Blog

The blog is a place where GRAIN staff and others post their comments, suggestions, hints and assessments of documents, places or events. Or just share information that we think is interesting.

Gulf states outsourcing basmati in the Philippines, while Philippines does the same with hybrid rice in Cambodia

The Philippines' Agriculture Secretary announces his government is going ahead with a large-scale evaluation of three Basmati rice varieties for export to Kuwait and Qatar, while, at the same time, he says they are pursuing the outsourcing of hybrid rice production in Cambodia.

The Philippines' Agriculture Secretary announces his government is going ahead with a large-scale evaluation of three Basmati rice varieties for export to Kuwait and Qatar, while, at the same time, he says they are pursuing the outsourcing of hybrid rice production in Cambodia.

Livestock out of balance: From asset to liability in the course of the Livestock Revolution

Study investigates the impact of the Livestock Revolution on farmers. It finds that livestock has turned in many cases from an asset into a liability, since farmers and livestock keepers, in order to remain competitive, are drawn into a debt trap, because of high initial investments on one side, and because they are squeezed between escalating input prices and the consolidated power of the food processors and supermarket chains on the other.

Study investigates the impact of the Livestock Revolution on farmers. It finds that livestock has turned in many cases from an asset into a liability, since farmers and livestock keepers, in order to remain competitive, are drawn into a debt trap, because of high initial investments on one side, and because they are squeezed between escalating input prices and the consolidated power of the food processors and supermarket chains on the other.

‘Obesogenic’ food systems must be reformed

“The West is exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets,” warns Olivier De Schutter, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the right to food. He calls for an urgent response to the public health disaster of poor nutrition.

“The West is exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets,” warns Olivier De Schutter, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the right to food. He calls for an urgent response to the public health disaster of poor nutrition.

Land grabs leave Africa thirsty

An excellent new report from Polaris and the Oakland institute on the impact of landgrabbing on water use in Africa. 'If all the 40 million hectares of land that were acquired on the continent in 2009 come under cultivation, a staggering volume of water would be required for irrigation (…) approximately twice the volume of water that was used for agriculture in all of Africa in 2005'.

An excellent new report from Polaris and the Oakland institute on the impact of landgrabbing on water use in Africa. 'If all the 40 million hectares of land that were acquired on the continent in 2009 come under cultivation, a staggering volume of water would be required for irrigation (…) approximately twice the volume of water that was used for agriculture in all of Africa in 2005'.

"Corporate person" Cargill, Inc. under arrest

A colorful crowd of 40 Occupy activists, food justice advocates, farmers, and anti-corporate-personhood protestors braved below freezing temperatures to voice their grievances and stage a mock citizen’s arrest of Cargill Inc. in downtown Minneapolis, USA.

A colorful crowd of 40 Occupy activists, food justice advocates, farmers, and anti-corporate-personhood protestors braved below freezing temperatures to voice their grievances and stage a mock citizen’s arrest of Cargill Inc. in downtown Minneapolis, USA.

Campesino land struggles in Honduras

The Aguán River Valley in the department of Colón, Honduras, is a site of both an ongoing conflict and a powerful social movement. The situation of the local farmers was further exacerbated by the 2009 military coup in Honduras. But their communities are also unfailingly resilient. A story of repression and resistance.

The Aguán River Valley in the department of Colón, Honduras, is a site of both an ongoing conflict and a powerful social movement. The situation of the local farmers was further exacerbated by the 2009 military coup in Honduras. But their communities are also unfailingly resilient. A story of repression and resistance.

Farewell, Erna

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr. Erna Bennett on 3 January 2011 at her home in Scotland. Erna was a world-renown geneticist, and a tireless fighter against the corporate take over of peasants' seeds. We would like to share with you an article that she wrote for us 10 years ago.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr. Erna Bennett on 3 January 2011 at her home in Scotland. Erna was a world-renown geneticist, and a tireless fighter against the corporate take over of peasants' seeds. We would like to share with you an article that she wrote for us 10 years ago.

STOP Monsanto in Nepal

On September 13th the US embassy announced USAID, Monsanto and the Government of Nepal were forming a partnership to promote hybrid maize in Nepal. A campaign has been launched to stop the introduction of Monsanto's hybrid maize in Nepal and promote local seeds.

On September 13th the US embassy announced USAID, Monsanto and the Government of Nepal were forming a partnership to promote hybrid maize in Nepal. A campaign has been launched to stop the introduction of Monsanto's hybrid maize in Nepal and promote local seeds.

Horn of Africa crisis: Drought zone

Excellent video programme investigates how climate change and commodity speculation are fueling hunger and conflict in Kenya, and explores what is and what is not being done in response.

Excellent video programme investigates how climate change and commodity speculation are fueling hunger and conflict in Kenya, and explores what is and what is not being done in response.

Indigenous Peoples call for REDD moratorium

A new coalition of indigenous peoples and local communities called for a moratorium on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programs, a key part of the negotiations for a new international climate treaty that took place over the last two weeks in South Africa.

A new coalition of indigenous peoples and local communities called for a moratorium on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programs, a key part of the negotiations for a new international climate treaty that took place over the last two weeks in South Africa.

A charade agreement that ignores climate chaos

After 2 weeks and 40 extra hours of negotiation, the agreement on climate change worked out in Durban only establishes that a binding instrument will be developed by 2015 and implemented in 2020. In this powerful reflection on the outcome of the Durban climate summit, Giuseppe De Marzo of A Sud says that the COP17 in Durban will be remembered as a failure for all humanity and a good business for the ones responsible for increasing the planet's fever.

After 2 weeks and 40 extra hours of negotiation, the agreement on climate change worked out in Durban only establishes that a binding instrument will be developed by 2015 and implemented in 2020. In this powerful reflection on the outcome of the Durban climate summit, Giuseppe De Marzo of A Sud says that the COP17 in Durban will be remembered as a failure for all humanity and a good business for the ones responsible for increasing the planet's fever.

New data sets on land grabbing

In the past few months, GRAIN staff have been participating in a range of meetings and workshops in different parts of the world on land grabbing. Most of these events have been organised by small farmers' organisations, others by civil society groups. GRAIN's role has often been to provide data and analysis to feed into the debates. As a support to these initiatives, staff have put together a number of new data sets that we would now like to share publicly for everyone's use.

In the past few months, GRAIN staff have been participating in a range of meetings and workshops in different parts of the world on land grabbing. Most of these events have been organised by small farmers' organisations, others by civil society groups. GRAIN's role has often been to provide data and analysis to feed into the debates. As a support to these initiatives, staff have put together a number of new data sets that we would now like to share publicly for everyone's use.

The dark side of "sustainable" investments

Groups that are interested and organising to stop land grabs from the "home base" of the land grabbers might want to look at this very well done report from Brot für Alle, about what the Swiss energy giant Addax is doing in Sierra Leone.

Groups that are interested and organising to stop land grabs from the "home base" of the land grabbers might want to look at this very well done report from Brot für Alle, about what the Swiss energy giant Addax is doing in Sierra Leone.

Farmers mobilise to find solutions against land grabbing

More than 250 participants, mainly representatives of farmers’ organisations, from thirty different countries gathered in Nyéléni Village, a centre for agro-ecology training built in a rural area near Sélingué, in Mali, to participate into the first International farmers’ conference to stop land grabbing.

More than 250 participants, mainly representatives of farmers’ organisations, from thirty different countries gathered in Nyéléni Village, a centre for agro-ecology training built in a rural area near Sélingué, in Mali, to participate into the first International farmers’ conference to stop land grabbing.

On seeds: controlling the first link in the food-chain

Thanks to the US’s 2009 Global Food Security Act, food aid policy for the first time mandates the use of genetic modification technologies. Nidhi Tandon looks at how this legislation helps biotechnology companies monopolise the seed industry at the expense of farmers, and explores some of the dubious links between these corporations, the Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Good update and overview article

Thanks to the US’s 2009 Global Food Security Act, food aid policy for the first time mandates the use of genetic modification technologies. Nidhi Tandon looks at how this legislation helps biotechnology companies monopolise the seed industry at the expense of farmers, and explores some of the dubious links between these corporations, the Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. Good update and overview article