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More efficient systems in Asia’s food sector urged Print
Tuesday, 21 January 2014 04:28

[HANOI] Sustainable practices in food production and consumption, now taking root in some developing economies in Asia, need to be adopted region-wide to ensure adequate food supply and reduce farming’s environmental impact, a forum on eco-innovation heard.

The United Nations Environment Programme Roundtable on Eco-innovation, organised by the European Commission and the UN Environment Programme last month (12-13 November), also discussed the need to invest in research and technology that will increase resource efficiency and cut waste in food production and consumption.

Villagers in “pesticide land” struggle with cancer Print
Monday, 13 January 2014 01:45

Last update 08:50 | 09/01/2014

VietNamNet Bridge – There are the “cancer villages” in Ha Tinh province – the “pesticide land” in the central region.

The poor Trung Trinh village in Viet Xuyen commune of Thach Ha district plunged into mourning on the last days of 2013, when the villagers recently attended a funeral of one more man who died of cancer.

Twenty people in the same village have died over the last five years because of cancer diseases.

Development ravages Malaysia’s ‘Little England’ Print
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 06:13

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 08, 2014, 09:44

Tanah Rata: On a Malaysian ridge-top, R. Ramakrishnan scans a rugged landscape famed in British colonial times as a fresh-aired slice of England in the tropics, but he sees a paradise lost.

Illegal farms covered in unsightly plastic sheeting stretch into the distance along the steep slopes of the Cameron Highlands as bulldozers mow down nearby forests.

Food Security Challenges in Asia Print
Monday, 06 January 2014 22:33

ADB Working Paper




There is an urgent need to revitalize growth in agricultural productivity and simultaneously to address the increasingly tangible impacts of climate change on agriculture. Climate change is often thought of as a longer-run threat, but there is accumulating empirical evidence that rising average temperatures, extreme heat events, rising atmospheric ozone levels, and other climate-related phenomena are already adversely affecting agricultural productivity. To some degree, it will be possible to adapt to climate change through the application of existing technologies for conservation agriculture. More efficient use of irrigation water will also be critical, particularly in South and Central Asia. During the coming decades, the scientific challenges of adapting agriculture to climate change will be formidable. Evaluation shows that investment in agricultural research has an enormous economic payoff, but it is a long-run process requiring sustained commitment from international and national research centers as well as the private sector.


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Tell the government to reject Dow Chemical’s “Agent Orange” corn and soy Print
Monday, 06 January 2014 22:13

Dow Chemical, the same company that brought us Dursban, Napalm, and Agent Orange, is now in the food business and is pushing for an unprecedented government approval:  genetically engineered (GE) versions of corn and soybeans that are designed to survive repeated dousing with 2,4-D, half of the highly toxic chemical mixture Agent Orange.

USDA has just released its draft environmental impact statement and announced a 45-day public comment period on these new crops. Tell USDA and President Obama to reject Dow Chemical’s “Agent Orange” crops!

Read more on Public Action

Obesity quadruples to nearly one billion in developing world Print
Monday, 06 January 2014 22:08

The number of overweight and obese adults in the developing world has almost quadrupled to around one billion since 1980, says a report from a UK think tank.

The Overseas Development Institute said one in three people worldwide was now overweight and urged governments to do more to influence diets. A total of 904 million people in developing countries are now classed as overweight or above, with a BMI of more than 25, up from 250 million in 1980.

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Vietnam: Back to Organic? Print
Saturday, 04 January 2014 02:26

Worried about food safety, Vietnamese look again at small-scale organic farming.

By Elisabeth Rosen January 02, 2014

For two decades, Thanh was the only fruit vendor on Phan Huy Chu Street, in the heart of Hanoi’s downtown. But last year, a store opened across the street advertising “rau an toan” (safe produce). It was an assurance conspicuously missing from Thanh’s baskets of lychees and mangoes, displayed millimeters from the sidewalk.

Should the government partner with baby food companies? Print
Friday, 03 January 2014 02:46

Irma Hidayana, Montclair, New Jersey | Opinion | Thu, December 26 2013, 10:02 AM

Two years ago (on Dec. 22, to be exact), the government of Indonesia officially joined the global movement Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN).

The initiative aims to eliminate stunting in babies and infants, which is running at a high rate of 36 percent among children under 5 years of age in Indonesia.

Malaysia should move from cash handout to rights-based programmes, says rights council Print
Friday, 20 December 2013 02:25

DECEMBER 18, 2013

The United Nations Human Rights Council today urged Putrajaya to move away from charity-based schemes to rights-based programmes to avoid exclusion of groups, graft and leakages.

Olivier De Schutter, who is the UN Human Rights Council special rapporteur to Malaysia on the right to food, said while cash aid programmes such as Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) and Kebajikan Rakyat 1Malaysia (Karisma) can offer assistance to the needy, it is unsustainable for Malaysia to continue with such schemes.

SAFSeN Consultative Roundtable-Malaysia Print
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 06:22


11 December 2013


SEACON organized a consultative roundtable discussion with farming community of Kampung Kesang Tasek in Ledang, Johor. The event is part of the on-the-ground activity of the SAFSeN Project. The SAFSeN consultative process explored the needs of farmers and rural farming communities in Malaysia on the types of technological information that is appropriate and useful for building resilience and competitiveness of small scale rural farmers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Lao PDR and Thailand.


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