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Strawberry, The First Fruit Crop of K...
Srinagar
By Umar Mehraj
11 May 2016

Timely rain and favorable weather has proved a boon for the strawberry farmers in Indian Administered Kashmir and they expect bumper production.

The relatively new concept of strawberry farming has become quite popular among traditional paddy farmers in the Kashmir.

Strawberry is the first fruit in Kashmir valley that grows after the six months of harsh winter.

Agriculture and horticulture are the main income source on the region.

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Beekeeping From Passion to Profession
Giza
By Silhouette Production House
26 Apr 2016

His passion for beekeeping made Mahmoud Abdul Nasser, 32, the most famous beekeeper in the Egyptian city of Giza.

Unlike the majority of young men of his age, Mahmoud who graduated from high school in Cairo at the age of 17, did not want attend college to continue his education. Instead, he decided to head back to his hometown in Giza, and start a beekeeping business on his father’s farm.

“My story with bees began when I found a beehive on a tree, I put it in a box but the bees flew away.. so I went to a beekeeper and bought three beehives which I used for training. Some of the bees flew away but then I managed to keep the others. I also started to visit experienced beekeepers to watch how they work. I did some free work for them, although they offered me money, but all I wanted is to learn.”

Over 15 years, Mahmoud was able to turn beekeeping from a passion to a profession.

“To me bees are beautiful and enjoyable and I love dealing with them. People get scared of bees because they sting, but it is a beautiful insect and very productive and beneficial to humans.”

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Northern Nigeria's Displaced Fear Ret...
Yola, Niger
By jfaden
25 Mar 2015

The Nigerian Army with the collaboration of foreign mercenaries are recording victories and declaring more and more towns captured from the hands of Boko Haram, however the question still remains if it is really safe for the residents of those towns to go back.

The about 1.5 million displaced people scattered in different locations in and outside Nigeria believe it is too early for them to go back as they have lost everything. To return and start a new life before the rainy season in June would prove a serious challenge.

As the presidential election draws closer, the question of voters' safety on polling day remains unanswered as some parts of Borno State have seen fresh attacks and suicide bombings of recent.

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Lebanon's Hashish Industry In Hard Times
By Levant Desk
07 Oct 2014

September 21-October 4, 2014
Lebanon

Lebanon's lucrative hashish industry has been experiencing a turbulent year as environmental problems and the fallout of the Syrian war are having conflicting effects on crop production. As the harvest season begins, hash farmers are beginning to feel the averse affects of an unpredictable year. An extremely dry winter saw a sharp decline in rainfall, leading to a withered and depleted crop yield. At the same time, crop burning raids by the Lebanese Army have become less frequent, as they are preoccupied with securing the Lebanese-Syrian border from the threat of the Islamic State Group and the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front. While the farmers have less to fear from the Lebanese authorities, they now have to fear the very environment they have depended on for decades.

Shot list:

Smoker (male) lighting and smoking a joint (indoor)
Various shots of the preparation of a joint (indoor)
Various shots of crowded streets (outdoor)
Wide shot top view of Bekaa valley (outdoor)
Following car into the hash farms (outdoor)
Various shots of farmers cutting the hash plant (outdoor)
Farmer’s hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Farmer’s 7 year old son in the field (outdoor)
Gun sticking out of land owner’s waistband (outdoor)
Various shots of owners and farmers weighing the harvested hash (outdoor)
Hash plant in dealer’s house (outdoor)
Various shots of farmers collecting the harvested plants for weighing (outdoor)
Various shots of hash plant in dealer’s house and in the field (outdoor)
Farmer collecting the harvested plants (outdoor)
Farmer shows his hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Close up of farmer’s hand with hash in it (outdoor)
Various shots of MAG submachine gun at dealer’s house (outdoor)
Smoker (male) preparing a joint (indoor)
Smoker (male) lighting and smoking a joint (indoor)
Various shots of consumer (male) lighting and smoking has from a pipe (indoor)
Pan-right of smoker's apartment leading to preparing a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) prepares a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) lights a joint (indoor)
Smoker (female) prepares a joint (indoor)

(01:35) Farmer 1: “This is the main season now, we work all year long for this season. It’s the same season for apples and hash. We harvest and sell them both.” (01:48)

(01:49) Farmer 2: (01:47) “This bunch is about 15kg, we need about 20 of these to make 1kg of Hashish. When we hit it with the metal tool the buds drop off and we throw away the branches.” (02:26)

(02:30) Farmer 1: (02:30) “The apples sell according to the market price. If we get a good price we sell them, if not we put them on the crossroads. But the hashish always gives a good price. We suffered a lot this year to water the apples and the hashish. We run around all day long for a bit of water. This is my son yes, he is 7 years old and he also works with me.”

(03:16) “We were not able to water the apples well, or the hashish, we were not able to water them properly. Before we used to have a lot of water for the plants. Now we do not have much. There are a lot of Syrians here. We have about 15-20 workers.”

(03:37) “We start planting in the spring, we work all year and now it is the season. At the end of September they will both be ready.”

(04:00) “Al-Bekaa valley as you know, has a population of over one million and a half. Those who do not plant hashish benefit from it in other ways.”

(04:42) Farmer 2: “When you’re child is hungry, you can wait for a day or two, a month maybe, but what next? If my kid is crying he wants milk, where do I get it from? Do I allow my kid to die in front of my eyes, while I look around and see other people eating? This might lead me to look for money illegally. This [pointing to the marijuana plant] keeps my pride; I do not steal or hurt anyone for money. It is true I get tired as a farmer, but at least I find something in return without hurting anyone; it has benefits more than harms and they have been planting it since the old days and it appears on the news. They did different studies and researches about it in USA and UK, it is legal in Switzerland but they cannot export it. Are we smarter than these countries that they still are still doing researches about it? They give a small dose for a young kid who has cancer; he stays 6 hours in a lot of pain. Try giving him a dose of hash and he feels nothing.”

“In 2014 they tried everything to distract us, they tried to plant chestnuts, which cannot survive here in our country, they tried to plant saffron which needs experts from Iran, they tried to distract us in every way possible so they can keep stealing from us.”

What do they want to do to the people? Al-Bekaa valley has over a million and a half people living in it. Even the people who do not plant it, benefit from it. If the farmer does not plant the hashish, he cannot afford to use a carpenter or a black smith for example, he cannot buy things from the supermarket, and it will snow ball and nobody will have a job.”

“President Kamil Chamoun used to hunt in this area, he used to love to hunt. So the government used to bring trucks and confiscate the hashish just to show the press that they are working on solving the hashish problem. After they were done they would give the hashish back.”

“I am almost 60 years old and we have been planting the hashish for as long as I can remember, my mother and father used to plant it before me, and my grandfather before them. Ever since the French colonization they have been planting it and the French government, along with the Lebanese government, used to come here and get into conflicts with the inhabitants of the area. And they would still plant it. Ever since the 1950's this plant had not left this village and not only this village but all of the Bekaa. I am a person from the Bekaa and I represent all of Bekaa, and the people of Bekaa all represent each other." (08:03)

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Yazidi Farmers in Kurdistan Work the ...
Fishkabour
By rsoufi
28 Aug 2014

August 28, 2014
Fishkhabour, Iraqi Kurdistan

Ghanem Hamwi, a Yazidi farmer known locally as "Abu Ammar", cultivates his rented land in the Fishkhabour area, west of Dahuk, despite the threat from the fighting between ISIS and Peshmerga forces, just a few kilometers away.
Ghanem was forced to flee his hometown of Baashika, near Mosul, after ISIS seized control over large areas of the Nineveh province in June, 2014. Since then he moved to the safety of Fishkhabour in Kurdistan and resumed his work as a farmer. However, after the rapid expansion of ISIS and the invasion of Sinjar, and the neighboring towns, the Peshmerga controlled area of Fishkhabour is no longer safe.
Ghanem is trying to help his fellow Yazidis by hiring the refugees who fled Mount Sinjar to farm the land, in spite of the extremely low revenues.

Interviews:

SOUNDBITE 1 - Ghanem Hamwi, farmer (man, Arabic, 8 sec): "We are refugees from Baashika, and we came to Fishkhabour to work on these farms. Most of the people here are refugees from Sinjar."

SOUNDBITE 2 - Ghanem Hamwi, (33 sec) "We are threatened with death, and we witnessed lots of murders. At least ten to fifteen of my people were killed this year. People are scared here, they ask themselves "Is it worth it to come and earn a small amount of money and risk death?" Successful farmers prefer to stop working in agriculture and try to find another, more safe, profession. So this fear has put the agricultural industry in danger.

SOUNDBITE 3 - Ghanem Hamwi, (18 sec) The fear is affecting all of the Iraqi citizens on all levels from Baghdad to Kurdistan, the whole region is gripped by terror.

SOUNDBITE 4 - Ghanem Hamwi, (37 sec) Because of the ISIS terrorists and the violence they are causing and road blocks and checkpoints, I am selling my produce at half price. They are no more factories processing pickles, especially in Mosul and Baashika, where they used to buy my cucumbers. Now I am limited to Dahuk and Zakho, plus the transportation is very expensive, so I am not able to sell my produce.

SOUNDBITE 5 - Adnan Sabri, Worker (man, Kurdish, 1m 42 sec): “We are Yazidi people who fled Mount Sinjar following ISIS's control over the region. I used to own farmland in Sinjar but I had to leave it behind along with all the machinery that I had, which was worth more than 30,000 USD. I now work as a farmer on another person's farmland and I get paid 8 to 10 USD per day. I am lucky and happy with what I'm doing, since thousands of other Yazidis have nothing here, including my friends who keep asking me to find them jobs. Despite moving with my family to a safer region that Sinjar, I still have daily fears, following the crimes that ISIS committed to the Yazidis. I find it really hard to go back to our motherland in Sinjar, since we're a religious minority and the attacks will continue as they have in years past. ISIS attacked all the farmers in Rabia and Sinjar, killing dozens of us, while the others left their farms behind after they threatened us with death. We ask the Western Countries to grant us humanitarian asylum because we don't want to live in Iraq anymore.”

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Druze Sheikhs of Lebanon
Bekaa
By Walid
25 Jul 2014

Sheikh Walid Azzam : ( Kherbet Qanafar .West-Bekaa) A farmer for over 40 years, Sheikh Azzam owns and cultivates land in the legendary Bekaa valley.

Cheikh Walid Azzam : ( Kherbet Qanafar .Bekaa -Ouest) Agriculteur depuis plus de 40 ans, il possède et cultive des terrains dans la Bekaa.

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Blood Sugar: life in the Cambodian su...
Cambodia
By Ruom
04 Jul 2014

Human rights organisations have estimated that 12,000 people in Cambodia have been forced off their land to make way for a new surge of sugar production. The European Union’s initiative ‘Everything but Arms’, which allows Cambodian sugar to be sold duty-free on the European market at a minimum price per tonne, has created a “sugar rush” in Cambodia. As a result, crops have been razed. Animals have been shot. Homes have been burned to the ground. Thousands of people have been left destitute. Some have been thrown in jail for daring to protest. Given no option but to accept inadequate compensations, villagers gave up their homes and farmlands.

The EU is, to date, yet to investigate these reports.

In the meantime, families forced off their land, who have lost their only source of income, have little choice but to work for the very companies who have claimed their land, either at factory level, or cutting and bundling sugar canes for rates as low as US$2.50 per day. The dire economic situation means that children also work in the cane fields but still the families earn barely enough money to survive.

On March 2013, a lawsuit was filed in the UK against Tate&Lyle, the multi-national sugar giant, to which the majority of exports from the Koh Kong plantation are being sent. 200 Cambodian farmers are suing the company for violating their rights as, under Cambodian law, the fruits of the land belong to the landowner (or lawful possessor in this case). According to humanitarian organizations Tate&Lyle is knowingly benefiting from the harvest of stolen land, and the rightful owners of the harvest are not receiving their share of sugar sales.
Land ownership in Cambodia is difficult to establish, due to the country’s evolving legal and political structures following the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, and the country is slowly trying to re-establish land titling through government programs. Though in the past, and still for the time being, small-scale farmers and poor households are often forced to give up their land for little compensation.

Fair development and industrialization is a struggle for this South East Asian nation, where, for the right price, powerful landowners, wealthy businessmen, and foreign investors have their pick of the country’s prime real estate.

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North Korea in Color 011
By Ulrik Pedersen
09 Jun 2014

A tractor at a cooperative farm around Hamhung. There are a mix of Chinese and North Korean tractors but no fuel so the vehicles are idle.

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Druze Sheikhs of Lebanon
bzebdine
By Walid
14 May 2014

Sheikh Majed SERIEDDINE: (Bzebdine) :Farmer and Calligrapher. Passionate about poetry and literature, he also loves nature and is interested in social life and relations between people. He is responsible for religious events in his village and earns his living from nature as a farmer.

Cheikh Majed SERIEDDINE: (Bzebdine) Agriculteur et Calligraphe. Passionné par la poésie et la littérature, il aime également la nature, et s'intéresse a la vie sociale et aux relations entre les gens. Responsable des faits religieux dans son village, il gagne sa vie de la nature dans laquelle se reflète pour lui la Grâce Divine.

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angry man
By Ulrik Pedersen
10 Mar 2014

This poor farmer says there is no point in fighting Chevron and the Romanian government because Pungesti's resident will remain poor no matter what happens.

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Farmer
By Ulrik Pedersen
10 Mar 2014

A farmer on haystack. Most people in Pungesti are farmers and rely on agriculture to survive. They say they oppose Chevron because they were not given enough information about the company's activities. They also fear that fracking will lead to health problems, water and air pollution and deforestation.

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Life in Malawi 5
Karonga, Nothern Region, Malawi
By Arjen van de Merwe
16 Dec 2013

Maize Cultivation
At some point the lagoon used for irrigating the fields of the village ran dry. Investigation showed that the forest in the catchment area had been cut down for firewood. Now the forest is maintained, and cutting is made illegal. The water returned and the fields got irrigated again. Sweet potatoes from the field provide a meal for the family.

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Horse Farm,Italy (2 of 17)
Pisa, Italy
By Nili Bassan
11 Apr 2013

The trainer stands next to the horse just came back from training.
San Rossore park,Pisa,Italy

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Drought in Brazil (6 of 25)
Andaraí, Bahia, Brazil
By Flavio Forner
17 Mar 2013

A farmer wears thick layers of clothing, despite the heat, for protection from the sun.

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Drought in Brazil (5 of 25)
Andaraí, Bahia, Brazil
By Flavio Forner
17 Mar 2013

A farmer walks with his cattle to graze on the side of highway.

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Drought in Brazil (4 of 25)
Andaraí, Bahia, Brazil
By Flavio Forner
17 Mar 2013

A Former farmer. After many years of drought, this is his biggest in 50 years

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Yemen Agriculture Gets a Boost(2 of 4)
Sana'a Hamdan district
By Mohammed Hamoud
12 Nov 2012

A Yemeni man collects his harvest in rural area outskirts of Sana'a, Yemen, Nov. 13,2012. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is to carry out a new agricultural project in Yemen worth $75 million.