Tag Archives: Fishing & Farming (TRBC level 4)

Drought, fire and floods hit Australia in the bush | Instant News


HOLLISDALE, Australia (Reuters) – Robert Costigan thought the worst was behind him when he saved two family properties from wildfires last summer.

This year, they drifted away.

The home of Australian breeder and father-in-law Brian Watt, who lives next door, swept its foundations this month when heavy rains caused the river to reach its highest level in half a century, submerging bridges and buildings. Watt’s house crashed into a telegraph pole.

“If it weren’t for bad luck, I probably wouldn’t have had any at all,” Costigan told Reuters on his 100-acre property in Hollisdale, 400 km (249 miles) north of Sydney.

Days after the flood, the property was filled with farm equipment, trees and overturned debris.

“I don’t know if it’s just someone testing me or what, but that’s what I guess. You can get through it, ”he added, holding back tears.

Costigan’s ordeal is familiar to thousands of people living outside the cities on Australia’s densely populated east coast.

After years of drought devastating crops and livestock, they battled the country’s worst wildfires in a generation in the southern hemisphere’s 2019-20 summer, only to face flooding amidst this year’s La Nina wet weather event.

The same river system Costigan used to pump water to save her home from wildfires has returned to destroy it with floods.

The water level had receded but the insurance company had removed the building, with the wooden structures torn off, the tin roof shattered and everyday objects – mattresses, fluffy children’s toys – in disarray.

When the fire broke out, the family remained safe in the city because Costigan remained on the property in an effort to protect it. Now they all live with neighbors, homeless and heartbroken.

Two days before the house was swept away, Costigan’s daughter, Eva, had to cancel her 11th birthday party because of the flood.

“He was upset about it and then we had to tell him he lost his house Saturday morning. “All the gifts he got on Thursday are gone,” said Costigan.

Even so, the 39-year-old farmer, who also works for the local council, vows to rebuild.

“I’ve worked too hard to just walk away,” he said.

Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; Written by Byron Kaye; Edited by Karishma Singh

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Brazil’s 1-JBS UPDATE promises zero net greenhouse emissions by 2040 | Instant News


(Adding details, CEO quote)

SAO PAULO, March 23 (Reuters) – JBS SA, the world’s largest meat packer, has committed to offsetting global greenhouse gas emission balances by 2040, the company said on Tuesday, amid criticism over its role in the Brazilian beef industry. moving the rain forest. destruction.

“We know it is very difficult to achieve this,” said Chief Executive Gilberto Tomazoni in an interview. “It will challenge the entire company.”

JBS said in 2019 that its operations alone generated about 4.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions from industrial facilities and 1.6 million tonnes from energy use.

But about 90% of JBS ‘overall emissions come from its supply chain, said Tomazoni, without giving specific figures. He said that traditional livestock raising emits 40-45 tonnes of carbon equivalent per tonne of meat produced.

Brazil is home to one of the world’s largest commercial herds, and new livestock are a major driver of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, an important bulwark against catastrophic climate change.

Methane, a natural byproduct of digestion in cattle and other ruminants, is also a major source of greenhouse emissions. About a third of greenhouse emissions from agricultural production, excluding land use change, come from methane released by cows, according to the Washington-based Institute for World Resources.

The 2040 target announced by JBS comes amid an increasing backlash from consumers and investors who have threatened to boycott or leave companies contributing to deforestation in Brazil.

As part of its plan, JBS pledged to invest $ 1 billion over the next decade in innovations aimed at reducing carbon emissions in its global operations. The commitments also involve pledges to pay for reforestation and forest restoration initiatives.

The company has also pledged to stop processing cattle that come from illegally logged areas of the Amazon by 2025 and in other Brazilian biomes by 2030. The targets also reflect when JBS can track its direct suppliers and suppliers.

In the long term, JBS says adopting intensive cattle ranching will replace the vast livestock that now dominate Brazil’s current approach, helping to reduce emissions.

JBS also said that they will be using 100% renewable energy worldwide by 2040, while executive variable pay will be measured against the achievement of environmental goals. (Reporting by Ana Mano and Nayara Figueiredo; editing by Brad Haynes and Richard Pullin)

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Feel lonely when locked? Try hugging a sheep | Instant News


HATTINGEN, Germany (Reuters) – A German farm is offering people who feel they have lost human contact due to coronavirus restrictions an unusual alternative: the chance to hug sheep.

“We have amazing sheep here who really love it when they have visitors,” said Lexa Voss, who runs an educational program at a farm near Hattingen in western Germany to encourage people to be closer to the animals.

“I allow people to visit the sheep unattended, and have fun with them in nature and away from masks and social distancing.”

Visitors must make an appointment, but get as close to the woolly sheep as possible. This session is free of charge even though visitors are asked to make donations to agriculture.

Therese Pfeffer enjoys her encounters with animals.

“At the moment we are avoiding being close to each other. We are always at a distance. he said. “To be honest, I always walk through the pasture of sheep and they run. And here it is very different. That’s good.”

Reporting by Andi Kranz and Ute Swart, written by Emma Thomasson

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India summoned the British envoy for “unwarranted” criticism of the agricultural protests | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: Women shout slogans on a toll road blocked by farmers to mark the 100th day of protests against the agricultural law, near the Kundli border, in Haryana, India, March 6, 2021. REUTERS / Anushree Fadnavis

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it had summoned the UK’s high commissioner over what it called “baseless and tendentious discussions” about India’s agricultural reforms in the British parliament.

Three new agricultural laws introduced by India late last year have caused months of protests by farmers, angry at what they see as demand for large private buyers.

A discussion among British lawmakers on Monday has caused outrage in New Delhi, which accuses lawmakers of meddling in India’s domestic affairs.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Indian Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla told Alexander Ellis, who was appointed as envoy earlier this year, that the debate “represents a major interference in the politics of another democratic country,” according to a ministry statement.

“He suggested that British lawmakers should refrain from practicing voting bank politics by misrepresenting events, especially in relation to fellow democracies,” he added, in clear reference to British MPs and voters of Indian descent.

A spokesman for the British High Commission, as the country’s embassy in India, declined to comment.

Unrest was particularly intense in the state of Punjab, which has a large diaspora in Britain, the United States and Canada.

India summoned a Canadian envoy in December following critical comments from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The protests received global attention after celebrities including pop star Rihanna and climate activist Greta Thunberg voiced their support for the movement earlier this year.

Reporting by Alasdair Pal in New Delhi, Edited by William Maclean

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UPDATE 3-China increases focus on food security in key policy documents | Instant News


(Adding details, graphics)

BEIJING, Feb 22 (Reuters) – China will put more pressure on its region to increase grain yields and increase support for its domestic seed industry as it strengthens its focus on food security in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major policy document released late. Sunday shows.

The annual rural policy blueprint, known as “No. 1 document ”, placing more emphasis on food security than in previous years, calls on all provinces to increase grain yields during the 2021-2025 period.

Beijing, which has long prioritized food security for its 1.4 billion people, has strengthened its focus on the issue since the pandemic hit major food exporting countries last year and raised concerns about the stability of food supplies.

“The uncertainty and instability of the external situation has increased significantly. Regarding the safety of the grain, we shouldn’t take it lightly for a second, ”Tang Renjian, the agriculture minister, said at a press conference on Monday, noting that China’s population is still increasing.

The document published by the State Council, China’s cabinet, noted that the communist party committee will also assume responsibility for food safety, in addition to local governments.

China will build a “national food security industrial belt”, he added, a plan also outlined during a major economic policy meeting in December.

The belt aims to connect all of the country’s main grain regions, officials said at the time.

The document also reaffirms new priorities for the seed sector, seen as key to food security, urging the faster implementation of major scientific projects in breeding. It urges “industrial applications of biological breeding,” to use a term that includes, among other things, genetically modified crops.

It also calls for stronger protection of intellectual property rights in breeding, and support for leading seed companies to establish commercial breeding systems.

“It is important to select a group of excellent companies to provide priority support,” Zhang Taolin, deputy agriculture minister, said at the briefing.

Shares of seed companies including Beijing Dabeinong Technology Group Co., Shandong Denghai Seed and Winall Hi-tech Seed Co. all gained about 4% on Monday.

China will also stabilize soybean production and develop vegetable oil crops including rapeseed and peanuts, he said, amid tight global vegetable oil supplies, and will diversify imports of its agricultural products.

He also called for building a modern animal husbandry system and protecting the production capacity of pigs.

Despite recent concerns about a spike in disease during winter, Tang said Monday that China’s herd of pigs will recover to 2017 levels in June, reaching numbers not seen since the African swine fever outbreak.

However, he said the country needed to find ways to make the herd more stable and prevent farmers from slaughtering pigs when prices fell.

Reporting by Hallie Gu, Dominique Patton, Judy Hua and Yew Lun Tian; Edited by Richard Pullin and Jacqueline Wong

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