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FAO’s forecast for the pandemic year: Less meat, more grain.

The Covid-19 pandemic is also reflected on the world agricultural markets and 2020 will lead to a decline in global meat production. Overall, the Agri – food sector is, however, in the Corona-times better than during the food price crisis of 2007-2008. According to a report by the UN food and agriculture organization (FAO), the on 11.

June is published. The “Food Outlook” provides Figures and forecasts to the most traded agricultural products, such as cereals, Oilseeds, meat, dairy products, fish and sugar. “The consequences of the Covid-19-pandemic, were, in varying degrees, in all of the FAO-food sectors rated to be felt. Although Covid-19 represents a serious threat to food security, our analysis reveals that overall, the agricultural commodity markets from a global perspective, prove to be more resilient to the pandemic than many other sectors.

Given the size of the challenge and the enormous uncertainties associated with it, must be the international community, however, more alert and ready to react if necessary,“ said the head of the FAO, the Department of trade and markets, Boubaker Ben-Belhassen.

The world production of cereals will grow by 2020 expected to rise to 2.78 billion tons, an increase of 2.6% compared to the previous record value of 2.71 billion metric tons in 2019. Of the 2.68 billion tonnes of cereals were used in 2019, were used by 43%, or 1.1 billion tons of food, while 36% of the animals have been fed, and 21% were open to be used for other purposes, such as for the manufacture of industrial products or biofuels. The production of Oilseeds declined by 2019, especially in the case of soybean and oilseed rape. The soybean production decreased by 7.6% to 337.9 million tons, because in the United States due to adverse weather conditions, significantly fewer soybean was cultivated and the income fell short of expectations .

The world production of meat went back in 2019 for the first time after years of growth, easily to reach EUR 338.9 million tons. For 2020, the FAO expects a further decline of 1.7% to 333 million tonnes. This was due to the Collapse of the pig stocks in China and other Asian countries where African swine fever is rampant, and market disruptions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. “A combination of COVID-19-related economic hardship, logistical bottlenecks and a sharp decline in demand in the food sector due to the lock downs, has led to a worldwide slump in the demand for imports,” write the experts. The meat prices since January to 8.6% slump. As Restaurants and caterers needed at times no more meat, there was an accumulation of meat stocks, reducing export availability was increased, although the meat production farms due to the shortage of workers in the slaughtering, processing and packaging went back.

In purely mathematical language for every people in the world in the year 2018 44,6 kilos of meat available. This value decreased 2019 to 43.6 pounds and for the year 2020, the FAO expects a further drop in the consumption, 42.4 kilos of.

In a separate Chapter of the report also deals with the similarities and Differences between the current Corona pandemic and the food price crisis of 2007-2009. First, the authors state that it is in the world compared to the global food price crisis of 2007-08 better now, because the Outlook for global food production are positive, the food prices are low and the stock well filled. At the beginning of the Corona-crisis, the stocks in the grain store, with 850 million to the highest level since years, and the camps were filled almost twice as good as the 2007/08 472 million tons.

So it is more resilient to shocks, such as extreme weather events.

However, even though worldwide, there is theoretically enough food for all, has developed the significant decline in economic growth due to the pandemic to a Problem: The access to food for many people, limited and could not provide sufficient and sufficiently nutritious food. “Not all countries have the financial resources to cope with the impact of the pandemic,” writes Josef Schmidhuber in the special feature. This applies especially for countries that are highly dependent on Food from. “Also vulnerable to shock-prone countries are in Africa South of the Sahara affected by other crises such as pest infestation and diseases (locust, African swine fever), adverse weather conditions or security problems (civil unrest) home.” There, the people are losing their income opportunities and be faced with a growing threat to their livelihoods. Therefore, international support is essential to protect the vulnerable population groups of these countries and to avoid a deterioration of food insecurity, the conclusion the author concludes. (ab)

Study calls for more investment in agro-ecological research.

Only a fraction of the funds for agricultural development cooperation in Africa, flows in agro-ecological projects, while the lion’s share promote is still industrial agriculture. A new report from Biovision, the international expert Panel of IPES-Food, and the Institute of Development Studies, examining the financial flows in this area in more detail. Although around 30% of the farms would have focused worldwide their production systems to agro-ecological principles and holdings, small farmers and their families, the communities and the regions dedicated to the successful agro-ecological change, stress the authors. However, in the case of the international money this had led donors to any significant reorientation of financial flows to sub-Saharan Africa. They put on a food production based on monocultures, synthetic pesticides and artificial fertilizers. “In fact, most governments are in favour, both in the developing as well as in the industrial countries, still have the ‘Green Revolution’ and research in conventional agriculture.

You are convinced that this is the only way to produce enough food. The same is true for the Gates Foundation, and Nairobi-based development Agency AGRA,“ says Hans Herren, President of Biovision and former Co-President of the world agricultural report. The industrial approach have failed “on the line – for the Ecosystems, in the case of the peasant families in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa”, so gentlemen, and also the promise to defeat Hunger, is until today not redeemed.

According to the study, 85% of the projects supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest nonprofit Investor in agricultural development, are limited to industrial agriculture and/or efficiency gains, for example through targeted approaches, such as improved pesticide practices, vaccines for farm animals, or the reduction of post-harvest losses. Only 3% of the Foundation’s funded projects were in agro-ecological, i.e., they contained elements in the ecological transformation of agricultural systems. In Kenya, a leading recipient country of agricultural research funding in Africa, carried out 70% of the projects of institutions that rely on industrial agriculture. Only 13% of the projects Kenyan research institutions are attributable to the agro-ecology and a further 13% have focused on replacing synthetic Inputs with organic Alternatives.

Something better Switzerland cuts: at Least 51% of Swiss Federal development funds financed agricultural research projects contain elements of agro-ecology, 41% of them also contain systemic components such as fair working conditions and equality of the sexes. Only 13% of the Swiss projects are solely focused on industrial agriculture and efficiency-based approaches. However, the improvement was potential, since only a few of the funded projects pursue truly systemic approaches and individual agricultural would have addressed ecological components such as agro-forestry or complex rotation of only isolated .

The report calls for a reorientation of financial flows and agricultural research. Agro-ecological methods would have to be amplified, and the gained Knowledge is disseminated and explored. “With the multiple challenge of climate change, the economic pressure on Land and water, nutrition-based health problems, as well as pandemics such as Covid-19, which is the Problem of food insecurity in sub-Saharan exacerbated Africa, we need change now,” says masters. “And to be able to realize the need for a significant flow of research funds into the agro-ecology.” According to the study, there is a need for multiple steps, in order to speed up old patterns to break through, to set the priorities and the development and dissemination of agro-ecological knowledge. For this, it contains a number of recommendations that apply especially to bilateral donors, non-profit funders and research institutions .

In a long-term transformation strategy, the focus was put first on the “operational elements of the agro-ecology” to. New players could be introduced to the topic of agro-ecology with core practices and principles approaches (e.g. agroforestry systems, crop rotation, the Push and Pull technology, or the System of Rice Intensification). A further recommendation is: “build bridges between formal and informal research as well as in different Parts of the research community”. The cooperation between groups of Small farmers, NGOs and researchers should be improved. “Specifically, we need to develop a transformation strategy, the local opinions involves a participatory manner is. We need to change the way we measure success.

Kg/ha is not meaningful“, stressed gentlemen. True to the Motto “What little Hans doesn’t learn, grown-up Hans NEVERMORE!” calls the study a change in training. The development of agri-environmental curricula in schools and universities, and the break-up of institutional structures and more TRANS-disciplinarity are required, as well as a change of generation in the research. “The newly trained researchers and scientists working on the development of a sustainable System!”, so gentlemen. “For that you need long-term financial support from the state. Governments, international institutions, the private sector – all need to see agro-ecology as a way in the future.“ (ab)

EU-court of auditors: “Invalid” CAP is not stopping the loss of biodiversity .

“The Common agricultural policy (CAP) was designed with regard to reversing the decades of decline of biodiversity is not effective, and intensive agriculture continues to be one of the main causes for this loss.” With this sobering conclusion of the European court of auditors, summarizes the results of the 6. June published the special report “biodiversity of agricultural land” together. In 2011, the EU Commission adopted a biodiversity strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity and degradation of Ecosystems up to 2020. They undertook to increase the contribution of agriculture and forestry for the conservation of biodiversity, and a “measurable improvement” in the conservation status of species and habitats that are affected by agriculture, to bring about.

The auditor assessed how the EU section, and visited Germany, Ireland, Poland, Romania and Cyprus Visits. “Up to now, has the CAP the decrease of the biological diversity of agricultural land, both for agriculture and for the environment constitutes a major threat, is not sufficient to counteract,” is the balance of Viorel Ştefan, the member responsible for the report of the European court of auditors.

The court noted that in the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 there are no measurable targets for agriculture have been defined, making the assessment of the EU-funded measures was significantly more difficult. In addition, the coordination between the biodiversity-related policies and strategies the EU has been inadequate, so that, for example, nothing to prevent the decline of genetic diversity was done under the category of biological diversity. In Europe, stock and diversity of species in the agricultural country for many years are in decline. The field-bird and meadow butterfly populations have decreased since 1990 by more than 30%.

Intensive agriculture has the density to a decrease in Inventory and the diversity of the natural Vegetation and thus the animals, and remains one of the major causes for the loss of biodiversity, writes the guardians of the EU finances and supports, among other things, a report on the state of the environment in 2019, the European environment Agency. For Germany, in may published “report on the situation of the nature” of the Federal environment Ministry and the German Federal Agency for nature conservation had come to the same conclusion, that the condition of plant and animal species and habitats in Germany is on the whole bad, and especially, in the agricultural landscape of the loss of Species more rapidly progressing.

With the direct payments, which account for around 70% of EU agricultural expenditure, the auditor harshly. As far as is known they have “only limited to the biological diversity of agricultural land”. While some of the conditions for direct payments, just Greening and Cross-Compliance have the potential to improve biological diversity, but the auditors complain that the Commission and the member States options, with low impact, such as catch crops or nitrogen-fixing plants preferred.

The EU instruments for the development of rural areas would have a greater potential for the conservation and improvement of biodiversity, as direct payments, in particular if environment-friendly management methods, which go beyond the relevant legal obligations. But even here, the court criticized that the EU States only rarely highly effective measures, such as outcome-oriented rules, and prefer less demanding, but also less advantageous provisions of the preference shares, which are the farmers popular. Martin Häusling, agricultural policy spokesman of the Greens in the EU Parliament, called the report a “slap in the face for the existing model of Agriculture”. “It is clear that lobbying interests prevented, for decades, promised, but never accomplished a reversal in the loss of Species.

Because if, as the court criticized the countries of the doubt to the less species protection-access to effective programs, then this, too, takes a knee in front of the agricultural industry,“ Häusling.

The report, however, contains not only a criticism but also advice. The auditors recommend that the Commission, the coordination and design of the EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 and the expenditure more accurately track, to optimize the direct payments and measures of the rural development contribution to the biodiversity of agricultural land and to develop reliable indicators to assess the impact of the CAP on biodiversity. Häusling calls for clip and clear, that the EU money will only be paid if the payments to the sustainability criteria in terms of biodiversity and the environment as well as climate and animal protection are bound. Of the Commission he demands that she engages finally in the CAP negotiations. “You have to admit, after the submission of one’s own biodiversity strategy and the Farm-to-Fork strategy, whether your ideas are worth more than the paper on which the strategies are written on.” (ab)

Spoilt for choice: the complex carbon footprint of our food.

The carbon footprint of food can vary depending on the cultivation and of transport, season, origin and packaging. Consumers are in the supermarket often faced with the decision whether to resort to plastic Biogurke from Spain, or the undisguised cucumbers from conventional cultivation in Germany, packaged, or whether it is in the Winter, fresh tomatoes from local greenhouses, climate-friendly than the strained tomatoes in the glass. Countless factors need to be taken into account, and those who, as a studies and climate calculator to Rate, often end up being confused, as you get lost quickly in the thicket of the various reference values and the underlying data. Now, the Institute for energy and environmental research Heidelberg (ifeu) provides a new study, which aims to offer the consumer orientation and the ecological footprint of 200 foods and dishes determined. Their basic conclusion is this: Fresh, seasonal and regionally grown fruit and vegetables is often significantly more climate-friendly than out of season imported food from distant regions.

And a switch to less meat and milk products is turning the main adjusting screw for a sustainable Diet.

The authors examined five product groups, including fruit, vegetables, meat and dairy products, as well as vegetarian-vegan replacement products. A focus of the study of the influence of different food-provisioning processes on the CO2 footprint of a food product, e.g. packaging, transportation, and cultivation systems. Plays a role also, which areas of food are grown and whether, for example, tropical rain forests for the cultivation of palm oil, cleared, or, as in Germany, wetlands are converted for agriculture. The Institute stresses that all foods land-use changes are consistently included.

And the study is different, whether it is the balance of a food at the supermarket or ready-cooked on the plate.

“In our foods in the supermarket, the environment depends on climate and the balance sheet is often less on the product than on it, where and how these products are grown and then transported and packaged,” says the study leader, Dr. Guido Reinhardt. Freshly harvested Apples from Germany, cut off a little bit surprisingly better than from new Zealand. A fresh pineapple, which is transported by ship to the us, fails with 0,6 CO2-Equivalents per Kilo (kg CO2-EQ.) to beech, while by plane, 15.1 kg CO2-EQ. be produced, and 25 Times more. Here is the can of pineapple slices in comparison to the fresh flight pineapples better with 1.8 kg of CO2-Equivalents.

The fresh strawberry from the Region has a value of 0.3, and from Spain of 0.4 in comparison to the fresh winter strawberries with the 3.4 here goods are out of season, frozen is better, with a value of 0.7. Regional products are not always better. This is also true for the tomato, the EQ in the season in Germany with 0.3 kg of CO2. wins, but in the Winter, from the fossil-energy heated greenhouse with 2.9 compared with the free tomato from southern Europe Look has.

But the Path is one: If farm shops or weekly markets to be extra to the car, to buy two kilos of potatoes or asparagus, you have a 20 – to 30-fold higher CO2 release than in the production of the food itself, explains Reinhardt in the Germany radio.

In the case of the packaging, the balance is also highly variable. “The disposable packaging made of metal or glass has in many cases a larger effect on the Climate than the actual food. This is also true for many drinks, such as wine and beer, often there is more to the case than the content,“ says Dr. Reinhardt. Here is the 0.5 l glass returnable bottle with 0.9 has the beer, the nose in front of the 0.5 l-white tin can with 1.0. Who buys for his spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, gives 4.3 kg of CO2 Equivalents, while the average value of fresh tomatoes to 0.8, followed by the tomato paste in the Laminated Board (1.6) is, in the socket (1.8) and in the glass (a 1.9).

The second part of the study of the “system boundary plate is dedicated” and examines the carbon footprint of different dishes. “Beef and rice not only have a high effect on the Climate, but the need for the generation of the addition of so much fertilizer and water,” says Dr. Reinhardt. It engages in the lasagna instead of ground Beef (1,6) to climate-friendly pork (1,0) or soy granules (0,7), reduces the footprint.

Instead of rice as a side dish, you can use potatoes, or spelt. Not causing less climate gases, but also a half of land and fertilizer footprint and a hundred times smaller ecological footprint for water, explains Reinhardt.

When comparing organic versus conventional shows that meat, milk and eggs from Organic production sections and in some cases worse than products from conventional agriculture. As the reason given for this is that organic farms need for these products, more area to produce the same amount. Therefore, the calculations of higher Hectares were used as a basis, which can lead to higher CO2 emissions. For the Biobutter, the authors have EQ to 11.5 kg of CO2. calculated, as against 9.0 in the case of the normal Butter.

The Biovollmilch in the composite carton is caused to 1.7, while the conventional produced milk with the same package of 1.3. “This shows that the sole views of the CO2-emissions, says the whole ecological truth”, but stresses the study Director. “The slightly higher emissions are made by the considerably lower pesticide use, sustainable land management and increase of the species diversity is much more than up for it. Just in agriculture alone, the CO2 emissions narrowed view can distort the overall ecological evaluation“, concluded Reinhardt. (ab)

EU agricultural subsidies: Where will the 6.7 billion flow in Germany .

Every year at the end of may is: The Federal office for agriculture and food (BLE) released the recipients of the funds distributed in the framework of the Common agricultural policy (CAP) of the EU. Of the 59 billion euros in agricultural subsidies in 2019 fins Beneficiaries around 6.7 billion to 322.000. Search in the BLE database is tedious, but the agricultural portal Proplanta has evaluated the information and created a map that illustrates where the Bulk of the money goes. “To recognize how quickly is the recipient of the million dollar amounts, not individual farmers, but in addition to the public sector, in particular, large-scale agricultural enterprises in Eastern Germany, as well as a variety of other companies,” reported the Portal.

Overall, there were according to our database of 179 recipients who received more than one Million euros. At the top of the 2019 office for the environment Brandenburg with EUR 20 million, followed by the Ministry for agriculture and environment Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, with a total of 10.2 euros. In the case of the company, the highest amounts went to the Landgard Obst & gemüse GmbH, 6,16 million and the producer organisation for fruit and vegetables in Schwerin, with 4.26 million euros.

The payments include both the European agricultural guarantee Fund (EAGF), the so-called 1. Pillar of the CAP, the direct payments are to be financed (approximately 5 billion Euro in News Germany), as well as the European agricultural Fund for rural development (EAFRD). While the direct payments in the Form of single farm payment per hectare will be disbursed, of which, enterprises with a lot of area benefit, the funds from the EAFRD pot as a priority, rural development, agri – environment-climate measures, as well as the coastal and flood protection. Receiver, and also that local authorities, food businesses and organic farms.

For the protection of the coast of the “land for coastal received about the protection of the national Park and marine conservation” Husum 6.9 million – square 4 of the list. The direct payments are for a Long time in the criticism, since they are mainly just a few large companies to the benefit: Just 0.5% of the farms in Germany per year, more than 300,000 Euro from Brussels, be transferred to and 20% of the farms in the EU together account for 80% of total agricultural payments.

Martin Hofstetter of Greenpeace criticized in an Interview with the Germany radio, direct payments, “so, what is distributed with the watering can on the agriculture, based on the acres.” Every farmer who farmed one hectare – that’s about a football field large, gets about 280 Euro. This promotion received a very large arable farms, “which provide few jobs, especially in the new länder, and premium economies-optimized”. “That means,” says Hofstetter, “you have to comply with the minimum conditions to get your money, and it’ll be worth it, then enforce that you managed as much as possible area.” This also reinforces the Proplanta-card, which is to the East of the Republic of dark-colored – that is to say where the farms are concentrated, with the highest individual payments. The agricultural society Pfiffelbach received in Thuringia 2,19 million Euro, of which 856.000 euros were allocated to the basic premium.

The taz reported in 2019 that the company is managed according to its own information, 5.060 acres and 2017 is around 15 million euros in sales made. They criticised the fact that there is considerable competition have because of his size, even without subsidies, benefits, and, therefore, not funds from the public Hand is dependent .

Other large farms that have a lot of surface area, and large dairies each year on the recipient list. Friesland Campina Germany received in the framework of the EU-education programme for fruit, vegetables and milk around 2.3 million euros, and the Südzucker AG, Mannheim, one of the largest food corporations in Germany, got 1.69 million euros, of which 1 Million to the base premium was accounted for. In the last year, the company announced on request of the taz that it had received direct payments for the management of agricultural land in the vicinity of the sugar factories. Instead of promoting large corporations or businesses with a lot of area, keeping only some of the minimum Greening requirements, calls for Greenpeace, the billion targeted for measures that serve the protection of the environment, climate protection and biodiversity. “Since farmers will be able to participate, large and small, diverse and less diverse, and get more money for performance,” explains Hofstetter. (ab)

Report: Intensive agriculture to species and habitats .

The state of animal and plant species and habitats in Germany is on the whole bad. Just in the agricultural landscape, the loss of Species is progressing rapidly, because animals and plants are suffering from the intensive agriculture. The “report on the state of nature,” was presented by the Federal environment Ministry and the Federal Agency for nature conservation (BfN) in Berlin on Tuesday shows. The Federal government sets all the six years of the EU-Commission report on the implementation of the European Fauna-Flora-Habitat (FFH) Directive and the EU birds Directive. For the 14,000 samples of public authorities and nature were evaluated conservationists from the whole Federal territory.

Although there are reported also the light looks in some habitats, but the overall conclusion is gloomy. “In some Parts of the country the nature has a rest: Many beech forests is good, in the forests and settlements, there are more birds. Also, the restoration of rivers and floodplains contributes to the recovery of the nature,“ reported the Federal environment Minister, Svenja Schulze, first the Positive. However: “especially in the agricultural landscape, it is nature, however, a cause for concern. This is especially true for butterflies and other insect species, the meadows are rich in flowers, and pastures are dependent.

Because of these important Ecosystems in the intensive agriculture increasingly rare. Heavy losses, we also see many bird species in the agricultural landscape, such as lapwing and grey partridge“, it shall notify the Minister of the environment .

According to the report, 25% of the species assessed have a favourable conservation status, including the harbour seal and the grey seal in the North sea or the ibex in the Alps. However, 30% of the species are in a poor state of repair and 33% in poor condition – especially butterflies, beetles and dragonflies. The conservation status of the remaining species is unknown.

For habitats, it does not look better: Although 30% are in a reasonable state of repair, including various forest habitats habitats, from alpine heaths and shrubs as well as Rock. However, 32% of the studied habitats are inadequate, and 37% are in bad condition, especially the agricultural grassland areas, but also lakes and bogs. “Species-rich meadows and pastures recorded in the area as well as in their diversity of species with strong declines. This Trend is continuing since the first national habitats Directive-report for the year 2001 continues unabated,“ stresses BfN President Prof.

Dr. Beate Jessel. “The protection of the grassland needs to be improved, therefore, not only at European but also at national level. If we species and habitats to successfully protect and preserve, nature can be a part of solutions.“ Thus, restored wetlands could be areas of intact bogs and sustainably used forests contribute significantly to climate protection and climate adaptation .

The most important constraints of the endangered habitats and species are according to the report, in connection with agriculture. “In the synopsis, it is clear that many drivers are lead back to the type and intensity of land use, particularly intensive agriculture,” it States. The authors refer to the high Nutrient input due to agricultural fertilization or changes of use of agricultural land and forests, including the abandonment of traditional forms of Use. “Intensive agriculture leads to an ever-increasing homogenization of the landscape, in the meanwhile, a monotonous species-poor life-prevalence areas. Species-rich grassland habitats, such as extensively used Meadows, Grasslands, and wet meadows, recorded strong declines, both quantitatively in terms of their surface quality, for example in terms of the existing species inventory,“ complain the authors.

Also, the use of pesticides in agriculture and forestry, the power of nature to create. “Through the intensive management (use of herbicides, fertilization) are also endangered arable weed species.” Many species such as the corn cockle, the thickness of the Brome grass or the flame-Adonis, it is only by means of targeted protection measures. The birds, particularly the bird species in the agricultural landscape were “already since some time the problem children”. The Federal-wide stocks of partridge and lapwing have fallen from 1992-2016 dramatically, and today only about one-tenth of the stocks of these species are to be found.

The report also contains proposals and recommendations on how to counter-can be controlled. The authors call for a significant reduction of nutrient entries and the renunciation of the use of pesticides and Seed dressings in the Natura 2000 areas. “The use of pesticides should generally be reduced, prohibited and the application of plant protection products and Biocides, with particular relevance for insects in ecologically vulnerable areas.” For the reduction of Nitrogen inputs from agriculture, a consistent implementation of the new fertilizer Ordinance was required. Of particular importance is a fundamental reorientation of the Common agricultural policy (CAP) of the EU remains. This was not targets “in its current Form is adequate to a sustainable agriculture and to Achieve the European and German Biodiversity”.

Measures of the so-called Greenings were largely ineffective. It will need a higher allocation of funds from the first to the second pillar of the CAP for biodiversity effective measures. (ab)

Verdict: Conventionally-bred plants and animals are not patentable.

Patents on plants and animals from conventional breeding are banned in Europe now. The long-awaited judgment of the enlarged Board of appeal, the highest legal instance of the European patent office (EPO), which had provided in the past by the granting of such patents for the headlines States. Now, the chamber confirmed on the 14. May not in your opinion “G3/19,” that plants and animals are made up of “Essentially biological breeding methods under the European patent Convention patentable”.

Of this regulation, patents, the before 1 are exempt. July 2017 were issued to, or patent applications which were filed prior to this date, and still pending. “I very much welcome the opinion of the enlarged Board of appeal,” said EPO President Antonio Campino. “She’s going to parties, the Patent and to the General Public for more legal certainty in this sensitive and complex issue with legal, social, and economic impacts”, he said and announced that the patent office will act in accordance with the above clarifications .

“No patents on seeds!”, an Alliance of non-governmental organisations, was happy about the judgment. “For more than ten years, we have been fighting against patents, such as broccoli and tomatoes, peppers, melons and cereals. Representative for large parts of the European Public, nurseries, agriculture and consumers, we welcome this judgment,“ said Martha Mertens from the Federal government for environmental and nature conservation Germany (BUND). “Our knowledge of breeding methods have been developed over centuries of agriculture and breeding, but not from the industry invented. Conventionally-bred plants and animals also need to be in the future for further breeding available“, calls you. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft (AbL) called the ruling “an important victory”. Katherine Dolan by the Association of NOAH’s ARK rating decision initially positive: “The current judgment can help to end a decade full of legal absurdities and chaotic decisions at the EPA.” Weltagrarbericht.de had reported about the legal Back-and-Forth.

There is the risk that the big companies abused the patent law in order to obtain control over agriculture and food production, Dolan was but still. “The Problem is not yet solved. Further policy decisions are necessary to close the existing loopholes.“

The loopholes, the “No patents on seeds!” Provide prepare, refer mainly to the distinction between technical inventions and the methods of conventional breeding. As a late-April report published by the Alliance shows, you must define this difference clearly, so that existing bans to be effective. Problems here patent applications in connection with random mutations, which are not between naturally occurring genetic variations and random mutations on the one hand, and technical interventions by means of genetic engineering on the other hand, a distinction was made. The report shows that many of the claims relate to the method, the result of random processes, in combination with crossing and selection. On random mutagenesis such a request of the Dutch group, Keygene, which extends to a lump sum of all of the Cassava or manioc plants, which were subjected to chemical mutagenesis – based, regardless of the pursued breeding goal.

The “invention” was that of the company as the first had succeeded, mutation breeding with cassava, taking plant cells with chemicals are brought in contact. The Patent claimed not only the technical process, but all treated cells, seedlings or plants. “No patents on seeds!” calls, therefore, for further political decisions, to prevent the ‘technical toppings’, such as the description of random mutations to be abused, to conventionally bred plants and animals continue to be a back-door patent. (ab)

Latin America: Corona pandemic flu hits indigenous communities hard.

The indigenous peoples of Latin America are exposed in the light of the Corona pandemic, a high level of risk and their often limited access to education and health care could deteriorate, warn human rights organizations, and indigenous associations. The inter-American Commission on human rights (IACHR) of the organization of American States therefore called on the governments of Latin America to take decisive action to protect the health of the indigenous communities and to develop specific responses for this group, the respect your world view and cultural diversity. The Commission notes that, according to the world Bank, 43% of the indigenous population of Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru suffer from moderate poverty, while only 21% of the non-indigenous population of these countries in the case.

The proportion of people who suffer from extreme poverty for indigenous peoples is three times as high. Also of under-nutrition in indigenous communities are disproportionately affected: In Guatemala, approximately 60% of indigenous children under 5 years are chronically undernourished and nearly twice as many as in the non-indigenous population. The corona crisis hits these vulnerable groups particularly hard, therefore, warns the Commission.

Also, the Fondo para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas de América Latina y El Caribe (FILAC) stresses that COVID-19 aggravating the situation of indigenous peoples, which is already suffering from a high percentage of poverty, maternal and infant mortality, iron deficiency, malnutrition, and infectious diseases such as Malaria, tuberculosis and Dengue fever, for example. The economic impact of the pandemic will worsen the already by inequality and discrimination influenced the Situation of the indigenous communities, warns FILAC in a report. They were not only threatened by the Virus, but also by conflict and violence in the context of scarce resources, such as drinking water, food and Land.

For many Indigenous the sale and purchase of foodstuffs is complicated by the closure of roads and markets, access to social protection programmes due to the lack of papers is not possible and information for the prevention against COVID-19 in the respective indigenous languages. In Latin America, according to the FILAC more than 800 indigenous communities, where 45 million people, or nearly 10% of the population of the continent belong to – their share varies from country to country high. 462 communities are now less than 3000 people .

For the report FILAC data of 30 indigenous associations and information of the governments to the effects of the Corona pandemic in the indigenous population of each of the countries has gathered. Although the data is patchy, but it shows that the Virus has now arrived in many indigenous communities. For the Amazon region, the Association of Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica (COICA) reports in a report dated 26. April, a total of 679 confirmed COVID-19-cases and 40 deaths in the nine countries of the Amazon region. For Mexico, the Instituto Nacional de Pueblos Indígenas (INPI) registered 110 confirmed cases of Indigenous, while the government is one of 209 cases.

However, and counted only the members of indigenous communities, which have access to the health care system to be tested. But there’s the Problem, because many communities live in remote areas and far away from the nearest town of liege, so that health care is not often guaranteed .

Also in the access to information and education, many indigenous communities in Corona, had a disadvantage-times. The channel Telesur reported that, for example, in Peru, 4 million people, speak a language other than Spanish. Even if some of the educational materials and information brochures have been translated, there is another Problem: Many indigenous communities have neither Internet nor electricity nor electronic devices to obtain information.

Or to be able to to the official teaching platform “Aprendo en casa” access. So indigenous children without the Internet, had previously attended school are excluded from the Online teaching. Telesur reported from a further Problem: Many poor families to leave the cities as they block due to the corona due to the since mid-March, current output with their work in the informal sector, for example as a street salesman, nothing more to earn and suffer from Hunger. Many of which are Indigenous, who are trying to escape from Lima and return to their communities in the countryside or in the forests, possibly with the Virus in the Luggage belong. (ab)

Patents on conventionally bred plants and animals in the Pipeline.

Corporations continue to try to leave with cunning Maneuvers, conventionally bred plants and animals as “inventions” patented in order to control of breeding resources and the production of our food to acquire. A report by the Alliance shows “No patents on seeds!”, the on 23. April appeared. According to European patent law, only plants and animals cannot be patented, the genetic methods have been bred, while food plants and animals from conventional breeding are patentable.

However, in the last 10 to 15 years, were filed in Europe some 1,600 applications to plants from conventional breeding and 220 patents granted. At the European patent office (EPO) in Munich, the reaped due to this controversial patent award of fierce public criticism, there is legal Chaos in the aftermath of sometimes contradictory decisions and the granting of patents on plants and animals from conventional breeding, which was exposed to 2019, for the time being. The report from “No patents on seeds!”, however, shows that more than 100 patent applications in the Pipeline that were submitted in the years 2018 and 2019 on conventional varieties.

Eleven of the cases he examined in greater detail.

“There are examples of how special pepper plants, which were originally collected in Mexico and their use for breeding is now out of Patent monopolies to be detected. Other examples relate to the natural resistance against pathogens of plant diseases in Basil and melons with more intense Red coloring, and curly endive salad, not after the harvest, so brown very quickly,“ explains Martha Mertens from the Federal government for environmental and nature conservation Germany. “Such varieties are not inventions!” Many claims relate to the method, the result of random processes are used in combination with cross-breeding and selection. Random mutagenesis such as the patent application WO2019121603 of the Dutch group, Keygene, which extends to a lump sum of all of the Cassava or manioc plants, which were subjected to chemical mutagenesis – based, regardless of the pursued breeding goal. The “invention” was that of the company as the first had succeeded, mutation breeding with cassava, taking plant cells with chemicals are brought in contact. The Patent claimed not only the technical process, but all treated cells, seedlings or plants. “Cassava is, for many countries, especially in Africa, South America and Asia, a very important food.

If such a broad Patent is granted, it may restrict breeding activities considerably – for example, when it comes, to breed varieties adapted to new climatic conditions or to new pests ready,“ warns the report.

In addition, the company KWS claimed with the University of Zurich around 80 plant species, which are supposed to be against, especially when Corn-occurring fungal disease “Northern corn leaf blight” resistant. The alleged invention consisted in the fact that KWS brought the plants with the pathogens in contact and those selected, which showed a resistance. Then, DNA sequences have been identified that are involved in the structure of cell membranes, and also to a fungal defenses have a role to play. Then a random was carried out in mutagenesis and plants are selected with the desired DNA sequence.

A basis for further applications of classical methods of conventional breeding, such as the selection of Basil which is resistant to downy mildew resistant very. The BASF subsidiary Hild and Nunhems from the Netherlands had wild discovered plants in a US seed Bank “” and with commercially traded varieties crossed. Then, DNA sequences have been identified that correlate with the selected phenotype (marker genes). This would allow the plants on the basis of the genotype to be selected. With this Trick the “technical Decoration” of a conventional breeding process, BASF wants to claim the plants as well as Pollen, seeds, and all other varieties with these plants as their invention.

Also the breeding of farm animals is the subject of several patent applications, the report examines.

The authors fear that many patents could be issued if the legal Chaos is not terminated at the EPA. In 2017, the Board of Directors decided that no further patents should be granted on conventionally bred plants and animals. As a legal loophole remained, however, that patents on genetic variants and changes (mutations) in the genome were approved, and are not naturally occurring genetic variations and random mutations on the one hand, and technical interventions by means of genetic engineering on the other hand, a distinction was made.

The Chaos is perfect EPAs made Technical Board of appeal with its decision by the end of 2018, the decision of the Board of Directors is no longer applicable. So that method wouldn’t be for conventional breeding to be patentable, the resulting plants and animals would be regarded as a patentable .

“The report of No patents on seeds! shows how the corporations try to get even more control over the production of food in Europe, if the current legal issues will be resolved, and no clear distinction between technical inventions and random process are made,“ said Christoph Then, of the representative of the Alliance. Conventionally-bred plants and animals to be patented as “inventions”, they are not, without the consent of the patentee, not for further breeding, but for the access to biological diversity are of Central importance. “No patents on seeds!” calls in Europe also in the future, conventional breeding, rearing and preservation of food crops and farm animals may not be due to such patents, limited. (ab)

Number of acute Hunger could double by COVID-19 .

About 135 million people worldwide suffered in the year 2019 to acute Hunger. According to a report, the 21. April from the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) was published, a network of 16 UN and development organizations. And these Numbers could double in 2020 as a result of the Corona pandemic to 265 million people, warns the world food programme (WFP), one of the editors.

According to the “2020 Global Report on Food Crises” increased the number of 113 million people with acute Hunger in 53 countries in the last year to 135 million people in 55 countries. Among the main reasons for the acute Hunger, conflicts, extreme weather and economic reasons, according to the report. More than half of the acutely Hungry live in Africa (73 million), followed by 43 million in the Middle East and Asia, as well as 18.5 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The number of people suffering from acute Hunger, and their life is immediately at risk, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. World’s 821 million people are chronically undernourished and do not have to eat over a period of a year, enough to lead a healthy life .

The acute Hunger for more 183 million people in 47 countries, which are only a step away from acute Hunger, according to the FSIN. You are already in a critical situation, and if another shock is added, such as an extreme weather event or the effects of COVID-19, threatens them also acute Hunger. From 2019, already acutely hungry people 65% or 88 million lived in just 10 countries. The worst in absolute Numbers in Yemen, with 15.9 million people was affected, followed by the democratic Republic of the Congo (15.6 million), Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, and Haiti. The largest proportion of acutely hungry people there are in South Sudan, where 61% of the population are affected by acute Hunger in Yemen and 53%.

Since the Figures in the report relate to 2019, are not taken into account the effects of the Corona pandemic and the current locust plague in East Africa yet. The world food program (WFP) predicts that in 2020, around 265 million people will be threatened in countries with middle and low income-from acute Hunger .

“These new forecasts, the scale of the disaster, with which we are confronted show,” said the chief economist at the WFP, Arif Husain. “We need to make sure that tens of millions of people who are already on the verge of hunger death, not the Virus or its economic consequences in the Form of job and income losses, succumb to. Of particular concern is the situation for people living in areas of conflict or their homes were forced to leave in refugee camps are to be. People in the North-East of Nigeria, in South Sudan, Syria and Yemen are particularly affected. “These people lacked COVID-19 just yet. Even without the Virus, your life is already hanging by a thread, says Husain. “If we can’t reach these people for any reason, you will pay for it with your life.” The Situation in poor countries is too horrible to comprehend. “We must prepare ourselves for the second and third wave of this disease.

People are losing their livelihoods and their income and at the same time the supply are disrupted chains. This leads to a double blow of fate, through both the dissemination as well as the intensity of the hunger in the world increases,“ warns Husain with emphasis. (ab)

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