sustainable agriculture news
Cleveland and other ‘post-industrial’ North American cities have the potential to produce all of the fresh produce and other food items they need, and taking steps to realize that goal would bring numerous and substantial benefits, according to research conducted by Ohio State University’s Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development (CUEED).
Aiming to determine just how much food could be produced in Cleveland, Wooster professor of entomology and the director of the CUEED, Parwinder Grewal, worked with the Cleveland City Planning Commission to obtain information on the amount of vacant land and the total rooftop surface area of industrial and commercial buildings. He also searched for published data on the productivity of fruits and vegetables in urban settings.
The University of California at Davis’ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) and Verliant Energy Partners plan to build a network of sustainable solution centers to address urgent issues related to agriculture and food systems, the partners announced on September 1.
The four regional Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) centers are accepting grant proposals that aim to further advance research into and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices in the US. To be awarded in early 2012, the grants will be evaluated on a competitive basis as part of a new, $10 million Federal-State Matching Grant SARE Program that was created as part of the federal government’s 2012 proposed fiscal year budget.
In recent years extended periods of drought in Kenya linked to El Nino (the warming of equatorial eastern Pacific waters) have led to problems, including land degradation and access to freshwater resources, for the large number of Kenyans that depend on farming for their livelihoods.
A group of Kenyan educational organizations, supported by the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Adaptation Program, is promoting and fostering the use of polyethylene greenhouses as means of adapting to such changes in the country’s climate.
In 2009, the Vermont Legislature approved the Farm to Plate (F2P) initiative as part of the state’s 2010 jobs bills. The F2P initiative tasked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) with creating a 10-year strategic plan to strengthen and expand the state’s food system. Two years and a $400,000 later, the VSJF released a plan that contains 33 goals and 60 high priority strategies to create new jobs, increase market share, and improve environmental and economic health in the state’s agriculture sector.
The central aim of F2P is to promote and enable the production and consumption of locally grown foods in Vermont, said Erica Campbell, who became the VSJF Farm to Plate program director in July. She said the plan supports sustainable agriculture by virtue of its core focus.