This is not about how to start the Lunar New Year right with proper weight management. Well, not exactly, as this is about thin trade and why thin is not good especially during excessive upswings and downswings of prices for Asia’s main food staple—rice.
I recently received two e-mails that piqued my interest anew about the expanding system of rice intensification (SRI) in India. One is a newspaper article about the “new green grassroots revolution” in Bihar, India’s poorest state, and the other is a set of charts showing the impacts of an ADB-financed irrigation project in Chhattisgarh.
Global food prices remain high and volatile since the peak during the global food crisis of 2008, exacerbating hunger and malnutrition around the world. High and increasing food prices can be an immediate threat to household food security, undermining population health, retarding human development, and lowering labor productivity for the economy in the long term.
We all grew up around the stereotype that the farmers grow the food and the cities consume the food. Can and should city residents also produce the food that they consume?
Picture this: rapid urbanization and massive infrastructure development and people trapped in outdated polluting transportation, escalating environmental degradation and deforestation, rising potable water shortages and food security concerns, extreme climate change occurrences and growing disaster risks.
In my childhood years, we considered planthoppers as pets. My brothers would catch, feed and train them for hopping races with other kids. Little did I know that these seemingly harmless insects can become crop destroying pests.
The recent stability of food prices in Asia and the Pacific presents policymakers a window for addressing several crucial issues that, if ignored, risk reigniting the food price crisis of 2007–2012 and undermining the region’s rise out of poverty.
Starting 22 February, Asian Development Bank (ADB) is holding its second No Impact Week challenge for individuals to cut their carbon footprint, following the success of the pilot event in January 2013.
Striking rates of economic growth notwithstanding, 550 million people remain hungry in Asia and the Pacific, 65% of the population has no safe piped water, and more than 600 million people live without electricity. Overcoming these problems requires a combined approach in which food, water and energy are treated as a nexus, rather than as separate, standalone issues, which has too often been the case in the past.
Asia’s drive to urbanize is taking an increasing toll on the environment with growing mountains of solid waste as city dwellers consume and discard resources at an ever increasing rate. If “green” cities are to be the answer to these environmental stresses then they will need to develop much more effective programs to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover waste.