September 6, 2019 | By Roger Thurow

The Kinship of Farmers: We're All in This Together

Editor's Note: Agri-Pulse and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs are teaming up to host a monthly column to explore how the US agriculture and food sector can maintain its competitive edge and advance food security in an increasingly integrated and dynamic world.

The farmer fell to his knees, landing hard on the barren soil, and raised his arms to heaven.  “God, have mercy on us,” he prayed, opening his palms to embrace his forlorn field.

The supplication of a farmer in the American Midwest this summer?  Certainly many farmers sent prayers heavenward during the relentless spring rains that foiled so many planting efforts, leaving vast stretches of fields empty of crops this summer.

But this particular prayer came from a farmer in Kenya, Francis Wanjala Mamati, who faced not a deluge but a drought.  The image of Francis on his knees, under a scorching sun that pushed the temperature toward 100 degrees Fahrenheit, comes to my mind during every extreme weather condition that threatens to destroy a growing season--no matter where it may be.  As does what Francis said next as he slowly rose to his feet, grabbed his hoe, and began to strike the earth:

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The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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