World Food Day

October 16, 2017

Today is World Food Day:

FAO celebrates World Food Day each year on 16 October to commemorate the founding of the Organization in 1945. Events are organized in over 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. These events promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

World Food Day is a chance to show our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 – to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030.

It’s also a day for us to celebrate the progress we have already made towards reaching #ZeroHunger.

Why should we care about World Food Day and #ZeroHunger?

• The right to food is a basic human right.

• Investing in sustainable food systems and rural development means addressing some of the major global challenges – from feeding the world’s growing population to protecting the global climate, and tackling some of the root causes of migration and displacement.

• Achieving the 17 SDGs cannot happen without ending hunger, and without having sustainable and resilient, climate-compatible agriculture and food systems that deliver for the people and the planet.

• Reaching #ZeroHunger is possible: out of the 129 countries monitored by FAO, 72 have already achieved the target of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015; over the past 20 years, the likelihood of a child dying before age five has been nearly cut in half, with about 17,000 children saved every day; extreme poverty rates have been cut in half since 1990.

Ten facts you need to know about Hunger

  1. The world produces enough food to feed everyone, yet, about 800 million people suffer from hunger. That is one in nine people. 60% of them are women.
  2. About 80% of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture.
  3. Hunger kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and aids combined.
  4. Around 45% of infant deaths are related to malnutrition.
  5. The cost of malnutrition to the global economy is the equivalent of USD 3.5 trillion a year.
  6. 1.9 billion people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – are overweight.
  7. One third of the food produced worldwide is lost or wasted.
  8. The world will need to produce 60 percent more food by 2050 to feed a growing population.
  9. No other sector is more sensitive to climate change than agriculture.
  10. FAO works mainly in rural areas, in 130 countries. We work with governments, civil society, the private sector and other partners to achieve #ZeroHunger.

Let’s not forget where most of the food comes from:

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Eating is an agricultural act – Wendell Berry.

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A farmer works to that the world can eat.

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If you ate today, thank a farmer.


Word of the day

October 16, 2017

Pestilential – relating to or tending to cause infectious diseases; producing or tending to produce pestilence; ; widespread and deadly; pernicious; dangerous, harmful; pestiferous; annoying.


Rural round-up

October 16, 2017

Federated Farmers: Tell our good stories, don’t feed the trolls – Katie Milne:

One fallout from politicians on the election campaign trail kicking agriculture around as a political football is that lots of city folk have been left with the belief that the rural environment is in a sorry state.

There are certainly challenges ahead for improving water quality and dealing with emissions to meet our Paris Agreement commitments – but that’s true for urban communities as much as rural.

What was largely missing from the campaign rhetoric was mention of the large number of catchment improvement projects under way that are already showing significant progress, not to mention the efforts of thousands of individual farming families to fence waterways, plant riparian strips and covenant many hectares of native bush and forest on their own properties for permanent protection. . .

Taking time and talking works:

Lisa Kendall runs her own hire-a-farmer business serving lifestyle blocks in and around Karaka in South Auckland. 

She has other irons in the fire as well – she’s raising East Friesian sheep and hoping their milk will find a niche market in Auckland’s flourishing cafe scene and supermarkets.

After studying at Lincoln University she moved back north and lives in a renovated barn on her parents’ lifestyle block with her partner who works in the city.

“Often there’s a stereotype where the man does all the farming and the woman does the housework. It’s the other way round for me,” she said. . . 

Awards and schemes breeding the next generation of dairy farmers – Brad Markham:

 A fortnight ago I was standing in front of a room full of farmers in Rotorua wearing nothing more than a calf meal bag and a $6 wig. If I had to choose one word to describe the outfit it would be draughty. 

I was in the geyser city for the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards’ annual conference. The event attracts former winners, who now volunteer their time to help run the awards programme in 11 regions across the country. 

They all take time away from their jobs or businesses because they’re passionate about helping others learn, grow and progress through the industry.

I co-presented a couple of sessions. As I peered out at the crowd through the uneven fringe of my cheap wig, I was reminded how the dairy industry delivers to those who seek opportunity, work hard and work smart.  . . 

Rabobank Leadership Awards 2017:

Australian beef industry leader David Crombie has taken out the 2017 Rabobank Leadership Award, in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to agribusiness.

Throughout his long career in agriculture, David has constantly striven to raise the bar and expand the reputation of the industry. Alongside running his own family cattle and cropping enterprise in Queensland, David has been leading and shaping the agricultural industry for many years as he has held a range of directorships including past president of the National Farmers’ Federation and previous chair of Meat & Livestock Australia. . .

Meat exports still face uncertainty:

The meat industry faces considerable uncertainty in export trade access and domestic politics, Meat Industry Association chairman John Loughlin and chief executive Tim Ritchie say.

In the foreword to MIA’s 2017 annual report they said the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership had focused the hopes of exporters on the replacement TPP 11.

“Of particular importance to us is the creation of a level playing field in certain markets, such as Japan, where competing countries already have significant tariff advantage through bilateral trade agreements,” they said.

Brexit had also created trade uncertainty for $1.5 billion of annual trade in New Zealand lamb to the European Union 28. . . 

Road out of poverty a personal story – Motlatsi Musi:

As a child, I would collect dry cattle dung on the outskirts of town. My family burned it to cook food and keep warm. For protein, we often ate locusts. They’re crunchy and you get used to the taste.

Those were desperate times, before I had a chance to settle down and become a farmer. Then agriculture pulled me out of poverty and gave me a better life.

Today, I own 21 hectares of land near Johannesburg, South Africa. Only about a third of it is arable but I rent more, growing maize (corn), beans, and potatoes and also raising pigs and cows. . .

 


Ag journalists recognised with awards

October 16, 2017

The role of agricultural and rural journalists is even more important now that fewer people have links to farming and rural New Zealand.

The best have been recognised in the annual Guild of Agricultural Journalists’ Awards.

Wellington-based Radio New Zealand Radio Rurals journalist took out the top award for agricultural journalists at the 2017 awards night for the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators.

Alexa Cook won the supreme award, the Ministry for Primary Industries Rongo Award, which recognises excellence in agricultural journalism. She won the award for coverage of a week-long mustering in Muzzle Station, the first after the Kaikoura earthquake. Her items were featured on Morning Report, Checkpoint, and Insight programmes and on the Radio NZ website. 

Rural New Zealand is very well served by specialist rural and farming publications but many of these are delivered free only to those on rural delivery postal routes.

Radio NZ, is broadcast nationwide with a big urban audience which means Alexa’s work has a broader reach in both town and country.

Runner-up in the MPI Rongo Award was The Dairy Exporter team of NZ Farm Life Media, for several features, particularly the Team Building feature.

Other award winners were:

  • The AgResearch Science Writers Award, established to enhance standards of science writing, especially about pastoral agriculture, was won by Alexa Cook and Carol Stiles
  • The Rural Women New Zealand Journalism Award was won by Sally Rae of Oamaru, for articles which appeared in the Otago Daily Times
  • The Federated Farmers Broadcast Journalism Award was won jointly by Carol Stiles and Alexa Cook
  • The DairyNZ Dairy Industry Journalism Award which recognises the ability to communicate the complexities of the dairy industry, was won by Jackie Harrigan for articles in The Dairy Exporter.
  • The inaugural Zespri Export Journalism Award, which recognises the vital importance of exports to the New Zealand economy, was won by Fairfax Media’s Gerard Hutching.
  • The Alliance Group Ltd Red Meat Industry Journalism Award, which focuses on all aspects of the red meat industry was won by Alexa Cook, of RNZ Rural News
  • The Beef + Lamb New Zealand News Award, which recognises excellence in hard news journalism, focusing on any aspect of the beef and sheep industry, was won by Nigel Stirling for articles in Farmers Weekly and NZX Agri’s Pulse, both on trade talks.
  • The Federated Farmers Rural Photography Award was won by Des Williams, for a photo which appeared in Shearing magazine.
  • The inaugural Rural Women New Zealand Rural Connectivity Award, recognising the importance of connectivity to rural communities and agri-businesses in rural areas, was won by Alexa Cook.
  • The Guild’s own award – the Agricultural Journalism Encouragement Award – is designed to encourage and recognise excellence among journalists with three or less years reporting on agricultural issues. This year, it was won by Brittany Pickett, of Invercargill, for articles which appeared in the NZ Farmer.

 

The ODT covers Sally’s Rae award here.


Mañana = not today

October 16, 2017

Mañana translates as tomorrow.

But a Spaniard told me when referring to a time commitment it means not today which effectively means an undefined, and often distant, time in the future.

Winston Peters allegedly posed as an Italian at university. He might not claim Spanish blood too, but his attitude to time has a similarly frustrating elasticity to that of the Spanish mañana.

In July he said:

“I make this guarantee that whatever decision New Zealand First arrives at post-election, it will be made public by the day the writs are returned, which is within three weeks from polling day.”

Writ day came and went last Thursday and negotiations were wrapped up between Peters’ party and both National and Labour but there was no decision.

All parties have to run what was agreed past their boards before anything is made public. That shouldn’t be difficult but of course nothing with NZ First is simple.

Given Peters’ guarantee, about the date, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect that his board would have made travel arrangements earlier and been prepared to meet on Friday or over the weekend.

But they hadn’t and weren’t.

. . . “We are doing the best we can in the way we can best organise it … this country is the same size as Japan. The same size as the UK. We are not a little island nation. It takes people time to organise things, particularly since we are coming up to Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” Peters told media this afternoon. . . 

Instead, the board is expected to meet today.

Whether they’re able to come to the serious consensus Peters said would be required, is open to question.

Little in known about the board members and Peters declined to give their names.

Such secrecy from any other party would have Peters advancing conspiracy theories and thundering about the need for transparency. But of course, it’s one rule for him and another for everyone else.

RNZ found a list of probable board members and Newshub got some brief information on most of them.

But whoever they are, only Peters’ biggest fans would believe that they wouldn’t agree to whatever he says.

So it is possible there will be consensus and maybe we’ll know the makeup of the next government soon, though that might be not be today, or even tomorrow, which could mean the Spanish not today rather than the day after today.

But whenever he makes his decision and announcement, Peters’ propensity to mean anything but what he says, leaves me thinking that no government is preferable to one with him in it.

That isn’t a long term option which leads to the question I think people on both the blue and red side of the political spectrum are wondering about:  is being out of government preferable to being in one with NZ First?


Quote of the day

October 16, 2017

The message is risk, really risk. Be yourself. Create. –  Mary Daly who was born on this day in 1928.


October 16 in history

October 16, 2017

456  Magister militum Ricimer defeated Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and becomes master of the Western Roman Empire.

1384  Jadwiga was crowned King of Poland, although she was a woman.

1758 Noah Webster, American lexicographer, was born (d. 1843).

1781 George Washington captured Yorktown, Virginia after the Siege of Yorktown.

1793  Marie Antoinette, was guillotined.

1793  The Battle of Wattignies ended in a French victory.

1813  The Sixth Coalition attacked Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Leipzig.

1834  Much of the ancient structure of the Palace of Westminster burned to the ground.

1841  Queen’s University was founded in Kingston, Ontario.

1843 Sir William Rowan Hamilton came up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.

1846  William TG Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.

1854 Oscar Wilde, Irish writer, was born (d. 1900).

1859  John Brown led a raid on Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

1869  The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, was “discovered”.

1869  Girton College, Cambridge was founded, becoming England’s first residential college for women.

1875  Brigham Young University was founded in Provo, Utah.

1882  The Nickel Plate Railroad opened.

1890 Michael Collins, Irish patriot, was born (d. 1922).

1905 The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.

1906 The Captain of Köpenick fooled the city hall of Köpenick and several soldiers by impersonating a Prussian officer.

1914 – The main body of NZEF sailed to war.

Main Body of NZEF sails to war

1916 Margaret Sanger founded Planned Parenthood by opening the first U.S. birth control clinic.

1922 Max Bygraves, English singer/songwriter, was born (d 2012).

1923 The Walt Disney Company was founded by Walt and Roy Disney.

1925 Angela Lansbury, English-born actress, was born.

1928 Mary Daly, American feminist philosopher and theologian, was born (d. 2010).

1934  Chinese Communists began the Long March.

1936 Jean Batten crossed the Tasman on the last leg of her flight from Britain, landing in Auckland 10 1/2 hours after leaving Sydney.

Jean Batten reaches Auckland after epic solo flight

1940 Benjamin O. Davis Sr. was named the first African American general in the United States Army.

1940 The Warsaw Ghetto was established.

1943 Fred Turner, Canadian bass player (Bachman-Turner Overdrive), was born.

1945  The Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in Quebec City.

1946  Nuremberg Trials: Execution of the convicted Nazi leaders of the Main Trial.

1949 Nikolaos Zachariadis, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, announced a “temporary cease-fire”, effectively ending the Greek Civil War.

1951  The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, was assassinated.

1964  Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Aleksey Kosygin were inaugurated as General Secretary of the CPSU and Premier, respectively.

1968  United States athletes Tommie Smith and John Carloswere kicked off the USA’s team for participating in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute.

1968   Rodney Riots in Kingston Jamaica,  inspired by the barring of Walter Rodney from the country.

1970 In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invoked the War Measures Act.

1973  Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1975 The Balibo Five, a group of Australian television journalists then Portuguese Timor (now East Timor), were killed by Indonesian troops.

1975 Rahima Banu, a 2-year old girl from the village of Kuralia in Bangladesh, was the last known person to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox.

1975  The Australian Coalition opposition parties using their senate majority, voted to defer the decision to grant supply of funds for the Whitlam Government’s annual budget, sparking the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.

1978 Pope John Paul II was elected after the October 1978 Papal conclave.

1978 – Wanda Rutkiewicz was the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1984 Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

1986  Reinhold Messner became the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders.

1986  Ron Arad, Israeli Weapons System Officer, is captured by Lebanese Shi’ite militia Amal.

1987  Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane force winds hit much of the South of England killing 23 people.

1991  Luby’s massacre: George Hennard ran amok in Killeen, Texas, killing 23 and wounding 20 in Luby’s Cafeteria.

1993 Anti-Nazi riot  in Welling in Kent, after police stopped protesters approaching the British National Party headquarters.

1995  The Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

1995 – The Skye Bridge over Lock Alsh was opened.

1996  Eighty-four people were killed and more than 180 injured as 47,000 football fans attempt to squeezed into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.

1998  Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London on a warrant from Spain requesting his extradition on murder charges.

2002  Bibliotheca Alexandrina: a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, was officially inaugurated.

2006  A magnitude 6.7 earthquake rocked Hawaii.

2012 – The extrasolar planet Alpha Centauri Bb was discovered.

2013  – Lao Airlines Flight 301 crashed on approach to Pakse International Airport in Laos, killing 49 people.

2014 – Belgrade Military Parade.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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