World Food Day 2014: “Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the planet”

Image result for family farmingUnder the slogan ” Family Farming: Feeding the world, caring for the planet ” , the World Food Day 2014 points out FAO’s (the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). This approach is justified by the own FAO as follows:

Family farming is inextricably linked to national and global food security . In both developed and developing countries, family farming is the predominant agricultural form in the food production sector. Family farmers manage their lands carefully to maintain remarkably high levels of productivity despite having less access to productive resources as inputs and less support ( most studies show an inverse relationship between land size and productivity ).

Family farming preserves traditional foods while contributing to a balanced diet and safeguarding the world’s agricultural biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources . Family farmers are the custodians of a knowledge very well adapted to the local ecology and the capacity of the land. Through local knowledge, they sustain productivity on often marginal lands, through complex and innovative land management techniques. As a result of their deep knowledge of their land and their ability to sustainably manage the diverse landscapes, family farmers are able to improve many ecosystem services .

Family farming represents an opportunity to boost local economies , especially when combined with specific policies aimed at social protection and the well-being of communities . Family farmers have strong economic links with the rural sector, they contribute greatly to employment, especially in developing countries, where agriculture still employs the majority of the workforce. In addition, the additional income generated by family farming is spent on housing, education, clothing, etc. in the local non-agricultural economy.

How to strengthen family farming?

To take advantage of the full potential of family farmers to eradicate hunger and ensure food security , a favorable regulatory environment is needed. This includes a greater recognition of their multiple contributions, and therefore admit it and reflect it in national dialogues and policies. Among the first fundamental steps for countries is to articulate their national definitions of family farming and collect data on the agricultural sector, recognizing and organizing the contributions of farmers in a systematic way. At the national level, there are a number of factors that are key to the successful development of family farming, for example, among others, agroecological conditions and territorial characteristics, access to markets, access to land and natural resources. , to technology and extension services; access to financing, demographic, economic and socio-cultural conditions and the availability of specialized education. Targeted interventions on agricultural, environmental and social policies are needed to support family farmers in order to achieve tangible changes and sustainable improvements.

With this great desiderata not without (good) reasons despite the innumerable difficulties that we all know that will fall to a certain extent on such good intentions, the United Nations declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming (AIAF) and with FAO, in Collaboration with governments, international development organizations, farmer organizations and other relevant organizations of the United Nations system and NGOs, is intended to facilitate the implementation of the following objectives throughout this year :

  1. Support the development of agricultural, environmental and social policies conducive to sustainable family farming.
  2. Increase knowledge, communication and public awareness.
  3. Achieve a better understanding of the needs, potential and limitations of family farming, and guarantee technical assistance.
  4. Create synergies for sustainability.
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The Community will allocate 36 million to 'kindergarten checks', which will reach 1,700 more children next school year

The Community will allocate 36 million to 

 The Community of Madrid will allocate a total of 36 million euros to the ‘day care check’ in the 2017-2018 academic year, which will allow them to reach 32,700 children, 1,700 more than this school year.

As reported by the regional president, Cristina Cifuentes, in a press conference after the Government Council, the next academic year 2017/2018 the regional government will allocate two million euros more to the ‘check nursery’.

A total of 32,700 children from Madrid between 0 and 3 years old will benefit from these scholarships, which means an increase of 1,700 beneficiaries and 6.8 percent more than in 2016/2017. In addition, the deadline for submitting applications is extended, which will be 20 instead of 15 business days.

These scholarships for pre-school education are part of a package of educational aid to families in Madrid, which benefit this course 2016/17 to a total of 491,000 students. These are the school canteen aid, the textbook loan system, the transport subsidies, the Vocational Training scholarships or the 2nd opportunity scholarships to help unemployed young people in Madrid obtain the ESO degree or access to FP cycles.

The Community of Madrid will allocate a total of 94 million euros in 2017 to finance these items that promote equal opportunities, which is 5 million more than the previous year.

The Community of Madrid will allocate a total of 94 million euros in 2017 to finance these items that promote equal opportunities, which is 5 million more than the previous year.

To all this we must add the scholarships and grants in the university area for which they are going to allocate close to 11 million euros in 2017, 22.5 percent more than the previous year. They are scholarships for students with excellent academic records and grants for students with unfavorable socioeconomic situations.



As the main novelty, this year the call states that, to obtain these scholarships, the family per capita income may not exceed the limit of 25,000 euros, whatever the total score obtained, with the aim of encouraging them to reach the greatest number of people who need it. In this way, a family composed of two adults and two children that exceeds 100,000 euros of annual income will not be able to access the aid.

In addition, the levels of per capita income that will be taken into account for the family income score have been updated to match those used in the admission process of public centers.

The aid of the call for the next course, carried out jointly by the Ministries of Education, Youth and Sport and Social and Family Policies, will be allocated to families whose children were born before October 31, 2017 and will be enrolled in any of the courses of the first cycle of early childhood education in private centers authorized by the Community of Madrid. Children not born at the time of submitting the application may have the help, as long as their parents provide a medical certificate stating the probable date of delivery.



The Madrid Government will provide more facilities to access aid for families with victims of gender violence and may also obtain those over 3 years of age that for special educational needs must remain one year in the first cycle of Early Childhood Education.

The amounts of the scholarships will be 100 or 160 euros per month depending on the income and will mainly benefit the families in which both spouses work, with the aim of promoting family and work-life balance.

7 points will be earned by families in which the parents work full time, when there is only one parent and also works all day or when one of the parents or guardians is working full time and the other has an impediment to care for their child . The same situations above will be valued with 5 points if you work part time. Numerous families and parents or children with disabilities and socio-family situations justified by Social Services will also be scored.


The Community has a public network that this course has a total of 453 nursery schools and about 45,000 places supported by public funds. This course, the regional Executive has lowered 20 percent the prices of these nursery schools, which has meant an increase of 7.7 percent of children enrolled, the largest increase recorded for 5 years.

Likewise, the next course, 2017/18, the Government of the Community will reduce another 5 percent the rates of public nurseries, which will contribute to the next course continue registering one of the rates of schooling in 0-3 years higher of Spain, only surpassed by the Basque Country, and also of the largest among the states of the European Union.

The region exceeds 44 percent of the school enrollment rate in the 2016/17 academic year, with more than six points of difference compared to autonomous regions such as Catalonia or Andalusia.

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ZDF WISO: early retirement with or without discounts – this must be taken into account

  Instead of working until the standard retirement age, a large part of the employees retire prematurely and even accept discounts on retirement benefits. The motives for this are manifold. Some early retirees want to devote themselves to their grandchildren or hobbies, others have health problems or just enough of their professional life. But who wants to take the step of early retirement, must be aware that the sometimes significant deductions on the pension not only until reaching the regular retirement age. T he covers are reduced permanently. The ZDF WISO tip on “Early retirement” shows what working people need to know before they apply for the early pension.

Retired earlier or not? That should be noted

Retired earlier or not? That should be noted

ZDF WISO is primarily concerned with the contribution to the premature retirement of the pensioner, for whom early retirement is an option and who should or should be able to survive until the normal retirement age has been reached. As a matter of principle, employees must have at least 35 or 45 years of insurance, including credits and credits, for the early retirement. In that case, early retirement is possible from the age of 63, whereby the age limit has been gradually increased to 65 years since 2012, parallel to the increase in the standard retirement age. Retirees with at least 35 years of insurance have to accept a 0.3% discount on their pension per month they retire prematurely. The early retirement with 45 years of insurance, on the other hand, is free of charge.

Tip: You can compensate for discounts and lower pension insurance contributions with a private pension plan, even if there are only a few years left before retirement. Request a non-binding pension plan and inquire about your options.

Think carefully about early retirement

Think carefully about early retirement

The premature retirement benefits add up to 18 percent for five years of old-age pensions during the entire pension period. In addition, early retirees have paid less pension insurance contributions into the pension fund. It is therefore recommended before the pension application, a precise review of the financial situation.

  • Is it permanently possible to live well from the expected pension?
  • Are there enough reserves for unexpected and larger expenses?
  • Is there income from company or private pension plans that will increase the statutory pension?
  • Does the employer alternatively offer partial retirement to offset the loss of income?

Early retirement and just keep working – so far a problem

Employees who want to offset premature retirement discounts by simply continuing to work part-time for a while have had rather poor cards so far. For early retirees must comply with very strict additional earnings limits. If the income exceeds these limits, the pension is reduced. As a rule, the discounts can not be completely compensated for by this. However, with the Flexirente soon come flexible additional income limits. The corresponding law has already been launched by the government.


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'Postcapitalism': the collaborative economy as a model

 the collaborative economy as a model

Growth in the West will be weak in the next 50 years. Inequality will increase by 40%. And the dynamism of the developing countries will end around 2060. They are not forecasts of any enemy of the system, but of the OECD itself, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Even if they do not express it that way, says Paul Mason , economic editor of Channel 4, the golden age of capitalism in the developed world has come to an end.

And the most obvious outlets are either a scenario in which the elites cling to privilege and impose the cost of the crisis on the workers for decades, making growth impossible, or the radical left and right come to power because the people refuses to pay for austerity. The states struggle among themselves to bear the costs of the crisis and globalization collapses as in 1930. To the cake must be added climate change and the aging of the population. For Mason, there is still another way out: he has just published Postcapitalismo ( Paidós), where he affirms that the current crisis not only announces the end of neoliberalism but that new information technologies are no longer compatible with current capitalism because “in conditions of competitiveness and free market, the price of something that costs nothing to reproduce should be close to zero. ” It is no longer a utopia to think about replacing capitalism, he says, and sees basic forms of a post-capitalist economy in the current system, such as the great boom of collaborative production.

Wikipedia – which deprives advertising companies of $ 3 billion in annual revenue – parallel currencies, time banks, cooperatives and self-managed spaces have proliferated after the crisis of 2008. But they will not be, he says, a Mere survival mechanism, but a new way of life. A cooperative, collaborative, shared model with new forms of ownership, loans and legal contracts that States must promote. The main contradiction at the moment, he stresses, is that which confronts the possibility of free and abundant goods and information with a system of monopolies, banks and governments committed to maintaining the private, scarce and commercial nature of things. It is the struggle between the network and the hierarchy and the State, he says, “must activate, enable networks”.

Because the situation is bad. “When interest rates approach zero or are below zero, capitalism is working the other way around. Neoliberalism has a beginning and an end. And the end is with us. We have been in survival strategy for eight years, “he says. And the signals do not improve. “If the potential of the technological sector allowed in a few years a capitalism of high welfare, growth and wages,” he assumes, the market failures would last little. “But we have continuous relapses revived by monetary policy. The system shows that the future does not have enough value to justify the price of many shares. Even Google’s capitalization may not be sustainable because of the real value produced by an information economy. “

Today, he recalls, “large numbers of jobs are susceptible to being automated, not by robotization but by artificial intelligence. Digital systems will reproduce physicists and we can not create enough jobs to replace them. Oxford suggests 47% of automated US jobs in 30 years. It will not happen because we are afraid of the consequences and we create millions of useless jobs, garbage, and many of those who make them know that they are. The revolution of automation must happen but a big change is needed. A basic income for all is essential “.

Because infocapitalism, the capitalism of existing information

Because infocapitalism, the capitalism of existing information

does not work. “We would need new technologies that create high-value work, high wages and consumption and demand for expensive things, but information technology can not achieve this, what it gets, abandoned to its fate, is a small wage earner, a great precarious and the microcommerce of human services, like Uber. It is not the third industrial revolution, it is regressive capitalism and it will not respond to the fiscal crisis of the State: it creates a labor force that barely generates taxes. Anyway it is curious that just as there is a demand for precarious microtrages there is also an offer, many of them are doing well, a sign that work is no longer at the center of their lives “.

In fact, in the new society there will be little work and information will seek to be free. And the information soaks everything, not only what is on the internet. “Now we can automate not only the production, but the design. Produce more skillful machines than us. Tell them that I need such a tool for that and that the computer designs it. That invasion of information into physical things means that the effect of zero marginal cost can overwhelm large parts of physical production. In the end we will be left with an economy of energy and raw materials. And energy can easily be brought to zero cost with renewables. If that happens we will rethink how we use raw materials. Not in an extensive, wasteful way, but producing products as durable as possible. And 100% recyclable. And that will mean abundance. “

There will be, says, a long period where state, market and non-market will interact. “Today the post-capitalist sector is often parasitic on the market. To write Wikipedia pages you need free time and a salary. But a point of inflection will come, the emergence of activities of the post-capitalist type, with psychological well-being, pleasure, the feeling of being in a team, will outweigh the monetary incentives. Many theater actors already do it. They roll an ad to pay the rent and then they do a lot of work for free or almost, collaborative, with people they like. Many people are already prepared for this life in a society where they say ‘have an MBA, a job, work like crazy, run, run’. Not everyone has bought it. “

It is not a utopia, although a futurologist who spends the day advising governments to prepare their countries for the transitions that lie ahead. And Jeremy Rifkin announced in 2014 in his book The society of marginal marginal cost that capitalism will begin its decline in the coming decades and will be largely replaced by another paradigm: the collaborative pro-commons. An economy where social capital will be much more important than financial, sharing more important than competing, markets will lose ground before the networks to which billions of people and things are connected and consumers will become manufacturers of their energy and goods, in prosumers.

The boom of low-cost renewable energy that every citizen can have on their roof will facilitate the internet of things, which will be connected with sensors all objects and energy that occurs, optimizing their distribution and use. Achieving enormous productivity increases that will make many areas of the economy have marginal costs -which costs to produce one more unit of product- close to zero, as is already happening in the entertainment and communication industry. Capitalism will be a complement in the areas in which the marginal costs continue to be notable. Society will be less materialistic and the idea that the value of a human being is measured by its level of production of goods will be primitive.

The father of the term liquid modernity – a society in which the solid values ​​of the first modernity, religion, family, a couple or a life-long job, have disintegrated – has just published the book State of crisis (Paidós ) and to participate in the documentary In the same boat (In the same boat), by Rudy Gnutti, next release. And it is clear that the world of employment has changed and that is why we have to separate employment from survival. “30 or 40 years ago in the so-called developed countries, total employment was promised. The word ‘unemployed’ stressed that this was outside the norm. Today in the Anglo-Saxon countries the word redundant, redundant is used. It is a verdict in the labor market. They are useless people, a problem of law and order rather than social. “

Not only are jobs relocated to the Third World. Add to that the computerization of everything. “If it has not spread more, it is because there are poor countries where work is even cheaper. When it is more expensive, it will be completed. Also that of intellectual work. So we are on the verge of a new world and the only possibility we have left in it is to cut the connection between employment and means of subsistence. That the income of the society be divided so that all are kept alive. The robotization of hard work is a blessing. But something must be done with the current mechanisms of society to make it livable. “




In the race against the machine (Antoni Bosch editor) MIT researchers Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew Mcafee (pictured) stated that employment prospects are bad for many people because men and institutions do not run far enough in the face of a digital revolution accelerated Increase productivity, but workers whose skills have been incorporated into computers have little to offer and see how their salaries are reduced. It is necessary to change structures and institutions so that people do not fall behind in the race.

In the most recent The second machine age (The second era of the machine) they have retaken the subject. In the first machine age productivity, employment and average income grew together, they say. Now productivity is detached from jobs and income. Kodak had 145,000 workers. Instagram 4,600. It is in the nature of the digital economy, they say, that goods and services are provided at the same time to an infinite number of buyers at a price close to zero. They are optimistic because they believe that we are on the verge of an explosion of wealth creation by the digital revolution, but they know that the profits will be for the consumers and for those who create and finance the machines. Workers should be given the skills to work not against but next to the new intelligent machines.




Is the middle class, the base of democracy and consumer societies of the twentieth century over? Does globalization, digital technologies and ideology lead to a world like that of the British series of masters and servants but with smart computers everywhere? For Professor of Economics Tyler Cowen, author of The middle class is over, yes. There will be a growing gap. The increasing productivity of intelligent machines creates strong imbalances between sectors -now an iPhone is more powerful than any computer of 1985, but the planes remain the same- and make that if your knowledge complements the computer, your salary prospects are good; If not, better correct the lag. The benefits of intelligent machines go to what is lacking: resource owners, giants like Apple and talented workers. And the executives who hire them. The man-machine teams will revolutionize the economy, medicine and science. Companies will be able to evaluate the economic performance of each worker with oppressive precision: there will be hypermeritocracy. And a great growth of employment in personal services: servants, drivers, gardeners. And people who offer experiences to the rich, who will be between 10% and 15% of the citizenship. Much of the rest will have stagnant or shrinking salaries, although with more opportunities for cheap entertainment and education.

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