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Organic agriculture in Bulgaria is growing rapidly
20 September 2018 - Bulgaria has a small but rapidly growing organic sector. The converted or under conversion agricultural area has more than tripled in two years to reach 161,000 hectares in 2016 -- of which 89,000 hectares arable land and 33,000 hectares permanent crops. The number of organic producers has almost doubled in the same period, reaching 7,000 holdings. (more)

US: Harvest of Ideas forum to explore how Univ of Wisconsin-Madison can support organic agriculture in Wisconsin and beyond
20 September 2018 - Agricultural researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and members of Wisconsin's agricultural community are invited to attend the upcoming Harvest of Ideas forum to explore how the UW-Madison can best leverage its strengths to contribute to the advance of organic agriculture locally, nationally, and globally through the university's education, research, and outreach activities. (more)

Eat, pray, farm: U.S. churches turn faith lands into food
19 September 2018 - Across the United States, more than 200 faith groups are members of an emerging Christian Food Movement, which promotes more sustainable food systems by growing their own crops, bringing idle land into use, and feeding the poor and hungry. (more)

Agrovoltaics: a solar-powered safety net for Massachusetts farmers
18 September 2018 - The long-term, steady income of solar power complements the higher revenue, but harder work of traditional farming. The Massachusetts SMART program looks to increase this trend with 'agrovoltaic' incentives for solar co-located with crops. (more)

In Pakistan, a high mountain water pipe brings a bonus: peace
17 September 2018 - When a pipeline was installed last year to bring spring water and snowmelt to the village [Siksa, Pakistan] of 500 households in northern Pakistan, it brought something else as well: peace. The pipeline, sunk three feet into the ground, uses gravity to carry water six kilometres (3.7 miles) from the heights of the Karakoram Mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan's northern-most region. A reliable supply of water also has allowed villagers for the first time in year to sell a surplus of vegetables grown in the nearby market towns of Khaplu and Skardu ... (more)

Organic farming methods favors pollinators
14 September 2018 - Pollinating insects are endangered globally, with a particularly steep decline over the last 40 years. An extensive 3-year study from Lund University in Sweden has found that organic farming methods can contribute to halting the pollinator decline. This beneficial effect is due to both the absence of insecticides and a higher provision of flower resources. (more)

Herb pillows and floral waters: India Organic Fair 2018 in Chennai
31 August 2018 - To help people understand the vast scope of what is possible with organic farming, city-based NGO, Aim For Seva (AFS), along with its store Spirit of The Earth, is all set to host the India Organic Fair 2018 from September 7-11 in Chennai. The event -- based on a concept suggested by the Ministry of Women and Child Development -- is slated to feature over 60 stalls from 14 States, and will also double-up as an educative exhibition space. (more)

Saudi Arabia's 'date city' hosts annual festival dedicated to delicacy
30 August 2018 - Amid rows of pick-up trucks loaded with crates and boxes, vendors cry out prices at Saudi Arabia's Buraidah Dates Festival, a huge seasonal market dedicated to the sweet golden-brown fruit. Farmers, traders, and consumers descend on the town, known locally as 'the city of dates', in the central Qassim region ... which organizers say is the largest of its kind in the world. (more)

Return of strip-field farming creates haven for rare species in south Wales
29 August 2018 - National Trust trial of 13th century method used until 1940s transforms stretch of Gower peninsula coast. A pioneering farming project using field management techniques dating back to the 13th century has transformed a stretch of coast into a haven for endangered animals, birds, insects, and wildflowers. The experimental return to 'strip-field farming' close to the spectacular Rhossili Bay on the Gower peninsula in south Wales is being credited with a threefold increase in the number of species of wildflowers and the appearance of rare birds. (more)

US: Orchard is site of new University of Idaho organic center
28 August 2018 - An orchard in Sandpoint will be the site of the University of Idaho's new Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center. The orchard was donated August 1 to the university by Dennis Pence and his family, the Capital Press reported. It is the first center in the institution's system to focus on organic farming and production systems, according to the college. (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


US: Swollen North Carolina rivers swamp dumps, raising water pollution fears
16 September 2018 - As rain from Hurricane Florence continued to lash the Carolinas, the region's swollen rivers were beginning to swamp coal ash dumps and low-lying hog farms Sunday (16 September), raising pollution concerns. Such farms typically have large pits filled with hog urine and feces that can cause significant water contamination if breached or overtopped by floodwaters. State environmental regulators said Sunday they had not yet received any reports of spills. Duke Energy said the collapse of a coal ash landfill at the L.V. Sutton Power Station near Wilmington, North Carolina, is an 'on-going situation,' with an unknown amount of potentially contaminated storm water flowing into a nearby lake. The gray ash left behind when coal is burned contains toxic heavy metals, including arsenic, lead, and mercury. At a different power plant near Goldsboro, three old coal ash dumps capped with soil were inundated by the Neuse River. (more)

More Afghans displaced by drought than conflict, U.N. says
11 September 2018 - A total of 275,000 people have been displaced by drought in western Afghanistan -- 52,000 more than the number uprooted by conflict this year -- with over two million threatened by the effects of water shortages, the United Nations said. Afghanistan, a country where nearly 20 million people rely on farming, has suffered a 45 per cent fall in agricultural output this year as the drought has bitten, officials at the ministry of agriculture have said. (more)

Water shortages to cut Iraq's irrigated wheat area by half
11 September 2018 - Drought, water shortages have reduced Nineveh, Iraq's former breadbasket, to a dust bowl. Iraq, a major Middle East grain buyer, will cut the irrigated area it plants with wheat by half in the 2018-2019 growing season as water shortages grip the country, a government official told Reuters. An investigation by Reuters in July revealed how Nineveh, Iraq's former breadbasket, was becoming a dust bowl after drought and years of war. (more)

Brazil court overturns ban on weed-killer glyphosate
3 September 2018 - A Brazilian court on Monday (3 September) overturned an injunction banning products containing the popular weed-killer glyphosate, knocking down a previous ruling ... A Brazilian judge ruled last month to halt the registration of new glyphosate-based products in the country and to suspend existing registrations after 30 days, until health agency Anvisa issues a pending ruling on its safety. ... The injunction and the subsequent reversal also applied to insecticide abamectin and fungicide thiram. (more)

Crop damage mounts for EU farmers after torrid summer
22 August 2018 - European farmers are counting the cost of a summer heatwave that has shrunk cereal harvests and shriveled pastures, leaving some farms struggling to survive and shutting the EU out of lucrative export markets. The severe weather in Europe has coincided with adverse growing conditions in other major grain producing zones such as Russia and Australia, raising the risk that supplies in exporting countries will be eroded to their smallest in years. (more)

Brazilian lawmakers seek to deregulate pesticide use, ban organic produce sales
14 August 2018 - Brazilian lawmakers have reportedly resurrected a 2002 bill that would severely reduce the role of government health and environment departments in authorizing new pesticides, the Los Angeles Times reported. A second bill would ban the sale of organic foods to supermarkets and other major retail outlets. Environmentalists and other opponents of the proposed changes say that deregulation would increase a range of health problems linked to pesticide exposure -- including cancer and infertility -- and contaminate soil and water. (more)

Red Cross warns of food crisis in North Korea as crops fail in heat
10 August 2018 - A heat wave in North Korea has led to rice, maize, and other crops withering in the fields, 'with potentially catastrophic effects', the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Friday (10 August). The world's largest disaster relief network warned of a risk of a 'full-blown food security crisis' in the isolated country, where a famine in the mid-1990s killed up to three million people. (more)

Straw prices soar, piling pressure on northern Europe farmers
9 August 2018 - Livestock and dairy farmers across northern Europe are paying soaring prices for straw used in food and bedding for cattle, as hot, dry weather across the region reduces crops. The higher bills put further pressure on farmers already facing one of their toughest summers ever; many have had to purchase more hay for fodder because the grass on which their herds normally graze has not grown. (more)

Beekeeping in Yemen becomes a dangerous profession in war
7 August 2018 - Yemen's beekeepers risk air strikes and land mines as they traverse the country's valleys, transporting their hives on pick-up trucks to produce some of the world's finest honey. The impoverished Arab state, known for its Sidr honey made from the jujube tree, has endured three years of war that have pushed it to the verge of famine and shattered the economy. (more)

Switzerland: Ongoing drought and heatwave imperils cows
7 August 2018 - Swiss army helicopters began airlifting water on Tuesday (7 August) to thousands of thirsty cows who are suffering in a drought and heatwave that has hit much of Europe. Some 40,000 cows graze in the summertime in high-altitude pastures in Vaud canton (state) in western Switzerland and each needs up to 150 liters (40 gallons) of water a day, authorities said. (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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