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Ukraine | Green Road of Ecovillages, Six Months into War

The Green Road of Ecovillages is a network of ecological communities and permaculture centers that give shelter to refugees from Ukraine. Some of the displaced people are still in Ukraine, others are outside Ukraine. The Green Road has developed organically on the ground and with with international, mutual aid support, in particular from Denmark and the Netherlands. After our initial article, here we check in on new challenges and how they are being dealt with. By Anastasiya Volkova of GEN Ukraine. […]

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Nitrogen – Just Fix it! CAP’s Nature & Rotation Rules Under Threat

Crop rotations and space for nature are again under threat, as pressure mounts on basic conditionality in the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Under the pretext of the impact of the War in Ukraine, it has emerged that the European Commission and 16 member states are prepared to allow such exemptions from the basic environmental standards to be continued for beyond the initial 12 months proposed.¬† […]

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France, Food Sovereignty and Feed(ing the World)

In a roundup of recent news, Ashley Parsons find that words and personnel can change, but business-as-usual can keep replying on the institutions to bail them out – no strings attached.¬† Whatever the level of exposure and risk, whatever the talk of transitioning away from dependencies on agri-industrial inputs, money, it seems, will always be found for keeping the show on the road, whatever the crises.¬†¬† […]

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Ukraine | the Green Road of Ecovillages – Communities that Protect

In times of tragedy and disaster, people can come together and do extraordinary things. And so it is in and around Ukraine, where an amazing mutual aid network called the Green Road has emerged – organically, rapidly, and with impact. The Green Road has seen the global and the local ecovillage and permaculture communities involved in ongoing emergency support for people fleeing the war. Anastasiya Volkova of¬† Permaculture in Ukraine has more.¬† […]

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Ukraine | Two Farmers near the Frontline

Paul Lemaire is a photojournalist who has recently left southern Ukraine. Here we present a photo essay from his time in the countryside around the city of Mykolaiv, near the Black Sea between Odesa and Kherson. At the end of April, Paul spent some time with farmers Vladimir and Ivan, as they’ve tried to carry with their work in rural Ukraine. Here we feature a first look at photos from his time there. […]

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Ukrainian Refugees Won’t Solve Labour Shortages

As labour shortages loom, the agricultural sector is preparing for yet another tough season, especially in countries like Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Some farmers and officials hope to alleviate this crisis with labour-capable Ukrainian refugees. But are these expectations realistic? As perceptions of Ukrainian labourers change, instead of stopgap solutions, more systemic change is needed, argues P√©ter J√≥zsef Bori. […]

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Ukraine | Connecting Rural Borderlands in the Carpathians

The Carpathian Civil Society Platform is gathering energy for change in the borderlands that connect Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland. These remote mountainous areas have similar characteristics and face similar challenges, such as increasing poverty and social exclusion. With war moving closer to Western Ukraine, the platform‚Äôs work to connect civil society actors in the Carpathian mountains has taken on a renewed significance. Report by S√°ndor K√∂les, Chair of Carpathian Foundation-Hungary. […]

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 EU Institutions РProductivity Now, Environment Maybe Later

With war in Ukraine, the EU institutions made a concerted effort to shore up its highly exposed agri-industrial food system this week. Emergency money and ecologically protected lands are to be used for food security – as expressed through animal feed and mineral fertilizer supply. Along the way, delays and derailings to greener transition have occurred in pesticides regulation, in environmental elements of CAP, and more. So is the EU Green Deal becoming pie in the sky? Oliver Moore and Ashley Parsons report.¬†¬† […]

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Ukraine | Wheat, War and History

The breadbasket of Europe, Ukraine became famous for Turkey Red Wheat, a variety with good milling and baking qualities that does well in harsh winters. But Ukrainian farmers not only grew the grain that fed so many in Europe, the seeds became the life insurance of those fleeing the Russian empire in the 19th century. And that‚Äôs how Turkey Red Wheat came to the US where it is still grown today. […]

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Food Security: Are the CAP Strategic Plans up to the Task?

Soaring grain prices, alongside gas, oil, fertilizers and pesticides, have sparked an unexpected debate on food production in the EU. A dependent and completely overexposed agricultural system has brought with it fear of food insecurity. In this article, we explore the tools that the commission is using to assess the potential of CAP Strategic Plans in reaching food security and propose our own analyses. […]

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Food Security Communication – some key aspects

A key EU Commission Food Security Communication¬† has been circulating, which outlines some emergency measures the EU Commission proposes to in part deal with the food crises stemming from the war in Ukraine. The document, entitled “Safeguarding food security and reinforcing the resilience of food systems” is due for formal release tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd). So what’s in it?¬† […]