On Thursday, Statistics Canada released its latest Production of Principal Field Crops report. In it, it predicts that almost ever crop is set to decrease in production from last year. Given that last year’s record setting crop, a decrease will return production to normal levels. Wheat production is projected to drop 26.2% to 27.7 million tonnes, and oat production is set to drop 32.1%.
I was in attendance during the final negotiations on Responsible Agriculture Investment, and I echo the IAFN’s statement regarding the results:
In Rome, private sector representatives have expressed extreme dismay with the lack of recognition of the role of farmers in new Principles on Responsible Agricultural Investment. The Principles, to be endorsed by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in October, fail to recognise that farmers – in all their sizes – are a vital part of our agricultural system.
The document as currently worded suggests that being a farmer is not a valid self-identity – having to pick whether they are “smallholders” or “business”. It disrespects their established role around other UN processes and most of all it ignores their primary role in producing the world’s food. Private sector representatives have spoken on the Plenary floor, stating that this is a sad message to take back to farmer organisations around the world.
Research conducted in part by Dr. Allan Ronald and the University of Manitoba, long ago showed reduced risk of AIDS transmission in circumcised men. Despite subsequent recommendations by the World Health Organisation, countries have been slow to take up circumcision programming. One of the arguments was that men might be less responsible in their sexual decisions. New research shows that is not the case. Let’s hope the natural protection circumcision offers, combined with good practices, makes a dent in AIDS transmission.
Deborah Helen Fulton will be the new Secretary of the United Nations Committee on Food Security as of October. An Australian national, she was selected by a panel representing the Rome Based Agencies. As the secretariat for the private sector mechanism of the CFS, we look forward to working with her in the coming years.
I am heading to the BioEnterprise annual meeting, where I sit on the Board of Directors. It is great to see that one of the fellow members of the Agri-Technology Commercialization Centre has appointed its new President. The ATCC is a single point of contact for entrepreneurs, researchers, and companies (early-stage to multi-nationals) who are growing businesses in the cutting edge fields of agriculture and biotechnology, and BioEnterprise is a member.