Every drop counts in the Middle East and North Africa. How can we learn to better manage water on national scales. Some new research offers tips.
The UN recognizes the importance of ancient Spanish farming techniques. With climates similar to the Levant and influenced by North Africa, there is so much the Middle East can learn from Spain.
If you look to what was brewing before the Syrian civil war, it was clear that people there were suffering from the effects of climate change. Environmentalists warned that extended droughts there would cause hunger, poverty and unrest. The conditions were right about a decade ago for the poor conditions to foment to a very unfavourable civil war with millions of Syrians displaced to Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Europe and even Canada.
A farmer in Al Ain, the very green, flowery emirate bordering Dubai, claims that after three years of impregnating legions of nannies on his farm, his billy goat suddenly sprouted udders. And then produced milk.
For some, being a farmer is suicidal. Water and land are scarce, small farmers struggle to compete with the likes of Monsanto, and there are a host of environmental problems to contend with as well. In this context, it’s almost unthinkable that this bright young man dreams of following his father’s footsteps – as a farmer in Iran.
Agricultural scientist Tony Rinaudo is behind one of the world’s most successful reverse desertification projects – in Niger, and now he thinks a similar underground forest might exist in the Arabian desert outside of Dubai.
Locusts that bred in southern Egypt first swarmed Cairo, causing panic in Israel and Jordan, and now Lebanese farmers are battling the pests as well. Farmers in the north and south of Lebanon reported locust clouds over the weekend and expressed concern over the impact the insects would have on their crops. But the Agriculture Ministry […]
Like in biblical times locust swarms threaten Egyptian crops. Scattered pockets of locusts in southern Egypt and northern Sudan are a threat to agricultural land, warns the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Countries along the Red Sea should remain on “high alert and make every effort to find and treat all infestations”, it says. […]
Vernon Hugh Bowman, farmer vs Monsanto, billion dollar seed and biotech company. It sounds like something from a book about the perils of the future, a future that is strangely today reality: The seed-engineering company Monsanto genetically engineers seeds to have desirable traits that make them hearty or the plants resistant to the effects of herbicides […]
It’s real-life Hunger Games, and the Middle East is among the busiest land-grabbers. In the last decade, nearly half a billion acres of land – eight times the area of Great Britain – were sold or leased in transnational deals, according to a 2012 report published by the Land Matrix project, a coalition of research […]
Adherents of Islam consider suicide to be one of the greatest of all spiritual transgressions, so when an Iraqi farmer recently took his own life because he could no longer maintain his crops amid chronic water shortages, it could not have been an easy decision.
Gilad Millo, head of business development at Amiran Kenya and former Israeli diplomat, seeks to make farming attractive to Kenyan youth by proving it can be a profitable, professional business. Working together with the Kenya Red Cross Society, they have equipped over 1000 schools with modern agribusiness supplies. According to Millo, today the average smallholder farmer in […]
Waeel Abdessalam breeds rabbits on the third floor of his family home in El-Hamidiyah el-Gadida, a small village in the Fayoum area roughly 100 km southwest of Cairo. A beneficiary of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ TeleFood program, the young man tends to the rabbits early in the morning before leaving to […]
A Lebanese man takes on a bucking bull at Lebanon’s very own dude ranch… do you think he made 8 seconds? If you’ve always dreamed about cowboys and Indians, stop. They fought and killed each other and it was grisly. But the southwestern ranch lifestyle is entirely less violent and now it’s possible to taste […]
A Red Notice was sent through Interpol accusing this man of selling rotten potatoes to Algeria. image via Vancouver Sun First of all, a Canadian man named Henk Tepper was accused by Algerian officials of selling rotten potatoes. Rather than take it up with him in a civil court, they issued a “Red Notice” through […]
From super corals in the Arabian Gulf, basil planting in Palestine to aviation and Saudi Arabia’s mixed climate message It’s been another busy week here at GreenProphet and we hope you’ve been enjoying our news offerings. We’ve covered everything from pink farming (yep, you read right), the shocking NASA images of Iran’s salt lake Urmia […]
Huge bee die offs do not bode well for agriculture in Lebanon A staggering proportion of bees in an important agricultural hub have frozen to death in Lebanon. A recent influx of extreme weather that produced ice and frost combined with a series of diseases has wiped out up to 75% of the bees in […]
High water demand is putting pressure on scarce water resources and destroying the agricultural sector in Gaza Water shortages are a widespread and common problem for the people of the Gaza Strip, between Israel and Egypt. There just isn’t enough water for the growing population and an Israeli blockade which limits imports and exports means […]
See how permaculture is spreading across Israel during an international tour at the end of September. Permaculture, or the sustainable use of land and agriculture, has thankfully been spreading across the Middle East in recent years. Permaculture farms have sprouted seeds in Palestine, grassroots permaculture initiatives have popped up in urban settings such as Jerusalem, […]
Qatar is hoping to boost its food security by setting up 1,400 agricultural farms covering an area of 45,000 hectares Following the recent news that the United Arab Emirates is slowly embracing organic farming, are more signs that the Gulf States are slowly recognising the importance of food sustainability. Qatar has announced plans to establish […]
Telling Mediterraneans not to eat cucumbers is like taking baguettes away from Parisians. At least 10 people have died, and one thousand more expected to be ill from eating tainted organic cucumbers and other fresh produce consumed in Germany. Contaminated with a rare and deadly form of E.coli, a bacteria, the organic cucumbers are causing […]
The Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Center is promoting technology that can potentially set Abu Dhabi farmers free from water constraints. Abu Dhabi farmers may be able to grow food with water pulled out of dense air. With just four days back up supply of water, and desalination projects usurping considerable energy, Abu Dhabi is facing […]
According to a report by the International Water Association, the low price of water is the main factor preventing water conservation in rural Jordan These days it seems that the only way to change people’s attitudes is to hit them where it hurts them most- their bank balance. Unless it makes economic sense, it’s pretty […]
What’s weirder that eating slimy fish eggs? Farming them in Abu Dhabi’s desert. Because we have had a multiple-decade infatuation with eating slimy fish eggs, not to mention our obsession with oil and resultant pollution of their habitat, more than three quarters of sturgeon species are critically endangered. As a result, the global supply of […]
Bigger isn’t always better. Canaan Fair Trade helps small-scale Palestinian farmers survive and thrive. With the modernization of agriculture, farming has become an industry instead of a small-scale, community effort. All over the world, small-scale farmers who have retained traditional (and many times organic) methods of agriculture have been pushed out by larger, industrial farms. […]