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Rabbit farming now a big hit in Zimbabwe IPS 08/02/2016

While many of us might consider rabbits as an appropriate family pet, in Zimbabwe “rabbit meat a delicacy [many] cannot do without”. Combine this with the animal’s well-known habit of rapid breeding, and rabbit farming known as cuniculture is booming in Zimbabwe, with many farmers like recognising gaps in the market for the supply of rabbit meat. IPS discovers how Zimbabwe rabbit farmers aren’t just cashing in, but also fostering answers to the country’s mounting health challenges.

Small-scale fishing is about much more than just subsistence in Chile IPS 08/02/2016

Small-scale fisheries account for over 90 percent of the world’s capture fishers and fish workers, but since large-scale fishing has hurt artisanal fisheries in countries along the Pacific coast of South America. IPS speaks to Pedro, 70, who’s been fishing off Chile’s Pacific coast for the past 50 years, to support his family. He shares his concerns about small-scale fishers being drowned out by their bigger competitors.

Bali holds Family Planning Conference amidst many unmet needs IPS 01/02/2016

In Bali – one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Asia Pacific – the rate of STDs as well as cervical cancer is ‘alarmingly high’. Many women struggling to pay for their health needs, that include sexually transmitted diseases and access to contraceptives, depend heavily on charity-run clinics. At the 4th International Conference on Family Planning, held in Bali, health experts urged for more funding to be allocated to such clinics – in order to save lives.

Response to Ethiopia’s drought: a story of success or anguish? IPS 01/02/2016

In 1984, Ethiopia’s most infamous drought contributed to the deaths of more than one million people. The country has been hit by another water shortage. While the country’s ability and means for providing emergency relief have improved since 1984, securing international funds is still a huge hurdle. Aid agencies warn significant gains made over the years in food security, education and health are now in jeopardy in parts of the country.

Beekeeping Helps Pakistan Farmers Cope with Crop Losses IPS 25/01/2016

Farmers in the rain-dependent district of Chakwal in Punjab province of Pakistan are finding relief in beekeeping as the groundnut crop suffers a blow from shifting rainfall patterns. Drought conditions in the district have worsened over last six years, making crop raising less viable and prompting migration of many farmers to nearby urban areas. But some farmers are gradually learning other trades to survive the negative impacts of climate change on agriculture in the area.

Science: Not just a western sector, it can help Africa too IPS 25/01/2016

Thanks to agricultural science research, small-scale farmers across Africa are boosting their yields using improved seed varieties and advancing food security. IPS reports on how investing in science, technology and innovation will help Africa meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve its citizens’ livelihoods.

Drought boosts science in Dominican Republic IPS 18/01/2016

The April – December 2015 drought in the Dominican Republic caused serious losses in agriculture and prompted national water rationing measures and educational campaigns. But the most severe dry season in the last 20 years has helped convince the authorities to listen to the local scientific community in this Caribbean nation, reports IPS.

Once bitten, twice shy: teen mothers fight the odds in Malawi IPS 18/01/2016

Esther Mkwakwasa, from Namphungo village in Malawi’s Mulanje District blames some traditional beliefs and practices for her becoming a teenage mother at age 19. Now Esther, who says she wants to be a nurse, is trying to rewrite her life story. IPS reports on the initiatives teenage mothers to return to school, and the challenges they face.

Soy boom revives Amazon highway IPS 11/01/2016

The BR-163 highway, an old dream of the Brazilian military to colonise the Amazon jungle, was revived by “agroexporters” [food producers/exporters] as part of a plan aimed at cutting costs by shipping soy out of river ports. But the improvement of the road has accentuated problems such as deforestation and land tenure, and is fuelling new social conflicts. With the soy production boom in Pará, illegal occupations of land have expanded and property prices have soared, reports IPS.

Loneliness and memories, Syrian refugees struggle in safe spaces IPS 11/01/2016

Since 2011, Jordan has welcomed an estimated 1.5 million refugees from Syria. Many, like Ilyas – an outgoing 35-year-old mother of three – have become “urnban refugees” in their adoptive city of Zarqa. At first, with no job and no-one to confide in, Ilyas felt painfully alon. But she has since been instrumental in developing Action Aid’s community circles, support circles which bring Syrians and Jordanians together under the guidance of community organizers. “I was supposed to be the refugee that everyone would take care of but now people thank me for helping them, they think I am Jordanian,” she says.

Pacific Islands’ marine reserve: Safe haven for depleted tuna and new holiday spot IPS 14/12/2015

President Tommy Remengesau Jr. of the Pacific island nation of Palau has cemented a legacy as the world’s most effective protector of marine life by creating a giant marine reserve that will directly benefit his people through increasing tourism and securing its food supply. IPS finds out how the innovative scheme works and why it’s earned a stamp of approval from scientists.

Water and sanitation: Bridging the gender gap on India’s seas IPS 14/12/2015

Women make up about 49 per cent of the workforce of the Indian fishing industry, which employs about 14.49 million people, yet their water and sanitation needs are sorely neglected. They are also plagued by financial exploitation, illiteracy, food insecurity, depleting fish hauls, domestic abuse and violence by alcoholic colleagues or partners. Additionally, their livelihoods are at the mercy of Mother Nature –easily impacted by natural disasters like cyclones, storms, and the occasional Tsunami. But the tide could be slowly turning in their favour, learns IPS.

Vertical farming – agriculture of the future IPS 07/12/2015

IPS visits Latin America’s only vertical farm in Panama to discover how controlled-environment agriculture, a technology-based approach toward food production, is helping to combat the effects of climate change on agriculture. It uses hydroponics –a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in water. Vertical farming is popular in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Avocados reap rewards in Kenya while staple corn withers IPS 07/12/2015

IPS visits Latin America’s only vertical farm in Panama to discover how controlled-environment agriculture, a technology-based approach toward food production, is helping to combat the effects of climate change on agriculture. It uses hydroponics –a method of growing plants without soil, using mineral nutrient solutions in water. Vertical farming is popular in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

In Botswana: Leaving the corporate office to work the land – and finding opportunity IPS 30/11/2015

“I entered into farming not because I was passionate about it… I wanted money and I wanted it quick,” says Beauty Manake. She just one of many women in Botswana trading in their white-collar office jobs for a more lucrative career in farming and agriculture. She now grows food and raises cattle on a 35-hectare farm/ranch situated 8km from her home village. But Beauty, like many other farmers in dry Botswana, faces significant challenges, with climate change a key factor.

From darkness to light: dramatic rescue of Tanzanian miners trapped 41 days in rubble IPS 30/11/2015

Five miners who narrowly escaped death after a 41-day ordeal in a collapsed gold mine in northern Tanzania have described their experience a living hell. Gaunt and visibly dehydrated, the miners said when the mine fell in on October 5 they did not give up hope but instead they spent days ploughing through the rubble as they desperately fought for their lives. One man dies during the ordeal. IPS reports.

Where technology and medicine meet in rural Zambia IPS 23/11/2015

Doctors in rural Zambia are getting help diagnosing patients from colleagues thousands of miles away thanks to “Virtual Doctors”. The programme uses “telemedicine” software to improve local primary healthcare in rural areas where trained medical staff are scarce. It was started by former safari guide Huw Jones, now based in the UK developing the technology. IPS reports on how telemedicine is saving lives across Africa.

“Jasmine Revolution” challenges male domination of tea trade unions IPS 23/11/2015

Women workers in the southern Indian state of Kerala are fiercely protesting for higher wages, and against the systematic exploitation of women workers and gender-based discrimination in tea plantations, which they say is fuelled by the male domination in trade union politics. IPS reports.

Acute malnutrition: a community fights back in Western India IPS 16/11/2015

Tribal communities in western India are taking steps to tackle acute malnutrition in new-borns and young children. India has made efforts to address acute malnutrition in recent years but in this area 75 per cent children under 5 years of age at still are risk. The vicious cycle of chronic poverty and hunger is heightened by early marriage, learns IPS on a visit to the village Berdaballa, north of Mumbai. But a combined package of intensive counselling, easy-to-avail healthcare facilities and low cost nutrition could be the key to ending malnutrition among the tribal communities.

One-third of Papua New Guineans suffering drought crisis IPS 16/11/2015

An estimated one-third of the population of Papua New Guinea is now suffering in from the country’s worst drought this century and experts predict El Nino’s influence will carry on through March 2016. An estimated 2.4 million people face a critical lack of food and water. There are also reports of many schools and hospitals forced to close as water shortages disrupt their operations, reports IPS.

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