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A Malawian mother and her child in front of maize harvested in Lilongwe. A fertiliser programme has increased crop yields. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Malawi’s farm subsidy benefits the poor but doesn’t come cheap

Malawi's large-scale subsidy for farmers has resulted in higher maize production, lower food prices and higher wages. But this has come at significant costs.
An Ethiopian girl sells barley seeds in northern Tigray. The sub-Saharan Africa seed industry remains largely informal. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti

Local start-ups hold the key to transforming Africa’s seed industry

The seed industry in sub-Saharan Africa suffers from many challenges. India, which has one of the biggest seed markets in the world, offers some lessons on how these challenges could be overcome.
A South African farmer from Piketberg 100km outside Cape Town inspects the dry soil in his field of sewn wheat. It is cheaper to import the crop than to grow it commercially. Epa/Nic Bothma

South Africa’s struggling agricultural sector: what went wrong 20 years ago

South Africa's agricultural industry has struggled over the past 20 years due to the country's rush to liberalise the sector while other countries continued to support their farmers.
Food to table, Chicago style. crfsproject

Why all cities should have a Department of Food

Urban and regional planners need to play a bigger role in bringing healthy food to cities and towns. One research project aims to change that.
Tractors may have revolutionised farming but to protect biosecurity, farmers could do with some extra help. Ben McLeod/Flickr

Go with the grain: technology to help farmers protect crops

New technology to tackle biosecurity challenges down the track is one of the five megatrends identified in today’s CSIRO report Australia’s Biosecurity Future: preparing for future biological challenges…
Managing the cattle can be easier – and cheaper – with digital tracking technology. Flickr/Jim Bendon

Technology is changing the face of northern Australian cattle farming

Farming cattle in northern Australia can be tough, especially in times of drought, but producers are increasingly turning to digital technologies to help them look after their herds. As these new technologies…
Communities across eastern Australia are fighting against coal seam gas mining … and winning. Kate Ausburn/Flickr

New tactics see coal seam gas protests gain the upper hand

Community coal seam gas campaigns have had some big wins lately, most recently in the suspension of the drilling licence for CSG company Metgasco in New South Wales. Referred to the Independent Commission…
Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha

Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?

Arguments surrounding the use of genetically modified crops and whether they are the solution to the world’s problems of food supply and public health are no nearer to resolution than when GM was introduced…
Even if the farmhouse stays dry, the crops are underwater. Steve Parsons/PA

Farmers, small businesses and the full cost of the wettest winter

With towns in the south and southwest flooded out, the government has offered £5,000 payments to help homeowners add flood protection to their homes, while small firms will enjoy a cut of a £10m fund to…
Often called “Australia’s most valuable farm”, Cubbie Station in southwest Queensland is now majority foreign-owned. AAP/Cubbie Group

Old MacDonald sold the farm: so what’s the future for agriculture?

When most Australians think about farmers, one image still springs to mind: a family in Akubras and Blundstones, battling the elements with a Blue Heeler by their side. That’s still the image invoked by…
A dead dingo in 2013 (left) and a Tasmanian tiger, last seen in the wild in 1932. Dingo photography by Aaron Greenville; a hunted thylacine in 1869, photographer unknown.

Will we hunt dingoes to the brink like the Tasmanian tiger?

The last Tasmanian tiger died a lonely death in the Hobart Zoo in 1936, just 59 days after new state laws aimed at protecting it from extinction were passed in parliament. But the warning bells about its…
Has Charles good points to make about the countryside, or is he just stirring it up? Ben Birchall/PA

Charles: the future king with retro-vision

In this week’s Country Life HRH Prince of Wales writes of the social and economic importance of farming. It is, he says: the bedrock of our rural communities, making post offices, pubs, public transport…

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