farming https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/taxonomy/term/434/all en Blog post of the month: Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs, and Lower Food Miles https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/blog-post-month-urban-agriculture-food-jobs-and-lower-food-miles <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <strong>Each month <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">People, Spaces, Deliberation </a>shares the blog post that generated the most interest and discussion. For May 2017, the featured blog post is "<a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/urban-agriculture-food-jobs-and-lower-food-miles" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs, and Lower Food Miles</a>" by Vivek Prasad and Iftikhar Mostafa. </strong><br /><br /><span>Millions of urban dwellers cultivate vegetables and fruit trees in home gardens, both for their families and for sale. In Dakar, 7500 households “</span><a href="https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Your-Own-Food" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>grow their own</span></a><span>” in micro-gardens. In Malawi, 700 000 urban residents practice home gardening to meet their food needs and earn extra income. Low-income city </span><a href="https://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3002e/i3002e.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>gardeners in Zambia make US$230</span></a><span> a year from sales. In cities like Bamako, Accra and Kumasi, depending on crop and season, between 60 and 100 per cent of leafy vegetables consumed are produced within the respective cities with </span><a href="https://www.cityfarmer.org/WEBLabour.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>employment figures ranging from 1,000 to 15,000 jobs</span></a>.<span> <span>Even megacities such as Shanghai, with about 15% population growth per year, one of the fastest growing cities on the planet, maintains its </span></span><a href="https://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/2623495/making_cities_sustainable_with_urban_agriculture.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>urban farming as an important part of its economic system</span></a><span>.</span></p> <span> </span> <div style="margin:0px; padding:0px; border:0px currentColor; vertical-align:baseline"> <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1a_0.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="270" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1a_0.jpg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none" title="Photo from Flickr by Jesse Warren " width="800" /></a></div> <p> <span>Farm plots amidst apartment blocks in Chaozhou, China. </span><br /><br /><a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1c.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="301" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1c.jpg" style="padding:2px; border:1px solid rgb(204, 204, 204); vertical-align:bottom; max-width:none; float:right" title="Photo by Vivek Prasad" width="400" /></a>Around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban farms already supply <a href="https://foodtank.com/news/2015/07/urban-farms-and-gardens-are-feeding-cities-around-the-world/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">food to about 700 million residents of cities</a>, representing about a quarter of the world’s urban population.    <br /><br /> Most cities in developing countries are facing challenges to create formal job opportunities. Urban agriculture can play an important role not only in enhancing food security but also in contributing to the eco-system - improved nutrition, poverty alleviation, local economic development and job creation as well as productive reuse of urban wastes.<br /><br /> Cuba has a system of urban organic farms called <a href="https://www.fao.org/ag/agp/greenercities/en/GGCLAC/havana.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Organopónicos</a>, which provides a fresh supply of organic food to the community, neighborhood improvement, beautification of urban areas, as well as employment opportunities. <a href="https://www.greeneconomycoalition.org/know-how/urban-farms-cuba" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Cuba has more than 7,000 organopónicos, with some 200 gardens in Havana</a> alone, covering more than 35,000 hectares of land, which supply its citizens with 90% of their fruit and vegetables. In Havana, <a href="https://www.cityfarmer.org/WEBLabour.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">117,000 jobs in Havana and income for 150,000 low income families</a> were directly provided by urban and peri-urban agriculture.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 30 May 2017 18:00:00 +0000 Vivek Prasad 7729 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Urban Agriculture: Food, Jobs, and Lower Food Miles https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/urban-agriculture-food-jobs-and-lower-food-miles <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <span>Millions of urban dwellers cultivate vegetables and fruit trees in home gardens, both for their families and for sale. In Dakar, 7500 households “</span><a href="https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Your-Own-Food" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>grow their own</span></a><span>” in micro-gardens. In Malawi, 700 000 urban residents practice home gardening to meet their food needs and earn extra income. Low-income city </span><a href="https://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3002e/i3002e.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>gardeners in Zambia make US$230</span></a><span> a year from sales. In cities like Bamako, Accra and Kumasi, depending on crop and season, between 60 and 100 per cent of leafy vegetables consumed are produced within the respective cities with </span><a href="https://www.cityfarmer.org/WEBLabour.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>employment figures ranging from 1,000 to 15,000 jobs</span></a>.<span> <span>Even megacities such as Shanghai, with about 15% population growth per year, one of the fastest growing cities on the planet, maintains its </span></span><a href="https://www.theecologist.org/green_green_living/2623495/making_cities_sustainable_with_urban_agriculture.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><span>urban farming as an important part of its economic system</span></a><span>.</span></p>   <div> <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1a_0.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="270" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1a_0.jpg" title="Photo from Flickr by Jesse Warren " width="800" /></a></div> <p> <span>Farm plots amidst apartment blocks in Chaozhou, China. </span><br /><br /><a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1c.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><img alt="" height="301" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/1c.jpg" style="float:right" title="Photo by Vivek Prasad" width="400" /></a>Around 15 percent of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), urban farms already supply <a href="https://foodtank.com/news/2015/07/urban-farms-and-gardens-are-feeding-cities-around-the-world/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">food to about 700 million residents of cities</a>, representing about a quarter of the world’s urban population.    <br /><br /> Most cities in developing countries are facing challenges to create formal job opportunities. Urban agriculture can play an important role not only in enhancing food security but also in contributing to the eco-system - improved nutrition, poverty alleviation, local economic development and job creation as well as productive reuse of urban wastes.<br /><br /> Cuba has a system of urban organic farms called <a href="https://www.fao.org/ag/agp/greenercities/en/GGCLAC/havana.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Organopónicos</a>, which provides a fresh supply of organic food to the community, neighborhood improvement, beautification of urban areas, as well as employment opportunities. <a href="https://www.greeneconomycoalition.org/know-how/urban-farms-cuba" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Cuba has more than 7,000 organopónicos, with some 200 gardens in Havana</a> alone, covering more than 35,000 hectares of land, which supply its citizens with 90% of their fruit and vegetables. In Havana, <a href="https://www.cityfarmer.org/WEBLabour.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">117,000 jobs in Havana and income for 150,000 low income families</a> were directly provided by urban and peri-urban agriculture.</p> </div></div></div> Tue, 02 May 2017 14:15:00 +0000 Vivek Prasad 7707 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Campaign art: Sounds of life in the forest https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/campaign-art-sounds-life-in-forest <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><h4> <strong>People, Spaces, Deliberation bloggers present exceptional campaign art from all over the world. These examples are meant to inspire.</strong></h4> <p> Satellites have been sending us all images of planet earth for decades. For many, <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/picture-galleries/9726888/Black-marble-new-high-resolution-satellite-images-of-the-Earth-at-night.html?frame=2420136&amp;amgpage=1" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">photographs of earth at night</a> are particularly enchanting as the cameras can detect natural and man-made light, showing everything from the night-time glow of the Sahara Desert to the light of a single village on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Through these photos, the bright lights of cities shine through the night sky, revealing where life is vibrant and populations are dense… and where it is not.  <br /><br /> However, a new video from POL, an agency in Oslo Norway, and the Rainforest Foundation reminds us how wrong that view is: It is not cities that house the most life, but forests.<br /><br /> Forests are widely known as the world’s largest source of biodiversity.  They are complex ecosystems that affect almost every species on the planet.  <a href="https://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/krubal/rainforest/Edit560s6/www/plants.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">More than two thirds</a> of the world's plant species and <a href="https://www.srl.caltech.edu/personnel/krubal/rainforest/Edit560s6/www/animals.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">more than half of the world's animals</a> are found in the tropical rainforests, according to California Institute of Technology. Furthermore, as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations stated in the <a href="https://www.fao.org/3/a-i3710e.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">2014 State of the World’s Forests report</a>, forests also contribute significantly to food security and energy production for millions of people.  <br /><br /> Together, the Rainforest Foundation and POL went to the Amazon to document life there in terms of sound. They made continuous night-time recordings that 'illuminate' and show the life in the rainforest.<br />  </p> <div class="asset-wrapper asset aid-230 asset-video"> <strong > Sounds of life </strong> <div class="content"> <div class="field field-name-field-asset-video-file field-type-emvideo field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><iframe src="//player.vimeo.com/video/142623787" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe></div></div></div></div> </div> <p> <br /></div></div></div> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 18:11:00 +0000 Roxanne Bauer 7283 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere When Robots Attack! https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/when-robots-attack <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/ID-10096237.jpg" style="float:left; height:306px; width:180px" />Robots have been a part of our mythology for thousands of years, the emphasis alternating between their positive transformative power over human society and acting as agents of great destruction.&nbsp; Our image of robots has been shaped to a large extent by Hollywood and literature.&nbsp; Celluloid robots in Star Wars, 2001 Space Odyssey, Robocop, Star Trek and many of Isaac Asimov’s novels have become a part of the human story.&nbsp; Off-celluloid, robots have been helping our society in concrete ways (for example <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/police-robot3.htm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">police work</a> (bomb disposal), <a href="https://www.digitaltrends.com/international/grit-blasting-robots-to-clean-sydneys-iconic-bridge/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">infrastructure projects</a> etc.).&nbsp; However when <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/science/17jeopardy-watson.html?pagewanted=all" target="_blank">Watson won Jeopardy</a> it brought artificial intelligence and robotics a new kind of attention.&nbsp; People started to wonder if robots could replace humans.&nbsp; When we think of robots we think of <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/technology/self-driving-cars-for-testing-are-supported-by-us.html?pagewanted=all" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">self driven cars</a>, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/technology/robotic-gadgets-are-becoming-within-reach-of-average-consumer.html?pagewanted=all" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">household robots</a> or even <a href="https://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/jun/10/darpa-robotics-challenge-us-military" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">warrior robots</a>.&nbsp; However, in our view, the influence of robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is more subtle and their presence more ubiquitous than one would think. One such impacted sector is the agriculture sector (in the US) which is on the cusp of a massive transformation, as it moves from mechanization to automation. When rolled out and commercialized (soon)&nbsp;this massive scale of automation will have a significant impact on US farming and on immigration for sure.&nbsp; But does this also impact the development landscape? If so how?</p> <p> Agricultural robotic systems have been implemented in fruit and vegetable harvesting, <a href="https://www.maximumyield.com/inside-my-com/asktheexperts/item/13-agricultural-robotics-here-come-the-agribots" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">greenhouses</a> and nurseries. <a href="https://www.harvestai.com/index.php" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Harvest Automation</a>, for example, has developed the the HV-100, a 90-pound robot for commercial nurseries that can pick up and rearrange potted plants. There are quite a few silicon valley startups that are contributing to this revolution in the region known as “<a href="https://www.mchsmuseum.com/burtonsag.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">America’s Salad Bowl</a>”, around Salinas Valley. California, where Salinas Valley is located, produced <a href="https://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21567202-robotics-machine-helps-lettuce-farmers-just-one-several-robots" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">$1.6 billion dollars worth</a> of lettuce in 2010 and 70%+ of all lettuce grown in America. Lettuce Bot, a new robot developed by Stanford engineers Jorge Peraud and Lee Redden, both <a href="https://modernfarmer.com/2013/05/lettuce-bot-roomba-for-weeds/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">from</a> farming families from Peru and Nebraska, can “<em>produce more lettuce plants than doing it any other way</em>” (<a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/robots-revolutionize-farming-ease-labor-woes-142756655.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Yahoo Finance</a>).&nbsp;&nbsp;Lettuce Bot’s innovation is that while attached to a tractor, it takes pictures of passing plants and compares these to a database. When the weed or a lettuce head that is too close to another one is identified, a concentrated dose of fertiliser is sprayed. A close shot of fertilizer kills the errant weed or lettuce head but actually feeds the further off crops at the same time.<br /> </div></div></div> Tue, 23 Jul 2013 17:55:00 +0000 Tanya Gupta 6409 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere Weekly Wire: The Global Forum https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/weekly-wire-global-forum-125 <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><p> <img alt="" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/medium_weekly_wire_photo_12.jpeg" style="float:right; height:120px; width:120px" />These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.</p> <p> <strong>NPR</strong><br /><a href="https://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/07/17/202656235/in-kenya-using-tech-to-put-an-invisible-slum-on-the-map" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map</a><br /><br /> "If you were to do a search for the Nairobi city slum of Mathare on Google Maps, you'd find little more than gray spaces between unmarked roads. Slums by nature are unplanned, primordial cities, the opposite of well-ordered city grids. Squatters rights rule, and woe to the visitor who ventures in without permission. But last year, a group of activist cartographers called the Spatial Collective started walking around Mathare typing landmarks into hand-held GPS devices." <a href="https://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/07/17/202656235/in-kenya-using-tech-to-put-an-invisible-slum-on-the-map" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">READ MORE</a><br /><br /><strong>Poverty Matters Blog</strong><br /><a href="https://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/jul/15/fragile-states-south-sudan" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Telling countries they're the worst in the world doesn't really help them</a><br />  <br /> "The west seems to be obsessed with ranking things. Whether it's Mark Owen's top 20 hits, the Forbes rich list or the 100 greatest Britons, success is apparently relative rather than absolute. But the urge to order things does not stop with pop culture and celebrities. In development, it extends to ranking countries, and not usually by their successes but by their failings. The human development index, the global peace index, the failed states index; time and again mainly northern-based organisations feel at liberty to opine about the progress of nations. The countries with the worst rankings in these indices undoubtedly have serious challenges they need to confront. The pseudo-scientific concoctions that underpin many development indices contain elements of truth, and the countries ranked as most failed have every reason to take a long hard look at themselves."  <a href="https://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/poverty-matters/2013/jul/15/fragile-states-south-sudan" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">READ MORE</a></p> </div></div></div> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 13:22:29 +0000 Kalliope Kokolis 6404 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere The Key’s in the Keyboard: New Technologies Can Help Enhance India's Agricultural Productivity https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/key-s-keyboard-new-technologies-can-help-enhance-indias-agricultural-productivity <div class="field field-name-body field-type-text-with-summary field-label-hidden"><div class="field-items"><div class="field-item even"><P><IMG height=190 alt="" src="https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere/files/publicsphere/Johanna/2183806066_99eab120f9.jpeg" width=280 align=left>Agriculture in India still remains the main source of livelihood for the majority of the rural population and more importantly the small holding farmers. With an average annual growth rate of 3.3%, the major challenges facing this sector include a shrinking land base, dwindling water resources, the adverse impact of climate change, shortage of farm labour, increasing costs and uncertainties associated with the volatility of international markets.</P> <P>A pertinent factor that continues to impinge upon these challenges is the lack of timely information about market prices, crop varieties, production techniques, seasonal risk and disease control strategies. The critical question thus is — how can we effectively apply information and communication technologies (ICTs) in agriculture to mitigate the factors that lead to the physical isolation of the rural smallholder during the ensuing 12th Five Year Plan period.</P> <P></div></div></div> Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:29:32 +0000 Abhilaksh Likhi 6292 at https://blogs.worldbank.org/publicsphere