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Positive Trends
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Iranian startup offers saffron farmers opportunity to sell directly to consumer
9 June 2018 - Coming from a saffron farming background, three young entrepreneurs based in South Khorasan Province have launched a startup named Keshmoon ['sowing'] which seeks to provide customers with the chance to purchase quality saffron from experienced growers directly. The startup is gradually gaining traction with Iranians. (more)

One tiny India state is leading the charge to ban pesticides
8 June 2018 - Fifteen years ago, the tiny Indian state of Sikkim launched a radical experiment: Its leaders decided to phase out pesticides on every farm in the state, a move without precedent in India -- and probably the world. The change was especially significant for India, a country whose progress in agriculture was defined by the introduction of fertilizers and pesticide ... But with the indiscriminate use of pesticides came a spike in cancer rates in industrial farming areas. Rivers became polluted, and soil infertile. Sikkim's leaders say they were driven to go all-organic by those concerns and because pesticide residue -- including from some chemicals banned in other countries -- was tainting fish, vegetables, and rice. (more)

US: Nebraska Is Truronia the next Kool-Aid?
3 June 2018 - Six area farmers [Hastings, Nebraska] and their families are looking to reap the benefits of a berry once relied upon by Native Americans for medicinal purposes that has recently become a much-coveted product in the health food industry. Truronia is the brand name for the organically grown aronia berry products offered ... (more)

Polish prefer buying organic directly from growers than supermarkets
1 June 2018 - The organic food segment has seen dynamic growth in Poland over the last decade. According to industry forecasts, the upward trend is expected to continue ... According to data from the Trade Quality Inspection of Agricultural and Food Products ... there were 23,375 organic producers in Poland at the end of 2016, an increase of 360 producers compared to the year before. Undoubtedly, this increase is even higher for 2018. (more)

An Indian state banned pesticides. Tourism and wildlife flourished. Will others follow?
31 May 2018 - Fifteen years ago, the tiny Indian state of Sikkim launched a radical experiment: Its leaders decided to phase out pesticides on every farm in the state .... The cloud-wreathed Himalayan state is starting to see the dividends. Overall health has increased in the state, leaders say, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has embraced Sikkim and organic farming throughout India, pouring about $119 million into supporting organic farmers nationwide. (more)

Prince Charles talks to jam, honey producers in Transylvania
31 May 2018 - Britain's Prince Charles returned Thursday (31 May) to Romania's Transylvania region, where he advised honey, jam ... producers on how to market their goods. Charles, who will be 70 this year, has a home in Transylvania's unspoiled countryside. He makes an annual visit to Romania, where he is a popular figure. [His] Prince of Wales Foundation Romania . . . supports the East European nation's heritage and rural life, and sustainable development. (more)

Monsoon rains to hit India's Kerala coast on Tuesday - weather office source
29 May 2018 - Crop-nourishing monsoon rains are likely to hit the Kerala coast in India's southwest on Tuesday (29 May), a source from the weather office said, in the earliest start to the rains since 2011, which should boost agriculture in the world's fastest growing major economy. The monsoon, the lifeblood of the country's $2 trillion economy, delivers nearly 70 percent of rains that India needs to water farms and recharge reservoirs and aquifers. Nearly half of India's farmland ... depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops. (more)

India: Law proposed to give legal backing to organic farming in Uttarakhand
27 May 2018 - The Uttarakhand government will soon bring in a law to give organic farming a legal backing so that organic produce that is in great demand in domestic and foreign markets fetches local farmers high returns, an official said. Under the proposed law, the locally produced organic crops will be known as 'Organic Uttarakhand'. (more)

India: Village in Assam's Jorhat scripts success story through organic farming
26 May 2018 - What began as a project to mainstream women in agriculture has turned out to be an environment conservation success story at the Borfoidia Gohain Gaon at Lahdoigarh in Jorhat district of Assam. ... Manju Dutta Das, professor and head of the department of Extension, College of Community Science, then College of Home Science under Assam Agricultural University said that she had started off with nine odd women in the Borfoidia Gohain Gaon, who were organized into a self-help group. 'Today, seven years later I can take pride in saying that 70 per cent of the agricultural cultivation, whether paddy, tea, or horticultural crops is being done here in an organic mode,' she said. (more)

Greece: Superfood berry producer ready for new markets
24 May 2018 - Superfoods, especially berries like goji, sea buckthorn, aronia, Cornelian cherries, and organic blueberries, have been all over the news in recent years and, what some people may not be aware of, is that Greece is one of the few countries in Europe who are able to produce all of these berries. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Maharishi Vastu home, organic farm featured in Westchester County, New York
17 May 2018 - With the help of an architect versed in Maharishi Vastu, or ancient Vedic principles of architecture, the owner built a stunning 5,000-square-foot home northeast of New York City, reports LoHud (New York). Maharishi Vastu architecture ensures that a building will have only nourishing influences on its occupants. This results from the use of several key natural law-based, Vedic principles. Then she set out to create an organic farm and orchard on the nearly 5-acre property. Each year, Amba Farms yields nearly 10,000 pounds of produce; some goes to local restaurants for farm-to-table dining, but much is donated to local food pantries. There are also eggs from chickens and nearly 100 fruit trees. (more)

Maharishi University of Management faculty present in India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali
15 May 2018 - Maharishi University of Management (MUM) faculty have been making an impact worldwide in recent months, giving presentations in a number of countries around the world, including India, Rwanda, South Korea, and Bali. (more)

Teaching regenerative organic agriculture to Bhutan refugees: Maharishi University of Management faculty
2 January 2018 - During a recent workshop on regenerative organic agriculture, Maharishi University of Management (MUM) faculty Dr. A. Thimmaiah helped a group of Bhutanese refugees learn to grow their native food while also learning to heal themselves and the planet. The workshops with Dr Thimmaiah are sponsored by Lutheran Social Services in Fargo, North Dakota. Dr. Thimmaiah is associate professor of sustainable living at MUM and heads the BA in Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program. He is a former agriculture advisor to Bhutan and a top expert in organic and biodynamic agriculture who authored the national organic standards for Bhutan. (more)

Creating 'an army of future farmers' to redesign, restructure food and agriculture systems
9 September 2017 - Students in the Regenerative Organic Agriculture Certificate programme at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA started selling the fruits of their harvest at the Fairfield Farmers Market just a few months after they began working on the student farm. The 10-month programme's purpose is 'to create an army of future farmers who can redesign and restructure the current food and agriculture systems', said Dr. Appachanda Thimmaiah, programme director. 'Graduates will have confidence to farm or start their own business in regenerative organic agriculture.' (more)

Veteran plants the seeds of a dream in the new MUM Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program
15 August 2017 - US military veteran Kyle Amsberry was introduced to Transcendental Meditation (TM) and its beneficial effects on combat veterans while serving his country. He soon learned about Maharishi University of Management (MUM) and was drawn to the idea of studying Sustainable Living while also working toward becoming a TM Teacher. Enrolling in the new MUM Regenerative Organic Agriculture programme, Kyle worked for weeks on a business plan to open a TM Retreat and Education Center for Veterans that included a working organic farm in southern California. 'Right now it's just an idea and a dream', he said, 'but through the Regenerative Organic Agriculture programme, I know I can make it a reality. The networking opportunities and possibilities are endless in this programme and at this university.' (more)

Maharishi University of Management pioneers first complete farm-to-fork program in Regenerative Organic Agriculture
25 July 2017 - Maharishi University of Management in Iowa has launched the world's first complete programme to train the next generation of farmers in an agricultural paradigm that can fully reverse climate change and provide abundant and healthy food for our planet's growing population. Termed 'regenerative organic agriculture', this 10-month certificate work-study programme is a collaborative effort among five internationally renowned organizations in the field of organic and biodynamic agriculture - directed by Dr. A. Thimmaiah, an expert in climate-smart agriculture who has developed many low-cost farming solutions using natural resources that are benefiting thousands of farmers in different countries. He says few schools or organizations offer even one course in regenerative organic farming systems, which he distinguishes from common organic farming. Regenerative agriculture is a self-sufficient, closed-loop system in which farmers, on their own farms, produce all the inputs required, using only naturally available resources there. (more)

Maharishi University of Management launches Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program
28 December 2016 - Maharishi University of Management is launching its new certificate programme in Regenerative Organic Agriculture this month. Under the directorship of Dr Appachanda Thimmaiah, the 10-month programme is the first of its kind in the US and will give students the knowledge and hands-on experience to master a system of agriculture that embodies the best and most sustainable aspects of organic and biodynamic agriculture, as well as traditional agricultural knowledge systems from around the world. 'From home gardening, to transforming the urban landscape with neighborhood food forests, to professional organic farming and food entrepreneurship, to food activism and advocacy - this programme is a great first step in taking on each of these missions,' said Dr Thimmaiah. Students will also learn Transcendental Meditation, which is a powerful tool that they can use to get in direct touch with the deep laws of nature that govern agriculture, thereby improving their effectiveness in farming. (more)

Infosys founder offers scholarships for Regenerative Agriculture students at Maharishi University of Management
26 October 2016 - S.D. Shibulal, a cofounder of technology giant Infosys, and Mrs Kumari Shibulal, announced recently that their foundation will provide scholarships totaling US$100,000 for students from India who enrol in the new Regenerative Organic Agriculture Program beginning in January at Maharishi University of Management, USA. (more)

Maharishi University of Management: Certificate in regenerative organic agriculture to be offered
21 October 2016 - Those interested in being part of the next generation of organic farming will be able to enroll in a 10-month certificate programme in regenerative organic agriculture at Maharishi University of Management in the USA, beginning this January. This regenerative method of organic farming is a self-sufficient, closed-loop system in which all the inputs required for production are supplied and grown using only the naturally available resources within the farmstead. 'This course will be of interest to anyone who has a passion to create radical change in the current food and agriculture systems,' says programme head Dr A. Thimmaiah. 'The students can be food activists, farmers, food advocates, home and urban gardeners, or future organic farmers.' (more)

Maharishi University of Management's Dr Thimmaiah is helping Bhutan adopt organic agriculture
6 October 2016 - Bhutan is the first country in the world that is becoming 100 percent organic. The man behind this transition is Dr Appachanda Thimmaiah. Currently an associate professor of sustainable living at Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, from 2008 to 2013 he served as the organic agriculture consultant to Bhutan. His biodynamic agriculture consultancy company in India was the first to develop large agricultural projects transitioning to organic agriculture. Helping farms in Bhutan maintain self-sufficient, 'closed-loop' systems where no outside products need be purchased has caught on with the government, along with 'no-cost' organic certification for farmers, and training programs for instructors in organic farming methods. Dr Thimmaiah upholds that for a country that puts great emphasis on its unique Gross National Happiness metric, which measures progress through the spiritual, physical, social, and environmental health of its citizens, switching to organic agriculture would have an enormous positive influence on its citizens. (more)


Flops
10 Short Summaries of Top Stories


Pakistan's 'shocking' spring heat drives up water use, health risks
31 May 2018 - Nawabshah, a city in Pakistan's southern Sindh province, made headlines last month when it hit what may be a new record world temperature for April: 50.2 degrees (122 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the World Meteorological Organization. But that blisteringly hot day was just the latest of many for Pakistan this year, as it faces fast-rising spring temperatures, with 45-degree Celsius days coming as early as March, weather officials say. ... But today, as temperatures get warmer and spring weather drier, 'soil moisture is around 80 percent less compared to some eight to 10 years ago,' [said Khalid Ahmed Kazi, an agro-meteorologist at the Pakistan Meteorological Department's station in Tando Jam, in southern Sindh province]. (more)

US: Antibiotics in meat could be damaging our guts
25 May 2018 - The F.D.A. banned the use of antibiotics for growth promotion in animals last year. One organic cattle farmer is sure the ban is being flouted. In 2015, Sandy Lewis, a small-time organic cattle farmer in upstate New York, bought 13 bulls ... from a breeder in Oklahoma. A few weeks after the animals were trucked to his farm near the Vermont border, Mr. Lewis discovered that two of the bulls had died. He could see holes in their abdomens from where they had gored one other. A field autopsy proved inconclusive. When two more bulls among the new herd fell sick, Mr. Lewis shipped them off to Cornell University to be examined. One died along the way, but a blood test on the living bull provided the answer: It had anaplasmosis, a bacterial illness that destroys red blood cells and deprives the animals of oxygen, causing them at times to act violently. (more)

Shorter, hotter, earlier: Shrinking spring slashes Pakistani harvests
21 May 2018 - Pakistan's farmers are struggling to bring in a harvest as the country's weather patterns change as a result of climate change. Warm spring weather, now coming as early as March, has led to fruit trees flowering before bees arrive to pollinate them, for instance, or fruit and vegetables ripening at unusual times. Farmer Muntazir Khan has seen his harvest of beets and tomatoes fall by 40 percent this year on his 3-acre family farm in Taxila, about 35 kms (22 miles) from Islamabad, despite planting seeds on time and applying the right fertiliser. ... The problem, the farmers agree, is that spring is getting shorter, hotter, and earlier. (more)

Emergency alerts loom as drought takes hold in war-torn Afghanistan
23 April 2018 - Afghanistan faces the threat of serious drought this year after recording the lowest snowfall and rain in years over the winter, officials said on Monday (23 April), with at least 20 of 34 provinces already suffering badly. The 20 provinces in the war-torn country saw a 60 percent shortfall in rain and snowfall during the winter season. . . . snowfall in Afghanistan's last winter season was the lowest since 2002. Snowmelt is an important source of water for crops and irrigation in a country where food is scarce for many households. (more)

Heavily used herbicide tied to shorter pregnancies
2 April 2018 - More than 90 percent of pregnant women in a small Indiana study had glyphosate in their urine, and higher concentrations were associated with earlier deliveries. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the most heavily used herbicide in the United States and worldwide, the study team writes in the journal Environmental Health. (more)

Drought inflicts mounting losses to crops in South Africa's Western Cape
1 March 2018 - A severe drought afflicting South Africa's Western Cape province is expected to cut agricultural output by 20 percent this year, decimating the wheat crop and reducing apple, grape, and pear exports to Europe, officials said on Thursday (1 March). Cape Town itself faces 'Day Zero' on July 9 when its taps could run dry. (more)

India's farmed chickens dosed with world's strongest antibiotics, study finds
1 February 2018 - Chickens raised in India for food have been dosed with some of the strongest antibiotics known to medicine, in practices that could have repercussions throughout the world. Hundreds of tonnes of an 'antibiotic of last resort' -- only used in the most extreme cases of sickness -- are shipped to India each year to be used, without medical supervision, on animals that may not require the drugs but are being dosed with them nevertheless to promote the growth of healthy animals. (more)

Crop munching pest in Africa raises hunger threat
26 January 2018 - A crop munching worm that can fly up to 100 km (60 miles) at night is spreading rapidly across Africa, threatening food production and the livelihoods of millions of farmers already struggling with conflicts and drought, experts said on Friday (26 January). The larvae form of fall armyworm prefers maize, but can feed on more than 80 plant species including rice, sorghum, millet, sugarcane, vegetable crops, and cotton, said the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). (more)

US: Study blames marijuana farms for poisoning of threatened owls
11 January 2018 - Rat poison is contaminating threatened northern spotted owls in California forests, and marijuana farms appear to be to blame, according to a study published Thursday (11 January). The study published in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology focused on owls in Northern California's Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte counties, part of the so-called Emerald Triangle, where remote farms -- many in old-growth forests -- produce much of the marijuana grown for the U.S. black market. (more)

As climate threats grow, Iraq battles a new enemy: Water shortages
12 December 2017 - After years battling Islamic State militants, Iraqi farmers -- many of them military volunteers -- are now returning to their homes and fields only to find a new threat: a shortage of water. Construction of dams and other water-holding facilities in upstream Turkey and Iran, combined with increasingly erratic rainfall across the region, mean the amount of water flowing in key Iraqi rivers has fallen by at least 40 percent in recent decades, said Hassan Janabi, the country's water resources minister. (more)


Global Good News provides the latest information on agriculture

Worldwide demand for natural, organic food is growing. Many scientists, farmers, and consumers are concerned about the health and environmental risks associated with agricultural chemicals and genetically modified foods. Educated consumers are seeking natural approaches to health, economically viable solutions to global hunger, and sustainable practices for the health of our planet.

Global Good News provides the latest information on the benefits of organic agriculture, organic gardening, and Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture—a programme of the Global Country of World Peace for harnessing the full potential of Nature's intelligence in the field of agriculture, to create healthy food for a happy life.

Genetically modified foods (GM foods, also called genetically engineered and genetically altered) are plants, animals, and bacteria in which the genetic material has been directly manipulated and distorted. Natural processes—such as selective breeding, grafting or splicing—do not directly manipulate the DNA. Many experts fear the irreversible loss of our food crops' diverse gene pool. Altered plants easily cross-pollinate with conventional crops, making it impossible to separate the natural from the unnatural.

Agricultural companies began aggressively marketing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) in the mid-1990s, claiming an increase in crop production. They cite evidence of pest resistance and crop spray tolerance, meaning the crop can be sprayed with amounts of pesticides that would normally kill the plants.

However, research has found that traditional crop cultivation delivers better results. Doug Gurian-Sherman, PhD, a biologist in the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Food and Environment Program, says, 'The biotech industry has spent billions on research and public relations hype, but genetically engineered food and feed crops have not enabled American farmers to grow significantly more crops per acre of land.'

In March 2009, Dr Gurian Sherman published a report entitled, Failure to Yield—Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops in which he states, 'This report is the first to evaluate in detail the overall, or aggregate, yield effect of GE after more than 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization in the United States. Based on that record, we conclude that GE has done little to increase overall crop yields.' The report continues, 'Recent studies also suggest that organic and other sophisticated low-external-input methods can produce yields that are largely equivalent to those of conventional agriculture, even though limited investment has been made in these agro-ecological methods.'

Organic gardening is the time-honoured approach to working with Nature's intelligence. Some studies have shown that organic foods have much higher nutritional value than genetically modified and conventionally grown crops, which use pesticides and fertilizers.

Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture goes beyond the most rigorous existing standards for pure, organic food. It includes the understanding of how Nature functions, and how to align man's intelligence with Nature's intelligence to support health, happiness, and abundance.

Vedic Organic Agriculture is an important part of Maharishi's Programmes for creating a disease-free society, and eradicating poverty. Practices which are economically viable for farmers worldwide can supply the growing demand for pure, natural food.

Global Good News is the source for positive news and education pertaining to organic gardening, organic food, and the development of organic agriculture around the world.

See: www.mvoai.org

www.globalgoodnews.com/environmental-news.html



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