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Editorial (January 2010)

At the start of a new decade, smallscale farmers around the world may be anxious about the challenges ahead (WRENmedia)
At the start of a new decade, smallscale farmers around the world may be anxious about the challenges ahead
WRENmedia

Disappointment over the failure to achieve a legally binding treaty at the Copenhagen summit on climate change overshadowed the end of 2009. But as we herald a new year and a new decade, it is a time to look forward and to constructively face the challenges that lie ahead.

Much has still to be achieved for the ongoing climate change negotiations during 2010. But many, including the UK Prime Minister, optimistically believe that the foundations have been made for progress for a deal on emissions reductions. And for a summit where agriculture was only recently added to the agenda, the launch of The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (see My perspective - Ajay Vashee), led by New Zealand and supported initially by another 20 countries, was well received. The first meeting of the Alliance will be held in New Zealand in March 2010, to discuss emissions reduction targets and how to achieve them.

New Year is always a time to look back as well as forward, a theme which we take up in Points of view, as we present a variety of viewpoints on the success of agricultural development over the last fifty years and whether it will be easier or more difficult to achieve success in the future. Looking back at the factors behind the food crisis is the subject of the lead book review, Food rebellions.

Gaining access to markets is vital for rural communities (WRENmedia)
Gaining access to markets is vital for rural communities
WRENmedia

Gaining better access to markets is the theme of Focus on, as we highlight some of the initiatives from across the globe which are allowing smallholders to make more of markets, both locally and for export. An export crop, pineapples, is presented In pictures, along with a technique for making more of waste. Another export crop, coffee, features in Developments as well as the Country profile, which reviews the agricultural diversity of Colombia.

Diversity is the aim of New Agriculturist as we endeavour to reflect the richness of agricultural developments from around the world. In the next issue we will be focusing on the genetic potential of crops and livestock as part of the International Year on Biodiversity. If you have ideas for articles on this topic or on any other interesting development for a future issue, then please get in touch.

In the meantime, may we take this opportunity to thank you for your continued interest in New Agriculturist and wish you a prosperous 2010.

Date published: January 2010

 

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