18 June 2013Malnutrition Costs Uganda 5 Per Cent Of GDP
Thought-provoking articles that deal with hunger and the issues involved in meeting the hunger challenge.
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."
The most exciting new idea for tackling poverty and feeding billions around the world has got nothing to do with hydroelectric dams or back-slapping summitry. Instead, this one begins with a story about kung-fu movies. In the mid-90s, Claire Melamed was working in a village in the far north of Mozambique. Nacuca had no electricity, nor running water, and precious few distractions. As the development economist recalls: "Villagers would ask, 'We have to live here, but how come you've chosen to stay?" Then one day visitors came, bearing entertainment.
The challenge before us was laid out in all its daunting intensity: Current levels of food production in the world will have to double by the year 2050 if we are to feed a growing population and a population that is growing more prosperous – along with eliminating the hunger that already plagues one billion people. We will have to do that with tight land and water constraints. With little land available for agriculture expansion without destroying the environment, yields of existing fields will necessarily need to double.