Thought-provoking articles that deal with hunger and the issues involved in meeting the hunger challenge.
It is no coincidence that a neighbor of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa here is Embrapa, the Brazilian agricultural research corporation. For Embrapa was one of the main players engineering the green revolution in Brazil. Embrapa was created in 1973 with a four-headed mission: guarantee food supply to Brazil’s teeming cities, where most of the country’s poor people live; help develop the rural areas; preserve Brazil’s natural resources; and, produce a sufficient surplus of food for export.
African farmers and American producers have different motivations and face unique challenges, but they are crucial to global food security and negatively affected by misinformation and innuendo that shape the current debates on how to feed the future. Three-quarters of the world’s poorest people derive their livelihoods by farming small plots of land. These resource-poor farmers typically farm fewer than 3 acres. They are vulnerable to hunger periods, experience post-harvest losses, depend on family labor, lack access to extension services and may be net buyers of food.
Countervailing winds have been blowing across the global efforts to reduce hunger through agriculture development. Here in the Ethiopian capital, scientists, humanitarians and politicians from across the continent and around the world gathered this week at a symposium titled “Taking it to the farmer.” They were honoring Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, by putting into action what we are told were his final words before he died last year: “Take it to the farmer.”
We need to build warehouses! We need markets!” Agnes Kalibata, Rwanda’s determined minister of agriculture, carried this emphatic and urgent message to the Kirehe district in the eastern part of the country. The bountiful maize harvest had overwhelmed the district’s storage capacity; bags of maize are piled up in farmers’ houses, crowding kitchens and bedrooms.
"Delivering food in dangerous places is challenging, and WFP has been doing it for almost half a century because, without us, nobody else is going to step forward and take up the responsibility of ensuring that the hungriest 100 million around the world get the food they need every year."