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Tag archives for Agriculture

10 Handfuls of India

While working on farms and learning about seed preservation this past year for the Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship, I have really gotten to eat some amazing foods. If my hands weren’t in the soil or toiling with seeds, they were usually grabbing the nearest edible item. People talk about how amazing Indian cuisine is — the thalis, the street foods, the home-cooked meals — and yes, those are all pretty great, but where this creative and intricate cuisine comes from, its ingredients, its flavors, its uncooked beginnings, that’s where the real magic lives. This fertile soil (at least that which is untouched by deforestation, drought, or chemicals) breathes so much beauty into our hands. And I consider myself beyond lucky to have held such raw beauty, however briefly.

Holding the Cosmos in Our Hands

“The seed comes from the tree, the tree comes from the seed. It’s like the chicken and the egg. If people want to understand it, they will break the seed apart — they will actually kill it — to see the cells, the chromosomes and the genetics. There is another way to look at this. I plant a seed and a miracle happens — something new is born out of this carbohydrate and protein, a new life is born. This is a miracle, you see? The miracle of life.”

Crops Rising from a Cracked Desert

By Nexus Media, with Michael Kotutwa Johnson Michael Kotutwa Johnson is an environmental policy expert in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona. He is also a Hopi dryland farmer. He sat down with Nexus Media to share centuries-old techniques for growing food on an unforgiving landscape. This interview…

Cultivating More Than a Garden in Guatemala’s Highlands

“It has been because of economic need that I’ve started all of these projects. Just because I am poor doesn’t mean I am not going to sweep my house or bathe my kids. I realized that I had to start working harder to support my family. If I don’t work, who will provide for us?”

Storytelling in a Slum’s Silicon Valley

“We have a different kind of Silicon Valley here,” Nawneet Ranjan explains. Founder of the Dharavi Diary: Slum and Rural Innovation Project, Ranjan tells how his students use storytelling, technology, and the power of their diversity to raise awareness and develop solutions for issues facing the Dharavi slum community in Mumbai, India.

Rice Bran Oil and Economic Diplomacy in South Asia

For most households across South Asia, rice is life. It is the stable source of carbohydrates for the more than 1.7 billion citizens of the region who consume it morning, noon and night; and a vital source of income for the 50 million or so farmers who cultivate it across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. However,…

Karoo Stories: When it rains, it pours

An introduction to my travels following the Orange River into the Karoo, a huge semi-arid area in South Africa. Drought, and the sudden easing of it, is on everyone’s minds in these parts.

Wild Snow Leopard Prey Recovers Thanks to Reserve

Post submitted by Matt Fiechter, Snow Leopard Trust 18 years ago, we established our first grazing-free village reserve for wild snow leopard prey in partnership with the community of Kibber, India. Today, the area’s population of bharal, a wild sheep that’s among the snow leopard’s preferred prey species, is about four times higher than it was…

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Raghubir Singh Rawat, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Rawat bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

Could Climate Change Keep Kids Out of School?

By Lisa Palmer

Education is seen as a key tool for building resilience to climate change in the developing world. But new research shows that climate change could also make it harder to keep kids in school and ensure they get the best out of their time in the classroom.

Heather Randell, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, a research institute funded by the National Science Foundation and the University of Maryland, studies the relationships between environmental change, development, and human health and wellbeing. Her research focuses on the social processes underlying migration, the links between development and rural livelihoods, and the social and health impacts of environmental change.

Landmark Carbon Dioxide Concentration Passed; Marks New Climate Era

Climate change has entered a new phase, said the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Monday. The WMO reported that concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) “surged again to new records in 2016,” and it predicted that the annual average for CO2 would remain above 400 parts per million (ppm), 44 percent higher than before…

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Marigolds: an (agri)cultural staple

The first seeds I ever saved were marigold seeds. At the time, I was a garden educator at a small neighborhood environmental nonprofit in Camden, New Jersey. The Center for Environmental Transformation(CFET) is situated in the South Waterfront neighborhood, an old urban community enclosed by industrial facilities which not only restrict access to the nearby waterfront, but…

A Market-Based Strategy for Sustainable Water Management

By Brian Richter, Chief Scientist, Water, The Nature Conservancy Australia is one of the driest inhabited places on Earth. Yet nearly two-thirds of the country’s land area is devoted to agriculture, generating 93 percent of the domestic food supply. The country is only able to sustain this level of food production through irrigation and an…

Common Land, Common Ground

By Justin Adams, Global Managing Director for Lands at The Nature Conservancy. Edward Loure and The Nature Conservancy have a common story. The story is one of reducing conflict by finding common ground—in this case both literally and metaphorically. All over the world – in fact, for 2.5 billion people – lives depend on land…