Greenland anno 1889

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Wonderful photos from Greenland anon 1889-1906, showing different aspects of daily life, but mostly the stunning landscape of Greenland. Many things have changed, since that time but the landscape is unchanged.


http://mashable.com/2016/07/06/greenland-1889/#jYs2ccp48kqV

Published: 7/18/2016  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 282

First announcement for CAA conference in 2016

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The CAA conference in 2016 has been launched at the homepage www.caa2016.com.  It will be held in Reykjavik the first week of October - back to back with the final conference of the Icelandic Nordbio program, funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Published: 1/4/2016  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 9697

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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Far North of Norway in the island of Svalbard is the worlds largest seed bank. Containing in total 780.000 crop varieties in a converted mine, it has been referred to as an insurance policy for the World.

Read a short interview with Cary Fowler in: http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/new_scientist/2015/01/svalbard_global_seed_vault_plant_traits_necessary_for_agriculture_under.html

Published: 4/17/2015  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 25975

Modular farm systems for the North

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During a recent visit up North, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Hay River, Northwest Territories, will be the new home of a scalable, modular farm system, which has been developed by the University of Guelph after many years of research. This facility will use state-of-the-art hydroponic technologies and high-intensity, computer-controlled LED lighting to produce fruits and vegetables indoors all year round.

More on this on: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/charlebois-arctic-agriculture-a-growth-area

Published: 9/9/2014  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 32964

“Alaskans don’t like feeling vulnerable.”

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A well written article on the development of local food production in Alaska. One of the key elements is the desire to be self reliant (even if it takes governmental grants).

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/us/alaska-turns-to-locally-grown-food-thanks-to-state-incentives.html?_r=0

Published: 9/9/2014  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 32986

From the media

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CBC tells that Mr. Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada has announced that his government is prepared to invest up to $4 

Of the money, $2 million will go towards building a permanent campus for the Northern Farm Training Institute in Hay River, N.W.T.

The Norwegian government has decided to support development of Arctic agriculture through 16 individual projects in Northern Norway. The total amount of support is 6,25 million NOK ($1 mill.).

Alaska Dispatch publishes an article by Heather Exner-Pirot on the food insecurity in northern Canada. "While interventions that reverse the decline of traditional harvesting should be a priority, they would not be a solution in and of themselves. Developing a local agricultural sector has tremendous potential not only in addressing food security issues but in improving the regional economy and creating jobs."

Published: 8/28/2014  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 33286

Sergey Alexanian passed away

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Dr. Sergey Alexanian, Vice Director for Foreign Relations of the N.I.Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) passed away on June 14 in a hospital in St.Petersburg after a short period of illness.

Dr. Alexanian was a Vice president of the Circumpolar Agricultural Association. 

Our thoughts are with his family and the ones of you that worked close to him.

Published: 8/28/2014  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 31542

Co-operatives and producer organisations

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An a recent article in the Newsminer Nancy Tarnai discusses the role of cooperatives in the developement of Alaskan agriculture. She starts by stating that "[i]mproving Alaska’s food security through agricultural efforts is complicated. There’s a lot more to it than planting, cultivating and harvesting; including considerations about economic indicators, cultural systems, social interactions, business concerns and consumer preferences." A very valid observation indeed, from a European perspective, where coops were the drivers for agricultural development in most countries. 

Further on Julie Emslie, project leader of the Fairbanks Economic Development Corp., is quoted: “Our farms here are small,” she explained. “To sell outside the farmers markets or a CSA (community supported agriculture) is difficult. Co-ops are tools that are used in other parts of the country.”While it’s hard for individual farms to deal with storage, processing, marketing and distribution issues, if the farmers work together, the systems will be more affordable. “We are looking at a way to sell collectively,” Emslie said. “The coolest thing about the co-op is that it will be farmer owned. A co-op removes the middle men from the equation; the farmers will have direct say.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, EU has adopted a new set of regulations for its Common Agricultural Policy 2014-2020 (CAP). One of the important elements of the new regulations is improved support to producer organisations. The legal framework extends the possibility for collective bargaining (in some sectors) and delivery contracts (for all sectors) to Producer Organisations, their Associations and Inter Branch Organisations and also introduces temporary exemption from certain competition rules (e.g. market withdrawal or storage by private operators) in periods of severe market imbalance, subject to safeguards (for overview of the most important changes of the new CAP click here).

Published: 2/17/2014  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 41158

Google map shows Community Supported Agriculture

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View CSAs in Alaska in a larger map

From Newsminer.com: 
Deirdre Helfferich, managing editor at the UAF School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences in Alaska has put together a map showing the location of all the community supported/shared farms in Alaska. At present there are 32 farms presented on the map. The aim is to make it easier for consumer to track these farms for visits and shopping.

The map is available at: bit.ly/1cskIxg

Source: http://www.newsminer.com/features/sundays/alaska_grown/map-shows-growing-trend-of-locally-sourced-food-in-alaska/article_1ae17058-7022-11e3-bb96-001a4bcf6878.html

Published: 1/27/2014  
 Revision: 4 | Views: 38713

CAA conference makes the headlines

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Yes, we were in the headlines this week, thanks to excellent job of the organizers of the 8th Circumpolar Agricultural Conference. Take a look at this piece from the Alaska Dispatch:

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20131001/growing-food-arctic-full-challenges-opportunities

Published: 10/9/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 44453

Fertile Ground

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Vital Signs is a community check-up conducted by community foundations across Canada. It was first started by the Toronto Community Foundation in 2001, after a group of civic leaders came up with a new way to engage their community in understanding and monitoring the health and vitality of Toronto on an ongoing basis. In 2006, Vital Signs became a national program and it continues to grow every year, both across Canada and internationally.

Every year, Vital Signs publish a national report on burning issues. T
his year’s Vital Signs report, Fertile Ground: Sowing the seeds of change in Canada's food system, explores our relationship with food and asks how communities can mobilize locally to build a better food system for the future. 

The report is an important contribution to the ever lasting discussion about food security and food availability. The following infographic explains some of the most burning points (http://www.vitalsignscanada.ca/en/fertileground):

 

Published: 10/9/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 43311

CAA conference

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The 8th Circumpolar Agricultural Conference was held in Girdwood Alaska September 29 to October 3 2013. Participants from most of the circumpolar nations and regions attended the conference, presenting wide variety of information on Arctic agriculture and Food security. 

The conference was held in conjunction with the UArctic Inaugural Food Summit and the conference theme was: "Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in the Circumpolar North".

Comprehensive information on the conference is to be found on the conference blog:
http://8thcac.wordpress.com/


Published: 10/7/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 44453

Reindeer is trendy

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We all like reindeer but in Norway, the younger generation has developed increasing appetite for reindeer meat. According to a new study of Ipsos MMI the consumption of reindeer meat is growing fast among Norwegians between 15 and 25. We are still a long way from reindeer as everyday food but 41% of this age group eats reindeer more than three times a year compared to 34% 10 years ago. 

At the same time, reindeer meat is becoming a popular choice for master chefs in food competitions. Here, the focus is on quality, originality and uniqueness. The younger generation is also unafraid to use the reindeer meat in new ways e.g. reindeer carpaccio, reindeer wrap or simply reindeer pizza.

http://www.newswire.no/art/10449

Published: 9/19/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 42507

Murmansk Internal Branding Project

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This short clip is not at all about arctic agriculture, but we all have to have fun every now and then. Short presentation of beautiful Murmansk:

http://vimeo.com/71579318

Published: 9/19/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 43557

Classification system for reindeer meat

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The Norwegian government has decided to develope a classification system for reindeer meat. The new system is to be based on the EUROP classification system. The minister for agriculture and food, Trygve Slagsvold Vedum hopes the new classification system will result in better meat quality and thus better economy for the reindear producters. The aim is that the new system will be ready for use from September 2014.

More information in Norwegian:
http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/lmd/aktuelt/nyheter/2013/aug-13/klassifisering-av-reinslakt.html?id=733348&WT.tsrc=epost&WT.mc_id=epostvarsel_lmd

Published: 8/30/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 43214

New research project on Arctic berry production in Norway

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The interest for berry production in the Northern Norway has been increasing recent years. More and more farmers realise the potential of berry production where the combination of long and light days and cold climate gives in many ways optimal conditions for berries. Improved storage and transport technology facilitates good market access in distant markets. Now, the Norwegian government has decided to fund a research project with the aim to increase berry production potential in the North.

More information in Norwegian:
http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/lmd/aktuelt/nyheter/2013/aug-13/arktisk-barproduksjon.html?id=733553&WT.tsrc=epost&WT.mc_id=epostvarsel_lmd

Published: 8/30/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 43550

Russia steps up it's aquaculture

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Russian company, Russian Salmon Company, has announced the plans of opening the countries largest aquaculture plant. Construction is scheduled to begin in spring 2014 and the first phase of the plant is expected to be launched in spring 2016. The company plans to specialise on the production of juvenile Atlantic salmon and trout. According to The World of Fishing, the plant is supposed to be built at the Volokovaya bay near Murmansk. One of the aims of the plans is to reduce the dependency of Russia on imported juvenile salmon and trout and to stimualte production.

Published: 8/30/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 42357

Merging of academia and extension

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A merging of the University of Fairbanks and the Cooperative Extension Service has been in the news recently. According to The Tundra Drums, the merging is to take place over the next year and the aim is to strengthen  the research, education and outreach work of both units. The extension service has been a part of the UoF since 1930 but as a seperate unit. Interesting step, which should be followed by other northern areas.

Published: 8/30/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 42206

Alaskan agriculture on the world market?

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In essence, there are only two ways for arctic agriculture to survive and thrive. Either to reveice governmental support of some kind or to develope international competitiveness. If we are not competetive on the international market, we will always be weak. That's the naked truth. Therefore, it was very encouraging to read this story about the company North Pole Peonies, producing flowers for the world market. The combination of local conditions and the geographical position of Alaska means that producers can provide the peonies outside the traditional growing season. A small nieche - but valuable.

Published: 8/30/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 41397

Berry pickers in Finland

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Berry picking in Finland is attracting thousands of people form abroad - mostly from Thailand. For some, the tour can give considerable income, even if travel expenses are high but not everybody is lucky. Have a look at this interesting piece from YLE in Finnland.

Published: 8/16/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 38769

Comfortably warm...

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The summer has been unusually warm in the northern most part of Norway. In Tomsoya, the temperature has been above 20°C on many occations - which is not at all common in the area. One could think this was good news for farmers, but the combination of hot and very dry weather is known to reduce leave growth and harvest. The first harvest was generally taken early and the yield was lower than average - in some cases in eastern Finnmark the harvest was very low. Farmers are hoping for a better second harvest. 

The dry summer comes follows a difficult winter with widespread frostbite in grasses. Farmers in North Norway call for research and breeding programs for better plant material, which can tolerate the harsh climate.

http://www.bioforsk.no/ikbViewer/page/forside/nyhet?p_document_id=104248 

Photo: Ellen Elveland

Published: 8/16/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 38122

Rangeland mapping in Lofoten

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The municipality of Vestvågøy and the the Agricultural Advisory Service of Lofoten have started mapping the vegetation of the rangelands in Lofoten. It has been well known for centauries, that the wild grasslands of the mountains around Lofoten have some unique characters, but already after few days of mapping some features have been documented. According to Finn-Arne Haugen, who is responsible for the project, the rangeland is of unusual quality - partly as it has been used for grazing for so long time. This means, that the vegitation is adapted to grazing, with very high proportion of grasses. The grazing animals keep down the bushes and trees and thus contributing to the green landscape of the Lofoten region.

http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/lmd/aktuelt/nyheter/2013/aug-13/luftig-og-gront-for-lam-fra-lofoten.html?id=733175&WT.tsrc=epost&WT.mc_id=epostvarsel_lmd

Photo: Lofotlam

Published: 8/14/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 41113

Farmer in Alaska

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There is not much to add to this wonderful interview with entrepreneurial Alaskan farmer. A good reminder that profitable farming in the Arctic requires an out of the box thinking.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130609/farm-flourishes-alaska-tundra 

Published: 7/8/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 40221

Livestock Diversity

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Many of the Arctic regions have their own unique animal breeds. Iceland hosts unique breeds of cattle, horses and sheep - found nowhere else in the world and the country has fought hard to limit the import of genetic material from abroad. Although the main reason for this is the fear of animal diseases, preservation of biodiversity certainly plays some role.

In a recent article in Take part, a broader view is taken on the value of biodiversity for the future of agriculture. It is e.g. mentioned that in 2007 there were only 525 breeding cows of the Yakutian dairy breed in Siberia. Why is this important? It is because the time may come, when we have a desperate need for some of the genetic traits which are preserved in the Yakutian cows. Perhaps we find there resistance agains a now unknown disease, perhaps we will need their secrets to survive in -50°C. The main thing is, that when they are lost - they are lost for ever.  

Published: 7/7/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 38492

More on the late spring

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Alaska Dispatch brings an excellent article on the effect of late spring on local farmers. We also get news about late sowing in Siberia and in Northern Iceland some farms face situation with up to 80% of the hayfields dead after the unusual winter.

Published: 5/30/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 38804

Where is the spring?

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It seems like spring is late this year. We hear about records falling in Norway and Iceland - and unusual cold season in Alaska and Siberia.

While not having news from the rest of the arctic, it is notable that Norway, Iceland and Alaska are definitely facing far colder spring than in normal year. In Northern Iceland lambing season is due to start any time now, and many places everything is still covered in snow. Not only the fields, but the outdoor stacks of round-bales, the tractors, the houses: Everything! Just take a look at this short clip from the Icelandic national TV; sure, it is in Icelandic, but you will understand the photos. The 2nd of May, a 36 year old record fell in the North-East of Iceland when temperature fell down to -17,6 °C (0,3 °F). This is the lowest temperature for May ever recorded. 

Meanwhile in Alaska, records are also falling. At Fairbanks International Airport, the temperature was measured -18,9 °C  (-2°F) Sunday the 28th of April, breaking the old record from 1924. The normal high temperature for April 28 in Fairbanks is 53 degrees F. That Sunday's high temperature was 37 °F. If the weather will not improve soon, there will be considerable effect on agriculture in Alaska this spring. 

Norway saw a new record for the inland of Finnmark. In a place called Suolovuopmi in Kautokeino , the frost went down to -32,8 °C (-25,6 °F). The measurements in this area only go back to 1963, but this is the coldest measurement in April ever recorded. 

It would be interesting to hear from more places in the arctic how things are this spring - is it cold everywhere? Has global warming forgot us????



Published: 5/4/2013  
 Revision: 8 | Views: 40018

Snow kills 170 domestic animals in Siberia in three days

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(photo: http://www.ravingravens.com/.a/6a0133ecdf372a970b017d3c4db991970c-800wi)


This we take directly from Pravda:

Strong winds in the Tuva republic (Siberia) have killed more than 170 domestic animals, local officials said. A quick investigation revealed that the cattle died due to hypothermia.

The snowstorm struck the region last week. Strong winds were blowing in the region for several days. Bad weather caused difficulties for shepherds. Animals were stall-housed for three days. Considerable stocks of fodder had to be used during this time period.

According to preliminary data, about 70 heads of cattle, including yaks, and more than 100 heads of small cattle, died.

Experts with the Ministry of Agriculture, and Veterinary Service constitute acts of the losses of farm animals. To support livestock farmers, local authorities will allocate the funds earmarked for the development of yak and sheep.

http://english.pravda.ru/news/hotspots/12-03-2013/124039-snow_siberia-0/


Similar events caused the death of 13.000 of animals in Iceland in the autumn of 2012 in one of the worst catastrophes in decades. See: http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/State_of_Emergency_Declared_in_North_Iceland_0_393447.news.aspx 

Published: 5/1/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 41308

More on the growth plans for Alaskan Agriculture

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A small piece of news on the growth plans for Alaskan agriculture, previously covered on this page.

http://www.ktuu.com/news/valleybureau/ktuu-legislators-support-alaska-grown-20130409,0,5088884.story

Published: 5/1/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 40481

Who owns the land?

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A new report on the development of land ownership shows that land "grab" is becoming a major problem in many European countries. Land is being bought up by Chinese corporations, Middle Eastern sovereign wealth and hedge funds, as well as Russian oligarchs and giant agribusiness. Already the numbers are alarming: 

  • - Half of all farmland in the EU is now concentrated in the 3% of large farms that are more than 100 hectares (247 acres) in size. 
  • - In Ukraine, 10 giant agro-holdings now control about 2.8m hectares. One oligarch alone controls more than 500,000 hectares.
  • - Chinese companies have moved into Bulgaria on a large scale and Middle Eastern companies are now major producers in Romania.
  • - In Germany, 1.2m land holdings in 1966-67 shrank to just 299,100 farms by 2010. 

The authors of the report argue that the "land grab" has been fuelled by the common agricultural policy (CAP), which distributes one-third of all EU subsidies to farmers each year. In Italy in 2011, 0.29% of farms accessed 18% of total CAP incentives, and 0.0001 of these, or 150 farms, cornered 6% of all subsidies. In Spain, 75% of all the subsidies were taken by just 16% of the largest farmers. In Hungary in 2009, 8.6% of farms cornered 72% of all agricultural subsidies. But how is the situation in the arctic? We know that an Chinese investor has laid bid on a 30.000 hectare farm in Iceland; we know that all land in Greenland belongs to the government but how is the situation in the rest of the arctic? No research has been done on the subject.

See the report at: http://www.tni.org/briefing/land-concentration-land-grabbing-and-peoples-struggles-europe

Published: 4/30/2013  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 40799

Superfoods in Alaska

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The possibilities are everywhere! Just take a look at this story about experimental cultivation of quinoa in Alaska. With average price levels of more than $3000 a ton it is surely worth while to make an effort to grow this difficult plant. And, at least one Alaskan farmer is having success. Although, he admits this is not something which can easily been scaled up to industrial production.  “Garden growers get frustrated with it,” he said. “It's nothing I recommend.”

See more at: http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20130422/suddenly-popular-tricky-grow-quinoa-finds-niche-interior-alaska

Published: 4/23/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 41165

Alaska Food Production: From 50% to 5%

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According to Bill Stoltze, member of the Alaskan House of Representatives Alaska now produces only 5% of it's own food, compared to 50% some decades ago. This is something Mr. Stoltze wants to change and he is not alone, because the House has passed a resolution calling on the Governor to establish a state food resource development working group that would bring together representatives from state departments to identify resources and set policies to build a strong, sustainable and local healthy food system.

http://www.housemajority.org/2013/03/11/house-passes-key-agriculturefood-resource-legislation/

Published: 4/12/2013  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 39064

More on agriculture in Greenland

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The world press seems fascinated about the prospects of increased agriculture in Greenland. Strawberries in Greenland are indeed a very clear evidence of the impact of global warming - somehow a better prove than the ever more complicated simulation models of climate scientists. This week, Reuters gave an account of recent trends in cultivation of various food products in Greenland. The sources are reliable and the article is well written.

An interesting point is made, that the development of agriculture is not only a matter of a warmer climate but also requires a cultural change of the society. Sten Erik Langstrup Pedersen is quoted for saying: "Greenlanders are impatient. They see a seal and they immediately just want to hunt it. They can never wait for vegetables to grow." Apart from not having the evidence on his side to support such a bold statement, Mr. Pedersen touches upon a valid issue: Global warming means that many societies - not only the arctic ones - need to adjust to changes in the environment. In Greenlands case, most of the changes are favourable but in many other parts of the world this is not the case. How societies manage to adapt to these changes may determine how well they fare in the near future. 

Published: 4/8/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 44146

CAA conference poster

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The team preparing the CAA conference 2013 has published a poster for the Circumpolar Agriculture Conference and UArctic Inaugural Food Summit to be held at Hotel Alyeska at Girdwood, AK 9/29 through 10/3, 2013. Please distribute these posters widely and use them at any events you care to. It is going to be an outstanding event and an important venue for addressing food security in the north. Also, please submit abstracts to present posters at the  conference. Submissions are due by May 1st. See the website (listed on  the poster) for details on abstract submission.  The pdf is here.

Published: 4/8/2013  
 Revision: 1 | Views: 42267

Large scale tomato production in Iceland

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The company Geogreenhouse is planning a large scale production of tomatos in Iceland. The company plans to export the tomatos to the UK and deliver 3,000-4,000 tons annually, which is about three times the current production of all Icelandic tomato farmers. The business concept is to use excess heat, water and CO2 from the geothermal powerplant in Hellisheidi (30 km east of Reykjavik). This - along with electricity from the same power plant - should ensure the competitiveness of the company.

Published: 1/18/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 42231

Mars, the Moon and the Nortwest Territories

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CNN reports that greenhouses originally developed for the Moon and Mars explorations are to be tested in the Northwest Territories. The greenhouses do not have soil and use the highly efficient LED lights to ensure production large part of the year. The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is contributing $270,000 to study the feasibility of the project.

Published: 1/16/2013  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 40802

Sunlight and a very intense growing season

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The University of Alaska - Fairbanks' Cooperative Extension Service offered last summer a week-long program at Calypso Farms and Ecology Center in Ester, just outside of Fairbanks. 

The school is funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. 

One of the things the students learned is that with the abundance of summer sunlight in Kotzebue, spinach is prone to growing too fast and so consideration must be taken when starting seeds and planting. This means that it was beneficial to start seeding the plants as early as at the end of May. "It pays to start early," Chad Nordlum, one of the participants noted. "It's a challenge (to know exactly when) but we have the sunlight and a very intense growing season."

From:
The Arctic Sounder. http://www.thearcticsounder.com/article/1233green_thumbs_cultivated_in_arctic

Published: 12/29/2012  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 40516

CNN looks at agriculture in Greenland

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Take a look at this program from CNN about climate change in Greenland (http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/04/world/greenland-secrets/). The third video from top contains clips from the agricultural research station in Upernaviarsuk as well as farm visits from Narsaq. The reporter comments: "It might seem strange that the people of Greenland, those who are witnessing global warming up close, are not too unhappy about it. Until you visit the Greenland's Agricultural Advisory Service in Qaqoortoq, southern Greenland, close to where Erik the Red started his first settlement more than 1,000 years ago."

Published: 12/25/2012  
 Revision: 5 | Views: 41612

Agricultural development in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District

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The reindeers have been the biggest asset of Yamal's agriculture.
This will change!

The government of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District (YaNAD) in North West Russia have decided to support the development of local agriculture through a 7 year stimulus plan. According to an interview with Vyacheslav Kucherenko, head of the Department for Development of the YaNAD Agro-Industrial Complex, published in Russian Business News the authorities are interested in increasing the food security in the region. 





Published: 12/25/2012  
 Revision: 8 | Views: 41054

From farming to hunting

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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According to a new research from the University of Copenhagen, Viking settlers in Greenland changed their eating habits as climate grew colder. The settlement of West Greenland lasted from around 1000 AD to the fourteenth century. The Vikings, started out as farmers, using domestic animals like cows, sheep and pigs but as climate grew colder during the 13. century they adapted to the local conditions and shifted from farming to hunting. In the 14. century marine mammals, mostly seals accounted to up to 80% of their diet. 

The study also revealed that contrary to common believes, the settlement did not disappear due to natural disasters or diseases. It looks like the younger people simply moved to the neighboring countries, fertility rates got lower and the settlement dissolved. We would call it demographical changes nowadays. 

http://phys.org/news/2012-11-greenland-viking-settlers-gorged.html

Published: 12/23/2012  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 40820

Strawberries in Greenland

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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Strawberries are now cultivated in Greenland for the first time (in history?). The cultivation is a result of a project between Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Norway with the support of NORA (The North Atlantic Cooperation). In September 2011 a total of 552 were planted at the agricultural research station in Upernaviarsuk in south of Greenland. This summer, most of the plants grew berries and the harvest proved very positive.

The warming climate plays a big role in the success and strawberries are just the latest addition to a range of vegetables and berries grown in Greenland. If the positive experiences from this summer are confirmed next years, strawberries could form a potential by-production for local sheep farmers.

Reference: http://sermitsiaq.ag/node/134224
Photo: Ole G. Jensen


Published: 9/1/2012  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 41064

Material from the CAC in Alta 2010

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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The web page has now been updated with material from the CAA conference in Alta 2010. This includes the book of abstracts and all the available presentations. In near future, material from the the other 6 conferences will be available on the website as it contains valuable information about the agricultural and rural development in the Circumpolar areas.

Published: 7/5/2012  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 40897

Global warming and world development

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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According to this article, written by Alex Li, a graduate student at Columbia University's Earth Institute, a warm period in the middle ages boosted Europe as the power house of the world, while causing draught and famine in China and the Middle East. The Medieval warming period led to the drying of large areas of swamp in Europe, increasing the agricultural output and thus, the population increase in Europe.

Could the current warming period do the same for the Arctic? According to the article, Russia would definitely benefit from the melting of ice in the areas of rich energy fields in the Arctic. Additionally, agricultural output is likely to increase in the Northern part of Russia. It must be speculated, that the same would apply for all of the Northern Scandinavia, Alaska and Canada. But things have changed since Medieval times and we should not expect the Arctic to become some kind of a center of economic gravity in the world. Now, goods and services can easily be transported between countries so countries and continents are interlinked like never before. But for the agricultural sector in the High North, interesting times may lie ahead. 

Published: 7/3/2012  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 41038

Arctic Eco-management plan in Alaska

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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Representatives continue the work on a ecosystem based management framework for Alaskan Arctic.The framework would establish a total ecological approach to land development and energy harvesting in the Arctic without disrupting valuable wildlife, water resources, or center of cultural heritage for the local population. The the steering group was initiated in July 2011 and the main focus is the vast energy resources in the Alaskan Arctic. “Rapid changes in the Arctic’s natural systems, and imminent expansion of human development in this region combine to present significant challenges,” said the chair of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission and former chancellor of the University of Alaska at Anchorage, Fran Ulmer, in a DOI press release. “It is essential to move beyond the piecemeal, project-by-project decision making, and address the future of this region in an integrated, holistic manner. Research and planning can help do that.”

[ From: The Epoch Times: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/united-states/federal-officials-develop-alaskan-arctic-ecomanagement-plan-203420.html ]

Published: 7/3/2012  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 42274

Is Iceland growing ice free and Sweden growing rice?

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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Well, according to the Financial Express Iceland is getting ice free and growing potatoes and cabbage! Finally!! For those interested potatoes have indeed been grown in Iceland recently - actually every summer since  1758 AD. And although the Financial Express is very enthusiastic about the possibilities for rice production in Sweden, this is probably a bit too optimistic. But we never know....


http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=120599&date=2012-02-18

Published: 3/11/2012  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 41739

Increased vulnerability of arctic agriculture

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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A newly published study points out that even though temperatures in the arctic can be expected to rise in the near future, increasing fluctuations can be expected. The Alaska Dispatch quotes Professor, Juha Helenius of the Agricultural Sciences Department Department saying the variable weather conditions will increase the vulnerability of agriculture in Northern Finland. The same will definitely apply for most other arctic regions.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/warming-finland-may-need-artificial-ski-trails-ice-rinks

Published: 3/11/2012  
 Revision: 2 | Views: 44255

Future agriculture in Greenland

Written by: torfi | Category: CAA
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The prime minister of Greenland, Kuupik Kleist, expressed his future hopes for the development of agriculture in Greenland in a speech in China in November. “A quite new area for development in Greenland, due to climate change, is that agricultural development is now becoming an area of business,” Kleist said. He went on stating that not only could Greenland become self sufficient but on longer term even export some agricultural commodities. 

This is an inspiring plan and not entirely unrealistic. Greenland is already self sufficient with lamb meat and experiments have shown that there is a potentiality for milk production in some area. As climate grows warmer, there are without doubts possibilities for increased cultivation and animal husbandry in Greenland.

http://www.cphpost.dk/news/international/greenland-warm-china%E2%80%99s-involvement-arctic

Published: 3/6/2012  
 Revision: 3 | Views: 48116

CAA Homepage

Written by: admin | Category: CAA
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Finally, the Circumpolar Agricultural Association has it's own homepage! The page is still under construction but will gradually improve over the next weeks and months. The aim is to create a web portal for news and resources for agricultural in the arctic. Good luck!

Published: 11/30/2011  
 Revision: 4 | Views: 37877