nepal © Brooke

Marking the United Nations' 75th Anniversary, Harry Bignell, Brooke's Global External Affairs Officer, argues that we cannot achieve the Sustainable Development Goals without investing in animal health systems

This month, the UN is commemorating its 75th Anniversary, putting a focus on all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the month, and holding a special event at the UN General Assembly. Until recently, the world was making slow progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Now, in light of Covid-19, it is projected that two-thirds of the SDG targets will not be met.

Undeniably, the world in which we now live is a very different place to the one in which the SDGs were first conceptualised. We are facing a global pandemic on an unprecedented scale and have been forced to accept that global pursuit of globalisation, economic growth and expansion has come at a heavy cost. The world is under increasing global stress, including from pandemics, extinctions and environmental degradation.


Going Veggie Would Save Trillions of Lives, Not Millions

Pumpkin leave vegetables
Pumpkin leave vegetables © Shiraku BvAT

A recent study conducted at the University of Oxford concluded that adopting a vegetarian diet would save 5-8 million lives by 2050, amounting to a 6-10% drop in global mortality. The study joins a growing body of quality research suggesting that a global reduction in meat consumption can help prevent major problems in the near future. However, despite its important implications on the far-reaching impact of our eating habits, the study misses a crucial and obvious point. By only including human lives in its final figure, it ignores the trillions of animals whose lives would also be spared by a global shift towards meat-free diets within the same time-frame.  paraeid="{7c625c11-015d-4e56-bc35-86561a4f895e}{43}" paraid="833191548" xml:lang="EN-US" lang="EN-US">Each year, around 70 billion land animals [1] are killed for food. That’s more than nine times the world’s human population, which is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050. At the same time, economic empowerment in the developing world enables once-poor households to afford a more meat-based diet, leading to a steady rise in meat consumption. When we extrapolate these figures to the middle of the century, we arrive at a staggering 3 trillion [2] – three million million – individual land animals slaughtered for food. For comparison, that’s over 28 times the number of humans who have ever lived, or roughly 405 times the world’s human population, and that’s only counting land animals. Including the roughly 1.85 trillion fish killed annually would bring the total figure up to nearly 83 trillion animals. Yet even this figure is incomplete, since it leaves out untold numbers of crustaceans, mollusks, and other marine invertebrates.

Removing meat products from our diets would not only save up to 8 million humans, it would also prevent the deaths of up to hundreds of trillions of other sentient beings. Reducing our civilization’s meat intake is thus a matter of extreme moral urgency

International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology's (icipe) climate-smart push-pull helping to stabilise cereal-livestock mixed production systems in East Africa

A Pushpull farmer on his pushpull plot
A Pushpull farmer on his pushpull plot © icipe

A climate-smart version of the icipe push-pull technology is enabling farmers living in some of the East African regions most severely affected by climate change to stabilise their cereal–livestock mixed production systems.

In a paper published in the recent issue of Field Crops Research journal, icipe and collaborators show that the climate-smart push pull is not only enabling farmers living in such areas to continue cultivating cereals, but to also increase yields by 2.5 times, and in addition, integrate dairy farming into their production systems, despite challenges posed by climate of change.

Push-pull is a platform technology developed over the past 20 years by icipe in collaboration with Rothamsted Research, United Kingdom, and partners in eastern Africa. This simple cropping strategy simultaneously addresses the five key constraints of cereal–livestock mixed production systems in Africa – insect pests (stemborers), the parasitic weed Striga (and other weeds), poor soil fertility, soil moisture management, while also fulfilling the need for high quality animal feed.