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The collaboration aligns with The Rockefeller Foundations US$1bn climate strategy. (Image source: The Rockefeller Foundation)

The Rockefeller Foundation and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) have sealed their partnership through the inking of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims to catalyse regenerative agriculture practices, minimise climate change impacts, and promote sustainable food production in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states of Cambodia, Laos Peoples Democratic Republic, and Thailand

The coalition is expected to publish its initial results of the collaborative work in the summer of 2024. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The World Economic Forum (WEF) on 1 December announced the launch of its new First Movers Coalition for Food initiative, aimed at accelerating sustainable farming and production methods and technologies by leveraging collective demand for low-carbon agricultural commodities

VACS employs an innovative above-ground/below-ground approach to boost productivity and nutritional quality. (Image source: IFAD)

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken recently announced that it will be contributing US$50mn to the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS)’s new multi-donor trust fund, hosted by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The project will see the first-ever commercial scale Aquagrain production facility built in Abu Dhabi. (Image source: Tadweer)

Abu Dhabi waste management company, Tadweer recently announced a US$2.5mn pilot project with UK start-up, Aquagrain, which has developed a unique soil enhancing technology that harnesses organic waste 

Transparency and traceability of NGTs are essential for breeders and farmers, as well as for processors, retailers, and consumers. (Image source: IFOAM Organics Europe)

Jan Plagge, president of IFOAM Organics Europe at an online press conference called on Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and Member States to respect organic farmers and operators choice to not use novel genomic techniques (NGTs)

As laid out in the Commissions proposal, policymakers were requested to adhere to the ban on the use of NGTs in organic production and include full traceability on the use of NGTs in the production chain and the possibility for coexistence measures at national level in the legislative proposal. 

IFOAM Organics Europe Board member and sector representative for processing and trade, Bernard Lignon declared that transparency and traceability of NGTs are essential for breeders and farmers, as well as for processors, retailers, and consumers. 

“Exempting certain NGTs from risk assessment and traceability would have important consequences for the food production sector in Europe, much beyond the organic market, and these discussions should not be rushed, neither in the European Parliament nor among the Member States in the Council,” said president of IFOAM Organics Europe, Jan Plagge.

The Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union is planning to reach a general approach in the Council of Ministers from 10-11 December, with preparatory meetings planned the following week. The European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development is expected to vote on its opinion the week of 11 December, while negotiations on compromise amendments have started in the Parliament’s Environment Committee, with the rapporteur intending to vote in committee on 11 January. A vote in the Parliament’s full Plenary is scheduled only one week afterwards, around 15 January.

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