Canadian government to review 23 pesticides banned in Europe

Have any plan of what percentage chemicals are introduced into our environments since WWII? A half-decade agone, the count* was over eighty,000. Some square measure used for large atomic number 47, some square measure in medicines and processed foods, toys and home items, and a few of them square measure within the air and water.

Industrial chemicals, most of that square measure barely tested by the those that build them, square measure omnipresent. Most toxicities square measure typically not complete till huge adverse health reports square measure created. we are the guinea pigs, the canaries within the mine for the chemical firms that lie all the thanks to the bank.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), what is left of it, is short-handed and engulfed by the constant barrage of freshly factory-made chemicals. they don’t seem to be nonetheless held with the older chemicals that are in industrial use for many years. The higher management positions at the Food and Drug Administration, executive department and Environmental Protection Agency square measure corrupted by business lobbyists and former business insiders WHO make the most of the revolving door system that promotes favoritism at the upper levels of business and government.

Canadian government to review 23 pesticides banned in EuropeHere’s a “legal” trick that chemical firms use to cover their products’ toxicity. restrictive agencies solely look into the active ingredients of pesticides and herbicides. however there square measure different chemicals in a very product that square measure meant to spice up the active ingredient. the precise formulas square measure withheld as proprietary trade secrets. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act supports this secrecy while not reference to health or ecological implications. company profits trump public welfare de jure.

For example, Monsanto’s Roundup contains glyphosate as its active ingredient, thus that is all that gets tested. Since it’s in many herbicides already, Roundup gets rubber-stamp approval while not reference to the key “inert” merchandise that are literally adjuvants.

However, there has been another polemic study by the parents that brought US those rats with gross tumors when their long-run exposure to GMO corn and Roundup.

Seralini and also the boys within the research lab analyzed all the inert ingredients of 9 major chemicals and discovered that each one however one pesticide contained inert ingredients additional harmful than their active ingredients. Roundup was the worst.

Sometimes it is the natural action of these ingredients combined, and generally it’s one or 2 alone which will be worse than the active ingredients. (GM Watch, supply below)

Canadian activists push for investigation of pesticides and herbicides employed in Canada
In August of 2013, Ecojustice filed four lawsuits strict that Health Canada examine twenty nine pesticides illegal in Europe. Canadian federal law mandates that any pesticides or herbicides illegal by even one nation of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development should be evaluated for safety in Canada.

At first, the tormenter Management administrative unit (PMRA) of Canada refused. then again attorneys for Ecojustice started taking part in hardball with lawsuits strict the administrative unit to fits federal law. therefore the agency united to review twenty three of the twenty nine chemicals, one amongst that could be a common weed killer anonymous  within the supply article, in all probability Roundup.

Four of the remaining six chemicals still have restricted use in Europe, and 2 don’t seem to be employed in Canada. therefore the six chosen to not be reviewed stands with each side in agreement. Consequently, the PMRA requested that Ecojustice drop its proceedings, considering it superfluous and unwarranted in light-weight of their plans to review those twenty three chemicals.

Source: Natural News


By Baqir Shah, Agriculture Information Bank Contributor

While nearly 40% of the populations live on or below the poverty line, and      the continuous efforts of the Government to eradicate poverty, have yet to bring results.

Yet, it does not have control of rising prices and creations of jobs for the unemployed & low income group. Bearing this situation in mind, we have envisaged a plan for the poor to stand on their own feet, on self help basis.


This function will be launched through all the Labour Unions of the country, The branches of the Bank will the Labour Union Offices.  All registered members of the Union will be entitled to open an account in the Bank.  The account can be opened for low amount of Rs 60.00 p.m. All the account will be deposited the Poor Mans Bank, Head office locatedat Karachi. The Board of Directors of Bank will be the Head of the Unions who will examine and approve collective measures to advance loans in kind only up to the value of Rs 5000/- to avoid defaults. Cash loans will be considered for approval on the guarantee of the Head of the UnionThe Bank will operate on Non Profit basis, & charge 10% service charges.

Benefits for the Accounted

The account holder will get the following benefits.

1. Loans in Cash or Kind to start their own business, as mentioned above.

2. Classes will be arranged to educate them as skilled labor, 

3. Free Accident Policy of Rs 100000 on accidental & Rs5000 for injury on                            


4. Other benefits will be arranged to assist our workers, due course.

Banks Performance

Initially we expect to get around 60,000 members to start the function of the Bank. ie 60,000 x 60 = Rs 36,00,000 per month. A hand some amount for a beginning .  The amount left after its function i.e. idle will be invested in short term deposits with commercial bank and the profit added to the capital held.

The figures mentioned above are hypothetical and the final figures will appear as we go on the launch the scheme. We are confident that we will receive the Government’s Patronage & assistance in this regard.

Proposal by Baqar Shah


Copyright Agriculture Information Bank

Organic Compounds Released by Plant Roots

Sugars and Polysaccharides

Arabinose, desoxyribose, fructose, galactose, glucose, maltose, mannose, mucilages of various compositions, oligosaccharides, raffinose, rhamnose, ribose, sucrose, xylose.

Organic Compounds Released by Plant Roots

Amino Acids

α-alanine, β-alanine, α−amino adipic, γ-amino butyric, arginine, asparagine, aspartic, citrulline, cystathionine, cysteine, cystine, deoxymugineic, 3-epihydroxymugineic, glutamine, glutamic, glycine, homoserine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, mugineic, ornithine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine.

Organic Acids

Acetic, aconitic, aldonic, ascorbic, benzoic, butyric, caffeic, citric, p-coumaric, erythonic, ferulic, formic, fumaric, glutaric, glycolic, glyoxilic, lactic, malic, malonic, oxalacetic, oxalic, p-hydroxy benzoic, piscidic, propionic, pyruvic, succinic, syringic, tartaric, tetronic, valeric, vanillic.

Fatty Acids

Linoleic, linolenic, oleic, palmitic, stearic.


Campesterol, cholesterol, sitosterol, stigmasterol

Growth Factors

p-amino benzoic acid, biotin, choline, n-methyl nicotinic acid, niacin, pantothenic, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2(riboflavin), and B6(pyridoxine)


Amylase, invertase, peroxidase, phenolase, phosphatases, polygalacturonase, protease Flavonones and Nucleotides Adenine, flavonone, guanine, uridine or cytidine


Auxins, p-benzoquinone, scopoletin, hydrocyanic acid, 8-hydroxyquinoline, glucosides, hydroxamic acids, luteolin, unidentified ninhydrin-positive compounds, unidentified soluble proteins, reducing compounds, ethanol, glycinebetaine, inositol and myo-inositol-like compounds, Al-induced polypeptides, dihydroquinone, quercetin, quercitrin, sorgoleone

February Flowers

feb Flowers

February is the month of Valentine’s Day and bouquets of red roses are a common sight this time of year. But did you know that there are many other species of flower available in February as well?

Wild primroses, crocus and Aubretia can all be found across the UK in February if you know where to look. Despite the chilly weather there are many flowers and plants that will start to emerge this month.

See below for a list of flowers which you can find in February:

Acacia (Mimosa) – Tiny petal-less yellow flowers cover the stems
Aconitum (Monkshood) – Tall spiky flowers, long lasting but poisonous
Alstroemeria (Peruvian Lily) – Very popular and long lasting flowers, often bi-coloured
Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) – Large very striking trumpet shaped flowers, often grown indoors from bulbs
Ammi (Queen Anne’s lace) – Masses of delicate white flowers, ideal as a filler
Anemone (Windflower) – Delicate, papery flowers, available in vibrant and pale colours
Anigozanthus (Kangaroo Paw) – Unusual furry buds with insignificant flowers. Ideal for modern arrangements
Anthurium (Painter’s Palette) – Exotic waxy looking flowers
Aranthera (Scorpion Orchid) – Long lasting orchid with small flowers on upright stems
Asclepias (Milkweed) – Clusters of tiny flowers, ideal as a filler
Aster (Michaelmas daisy) – Popular filler with daisy like flowers on upright stems
Astrantia – Starry mauve or white flowers, slightly unpleasant smell
Arachnis (Spider Orchid) – Long stems with slender petals and spotted flowers
Banksia (Bottlebrush) – Exotic Protea from Australia, large flower heads made up of masses of tiny flowers
Bouvardia – Clusters of small tubular flowers, use with special flower food. Not all colours are available throughout the year
Bupleurum – Insignificant yellow green flowers. Used more as a foliage and as a filler
Marigold (Calendula) – Popular daisy-like flower with a country garden feel
Calla Lily (Zantedeschia, Arum Lily) – Striking single flowers. The coloured varieties are smaller than the white ones, and not all colours are available all year round
Campanula (Canterbury Bells) – Quite large bell shaped flowers, several to a stem
Carnation – Very long lasting. Some new more interesting colours are now available
Carthamus (Safflower) – Unusual slightly thistle like flowers, dries well
Spray Carnation – Long lasting flowers. Some more interesting colours becoming available
Cattleya orchid – Large brightly coloured orchids, usually 1 or 2 per stem
Cestrum – Dense clusters of flowers at the top of straight stems
Ginger (Alpinia) – Large striking tropical flowers
Waxflower (Chamaelaucium) – Small scented flowers ideal as fillers, sold in bud and in flower
Chrysanthemum – Available as large individual showy blooms, or the spray variety. Very long lasting
Craspedia – Small completely round flower head made up of lots of tiny yellow flowers
Crocosmia – Tall spiky flowers generally known as Montbretia when grown as a garden flower.
Cymbidium Orchid – Striking flowers, which flower profusely with up to 12 flowers on each stem
Cynara (Artichoke) – The flower of the artichoke
Delphinium -Tall flower spikes. Also, Larkspur which is a type of delphinium
Dendrobium orchid (Singapore orchid) – Long lasting orchids with several blooms on each erect stem
Echinacea – Daisy like flowers with backward sloping petals
Eremurus (Foxtail Lily) – Large dramatic flowers, usually yellow or orange, with other colours less commonly available
Eryngium (Sea Holly) – Blue thistle like flowers, sometimes the blue is so intense it is hard to believe they are not dyed
Eucharis (Amazon Lily) – Beautiful slightly downward facing delicate flower heads on tall straight stems
Euphorbia (Spurge) – Graceful curving stems with loads of tiny flowers. Note not all colours are available at the same time, check with your florist
Eupatorium – pretty white small flowers, used as a filler
Forsythia – The shrub commonly grown in our gardens for their springtime flowers
Freesia – Highly popular, highly scented flowers
Fritillaria – Exotic looking flowers which hang downwards in a cluster on top of tall straight stems
Genista – Masses of tiny flowers all along the straight leafless stems. Popular filler flower
Gentiana – Long lasting trumpet shaped flowers up straight stems
Gerbera – Large daisy like flowers, a smaller ‘germini’ variety is also available
Gloriosa (Glory Lily) – A very dramatic flower with yellow edged cerise petals. The National Flower of Zimbabwe
Godetia – Several brightly coloured trumpet shaped flowers open up each stem
Gypsophila – Very popular filler flower. New smaller-flowered varieties are now available
Heliconia – Tropical flower with large very dramatic flower heads. Several different types available
Helleborus (Christmas Rose) – Short lived very delicate and subtle flowers
Hyacinth – Popular as a pot plant hyacinth and increasingly popular as a cut flower
Hypericum (St John’s Wort) – Attractive berries rather than flowers make this a very popular filler
Iris – Very popular but short lived flowers
Leucadendron (Safari Sunset) – It is the leaves rather than the flowers which make this popular
Leucospermum (Pincushion Protea) – Large flower heads which resemble a pin cushion. Long lasting
Lily – Available throughout the year, but if you are looking for a particular colour check availability with your florist
Liatris – Tall poker shaped purple flowers
Lilac – A common shrub and highly popular, strongly scented cut flower
Lily of the Valley (Convallaria) – Tiny bell shaped flowers on short stems. Very popular in wedding flowers
Limonium (Sea Lavender) – Popular as a dried flower, all varieties make good fillers, but it can have an unpleasant smell!
Lisianthus (Eustoma) – Popular flowers which open from tightly swirled buds, bi-coloured varieties also available
Lysimachia (Loose Strife) – Arching flower heads on the end of the stems, each made up of a mass of tiny flowers
Moluccella (Bells of Ireland) – Tall stems with a mass of bell shaped flowers
Muscari (Grape hyacinth) – Very small with short stems and clusters of tiny blue flowers
Narcissus (Daffodil) – Needs no description and evokes spring more than any other cut flower
Oncidium orchid (Golden Shower Orchid) – Lots of small yellow flowers along the stem. Miniature hybrids are available in colours other than yellow
Ornithogalum (Chincherinchee) – Fantastically long lasting flower, usually white and less commonly available in yellow
Paphiopedilum orchid (Slipper orchid) – Very large dramatic orchid flowers
Phalaenopsis orchid (Moth Orchid) – Large showy flowers, popular as a pot plant as well as a cut flower especially for weddings
Phlox – English country garden flower. Very popular
Protea – Large exotic flowers with many different varieties
Prunus (Flowering cherry) – Cherry blossom, beautiful delicate flowers on tall straight branches
Ranunculus – Small delicate, papery flowers.
Rose – Needs no description! Almost every colour available except true black or blue
Rudbeckia – Daisy like flower, usually sold without any petals, just the pincushion like centre
Solidago – A popular yellow filler flower
Solidaster – A cross between Solidago and the Aster. Used as a filler
Stephanotis (Wax flower) – Not generally available as a cut flower, but the individual small, waxy, white flowers are often used in bridal work
Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) – Unmistakable large and exotic flowers with blue and orange flowers
Sunflower (Helianthus) – Striking, large daisy like flowers, usually yellow but more unusual rusty colours are becoming available
Tanecetum – A type of chrysanthemum with small button shaped flowers
Trachelium – Masses of tiny flowers create a large flat flower head
Tuberose (Polianthes) – Highly scented flowers on tall stems
Tulip – One of the most popular cut flowers in the UK with many different varieties
Veronica (Speedwell) – Delicate flower spikes add contrast to arrangements
Viburnum (Snowballs) – Short lived but increasingly popular. Each flower head is made up of a mass of tiny flowers
Vanda – Usually 6 – 8 blooms per flower stem, the petals often have a marbled appearance
Vuylstekeara – A hybrid orchid, with highly patterned petals

Source of Article:

Tillage-An Overview

Tillage operations in various forms have been practiced from the very inception of growing plants.Primitive man used tools to disturb the soils for placing seeds. The word tillage is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words tilianand teolian, meaning to plough and prepare soil for seed to sow, to cultivate and to raise crops. Jethrotull, who is considered as Father of tillagesuggested that thorough ploughing is necessary so as to make the soil into fine particles.


Tillagerefers to the mechanical manipulation of the soil with tools and implements so as to create favourable soil conditions for better seed germination and subsequent growth of crops. Tilth is a physical condition of the soil resulting from tillage. Tilth is a loose friable (mellow), airy, powdery, granular and crumbly condition of the soil with optimum moisture content suitable for work-ing and germination or sprouting of seeds and propagules i.e., tilth is the ideal seed bed.


cenius_002_frei_450Good tilth refers to the favourable physical conditions for germination and growth of crops. Tilth indicates two properties of soilviz., the size distribution of aggregates and mellowness or friability of soil. The relative proportion of different sized soil aggregates is known as size distribution of soil aggregates. Higher percentages of larger aggregates with a size above 5 mm in diameter are necessary for irrigated agriculture while higher percentage of smaller aggregates (1–2 mm in diameter) are desir-able for rainfed agriculture. Mellowness or friability is that property of soil by which the clods when dry become more crumbly. A soil with good tilth is quite porous and has free drainage up to water table. The capillary and non-capillary pores should be in equal proportion so that sufficient amount of water and free air is retained respectively.


conservation_tillageTillage is done:
• To prepare ideal seed bed favourable for seed germination, growth and establishment;
• To loosen the soil for easy root penetration and proliferation;
• To remove other sprouting materials in the soil;
• To control weeds;
• To certain extent to control pest and diseases which harbour in the soil;

• To improve soil physical conditions;
• To ensure adequate aeration in the root zone which in turn favour for microbial and biochemical
• To modify soil temperature;
• To break hard soil pans and to improve drainage facility;
• To incorporate crop residues and organic matter left over;
• To conserve soil by minimizing the soil erosion;
• To conserve the soil moisture;
• To harvest efficiently the effective rain water;
• To assure the through mixing of manures, fertilizers and pesticides in the soil;
• To facilitate water infiltration and thus increasing the water holding capacity of the soil, and
• To level the field for efficient water management


Fine Tilth refers to the powdery condition of the soil.
Coarse Tilth refers to the rough cloddy condition of the soil.
Fine seedbed is required for small seeded crops like ragi, onion, berseem, tobacco.
Coarse seedbed is needed for bold seeded crops like sorghum, cotton, chickpea, lab-lab etc.

1. On Season Tillage:It is done during the cropping season (June–July or Sept.–Oct.).
2. Off Season Tillage:It is done during fallow or non-cropped season (summer).
3. Special Types of Tillage:It is done at any time with some special objective/purpose.

image001On Season Tillage
Tillage operations done for raising the crops in the same season or at the onset of the crop season are called as on season tillage. They are,
A. Preparatory Tillage
It refers to tillage operations that are done to prepare the field for raising crops. It is divided into three types viz., (i) primary tillage, (ii) secondary tillage, and (iii) seed bed preparation.
(i) Primary tillage – The first cutting and inverting of the soil that is done after the harvest of the
crop or untilled fallow, is known as primary tillage. It is normally the deepest operation performed during the period between two crops. Depth may range from 10–30 cm. It includes ploughing to cut and invert the soil for further operation. It consists of deep opening and loosening the soil to bring out the desirable tilth. The main objective is to control weeds to incorporate crop stubbles and to restore soil structure.
(ii) Secondary tillage – It refers to shallow tillage operation that is done after primary tillage to bring a good soil tilth. In this operation the soil is stirred and conditioned by breaking the clods and crust, closing of cracks and crevices that form on drying. Incorporation of manures and fertilizers, leveling, mulching, forming ridges and furrows are the main objectives. It includes cultivating, harrowing, pulverizing, raking, leveling and ridging operations.
(iii) Seed bed preparation – It refers to a very shallow operation intended to prepare a seed bed or make the soil to suit for planting. Weed control and structural development of the soil are the objectives.

B. Inter Tillage/Inter Cultivation
It refers to shallow tillage operation done in the filed after sowing or planting or prior to harvest of crop plants i.e.,tillage during the crop stand in the field. It includes inter cultivating, harrowing, hoeing, weeding, earthing up, forming ridges and furrows etc. Inter tillage helps to incorporate top dressed manures and fertilizers, to earth up and to prune roots.

Off Season TillageTillage
Tillage operation is done for conditioning the soil during uncropped season with the main objective of water conservation, leveling to the desirable grade, leaching to remove salts for soil reclamation reduc-ing the population of pest and diseases in the soils. etc. They are:
(a) Stubble or Post harvest tillage – Tillage operation carried out immediately after harvest of crop to clear off the weeds and crop residues and to restore the soil structure. Removing of stiff
stubbles of sugarcane crop by turning and incorporating the trashes and weeds thus making the soil ready to store rain water etc., are the major objectives of such tillage operations.
(b) Summer tillage – Operation being done during summer season in tropics to destroy weeds and soil borne pest and diseases, checking the soil erosion and retaining the rain water through
summer showers. It affects the soil aggregates, soil organic matter and sometimes favour wind erosion. It is called as Kodai uzavu in Tamil Nadu state.
(c) Winter tillage -It is practiced in temperate regions where the winter is severe that makes the field unfit for raising crops. Ploughing or harrowing is done in places where soil condition is optimum to destroy weeds and to improvethe physical condition of the soil and also to incor-porate plant residues.
(d) Fallow tillage – It refers to the leaving of arable land uncropped for a season or seasons for various reasons. Tilled fallow represent an extreme condition of soil disturbance to eliminate all weeds and control soil borne pest etc. Fallow tilled soil is prone to erosion by wind and water and subsequently they become degraded and depleted.

Post Labels: Tillage,Overview,inception,plants,Primitive,tools,word,Anglo,Saxon,words,Jethrotull,Father,DEFINITION,Tillagerefers,manipulation,implements,growth,Tilth,moisture,CHARACTERISTICS,size,distribution,proportion,Higher,diameter,agriculture,percentage,capillary,establishment,penetration,proliferation,extent,pest,aeration,activities,temperature,erosion,infiltration,management,Fine,Coarse,cotton,Season,June,Sept,Special,purpose,onset,Preparatory,preparation,Primary,operation,period,Depth,Secondary,crust,Incorporation,development,Inter,Cultivation,earth,roots,conservation,reclamation,population,Stubble,Post,Summer,Kodai,Tamil,Nadu,Winter,places,disturbance,operations,particles,percentages,diseases,residues,manures,pesticides,crevices,regions,favourable,germination,refers,clods,drainage,favour,fertilizers,stubbles

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Beekeeping, though, is more than just a profit-making activity: it can also be a  fascinating, environmentally sound hobby that can totally absorb you. Beekeeping  in many countries is predominantly a hobby activity. The numbers of commercial  beekeepers who ‘farm’ bees are comparatively few and, in some countries such as the  UK and many other European countries, they are a tiny proportion of the whole, and  the ‘whole’ is but a tiny proportion of the population. Why, then, are governments interested in this small group of people and their hobby?
The answer is that, whether beekeepers are hobbyists or commercial operators, they have bees, and the national agricultural sector and the countryside commissions  rely totally on these bees. The fewer the commercial beekeepers there are, the more  hobbyists are needed to keep these vital sectors going.

Honey-bees are not domestic animals. They are wild and, unlike horses and cows and other livestock, they don’t recognize beekeepers as their ‘owners’. Having said that, recent research has shown that, despite the small size of its brain, a bee can recognize human faces if trained to do so and can remember them for two days. Scientists hope that, by studying this amazing ability further, they will be able to develop better face recognition computer software. It is unlikely, however, that the average beekeeper will  find their bees flocking to them on sight.Bees (like other insects) are assumed to act on instinct alone. However, they can also ‘learn’ – and not only learn a primary task but they can also learn and remember a secondary task resulting from the first. Like most other life forms, their daily life involves family (colony) survival and the propagation of their species.

2012 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Stattistics


World Hunger and Pbabaoverty Facts and Statistics

Hungeris a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971)

> the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food.

> the want or scarcity of food in a country

> a strong desire or craving

World hunger refers to the second definition, aggregated to the world level. The related technical term (in this case operationalized in medicine) is malnutrition.1

Malnutrition is a general term that indicates a lack of some or all nutritional elements necessary for human health (Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia).

There are two basic types of malnutrition. The first and most important is protein-energy malnutrition–the lack of enough protein (from meat and other sources) and food that provides energy (measured in calories) which all of the basic food groups provide. This is the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed. The second type of malnutrition, also very important, is micronutrient (vitamin and mineral) deficiency. This is not the type of malnutrition that is referred to when world hunger is discussed, though it is certainly very important.

[Recently there has also been a move to include obesity as a third form of malnutrition. Considering obesity as malnutrition expands the previous usual meaning of the term which referred to poor nutrition due to lack of food inputs. It is poor nutrition, but it is certainly not typically due to a lack of calories, but rather too many (although poor food choices, often due to poverty, are part of the problem). Obesity will not be considered here, although obesity is certainly a health problem and is increasingly considered as a type of malnutrition.]

Protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) is the most lethal form of malnutrition/hunger. It is basically a lack of calories and protein. Food is converted into energy by humans, and the energy contained in food is measured by calories. Protein is necessary for key body functions including provision of essential amino acids and development and maintenance of muscles.

The FAO estimate is based on statistical aggregates. The FAO first estimates the total food supply of a country and derives the average per capita daily food intake from that. The distribution of average food intake for people in the country is then estimated from surveys measuring food expenditure. Using this information, and minimum food energy requirements, FAO estimates how many people are likely to receive such a low level of food intake that they are undernourished.3

Undernutrition is a relatively new concept, but is increasingly used. It should be taken as similar to malnutrition. (It should be said as an aside, that the idea of undernourishment, its relationship to malnutrition, and the reasons for its emergence as a concept is not clear to Hunger Notes.)

Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition. Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to 160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year–five million deaths. Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body’s ability to convert food into usable nutrients.

According to the most recent estimate that Hunger Notes could find, malnutrition, as measured by stunting, affects 32.5 percent of children in developing countries–one of three (de Onis 2000). Geographically, more than 70 percent of malnourished children live in Asia, 26 percent in Africa and 4 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean. In many cases, their plight began even before birth with a malnourished mother. Under-nutrition among pregnant women in developing countries leads to 1 out of 6 infants born with low birth weight. This is not only a risk factor for neonatal deaths, but also causes learning disabilities, mental, retardation, poor health, blindness and premature death.

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day according to the most recent estimate that we could find.(FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.

What are the causes of hunger is a fundamental question, with varied answers.

Poverty is the principal cause of hunger. The causes of poverty include poor people’s lack of resources, an extremely unequal income distribution in the world and within specific countries, conflict, and hunger itself. As of 2008 (2005 statistics), the World Bank has estimated that there were an estimated 1,345 million poor people in developing countries who live on $1.25 a day or less.3This compares to the later FAO estimate of 1.02 billion undernourished people. Extreme poverty remains an alarming problem in the world’s developing regions, despite some progress that reduced “dollar–now $1.25– a day” poverty from (an estimated) 1900 million people in 1981, a reduction of 29 percent over the period. Progress in poverty reduction has been concentrated in Asia, and especially, East Asia, with the major improvement occurring in China. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of people in extreme poverty has increased. The statement that ‘poverty is the principal cause of hunger’ is, though correct, unsatisfying. Why then are (so many) people poor? The next section summarizes Hunger Notes answer.

Harmful economic systems are the principal cause of poverty and hunger. Hunger Notes believes that the principal underlying cause of poverty and hunger is the ordinary operation of the economic and political systems in the world. Essentially control over resources and income is based on military, political and economic power that typically ends up in the hands of a minority, who live well, while those at the bottom barely survive, if they do. We have described the operation of this system in more detail in our special section on Harmful economic systems.

Conflict as a cause of hunger and poverty.At the end of 2005, the global number of refugees was at its lowest level in almost a quarter of a century. Despite some large-scale repatriation movements, the last three years have witnessed a significant increase in refugee numbers, due primarily to the violence taking place in Iraq and Somalia. By the end of 2008, the total number of refugees under UNHCR’s mandate exceeded 10 million. The number of conflict-induced internally displaced persons (IDPs) reached some 26 million worldwide at the end of the year . Providing exact figures on the number of stateless people is extremely difficult But, important, (relatively) visible though it is, and anguishing for those involved conflict is less important as poverty (and its causes) as a cause of hunger. (Using the statistics above 1.02 billion people suffer from chronic hunger while 36 million people are displaced [UNHCR 2008])

Hunger is also a cause of poverty, and thus of hunger. By causing poor health, low levels of energy, and even mental impairment, hunger can lead to even greater poverty by reducing people’s ability to work and learn, thus leading to even greater hunger.

Climate change Climate change is increasingly viewed as a current and future cause of hunger and poverty. Increasing drought, flooding, and changing climatic patterns requiring a shift in crops and farming practices that may not be easily accomplished are three key issues. See the Hunger Notes special report: Hunger, the environment, and climate change for further information, especially articles in the section: Climate change, global warming and the effect on poor people such as Global warming causes 300,000 deaths a year, study saysand Could food shortages bring down civilization?

The target set at the 1996 World Food Summit was to halve the number of undernourished people by 2015 from their number in 1990-92. (FAO uses three year averages in its calculation of undernourished people.) The (estimated) number of undernourished people in developing countries was 824 million in 1990-92. In 2010, the number had climbed to 925 million people. The WFS goal is a global goal adopted by the nations of the world; the present outcome indicates how marginal the efforts were in face of the real need.

So, overall, the world is not making progress toward the world food summit goal, although there has been progress in Asia, and in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Quite a few trace elements or micronutrients–vitamins and minerals–are important for health. 1 out of 3 people in developing countries are affected by vitamin and mineral deficiencies, according to the World Health Organization. Three, perhaps the most important in terms of health consequences for poor people in developing countries, are:

Vitamin A Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness and reduces the body’s resistance to disease. In children Vitamin A deficiency can also cause growth retardation. Between 100 and 140 million children are vitamin A deficient. An estimated 250,000 to 500 000 vitamin A-deficient children become blind every year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight. (World Health Organization)

Iron Iron deficiency is a principal cause of anemia. Two billion people—over 30 percent of the world’s population—are anemic, mainly due to iron deficiency, and, in developing countries, frequently exacerbated by malaria and worm infections. For children, health consequences include premature birth, low birth weight, infections, and elevated risk of death. Later, physical and cognitive development are impaired, resulting in lowered school performance. For pregnant women, anemia contributes to 20 percent of all maternal deaths (World Health Organization).

Iodine Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) jeopardize children´s mental health– often their very lives. Serious iodine deficiency during pregnancy may result in stillbirths, abortions and congenital abnormalities such as cretinism, a grave, irreversible form of mental retardation that affects people living in iodine-deficient areas of Africa and Asia. IDD also causes mental impairment that lowers intellectual prowess at home, at school, and at work. IDD affects over 740 million people, 13 percent of the world’s population. Fifty million people have some degree of mental impairment caused by IDD (World Health Organization).