November 26, 2019 | By Colin Christensen, Junho Hyun-Sack

Featured Commentary - Investment in Crop Insurance Can De-Risk Small-Holder Farming: A Missing Ingredient for Global Stability

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

Upendo Malata eyes the dark grey clouds gathering overhead with a feeling of anticipation. Rain is coming, and her one-acre farm in Magulilwa, Tanzania, desperately needs it. Uncertainty is a feeling that Upendo has gotten used to, because it’s the third year in a row that weather problems have threatened her family’s livelihood. Last year, her harvest was smaller than normal because the rains arrived later than expected. The year before, powerful winds and hail from a sudden storm destroyed much of her crop, forcing the family to ration food for months until the next harvest.

Just like farmers in the US, Upendo works hard and is not looking for a handout; she just wants the opportunity to grow her own way to prosperity. However, life is inherently risky when you have to feed your family and generate your livelihood off about an acre of land; when you rely on rain to irrigate your crops, and face a changing climate that makes this rainfall increasingly unpredictable. 

We cannot afford to ignore the plight of farmers like her, and not only for humanitarian reasons. As Sylvain Roy wrote in these very pages a few weeks ago, we have clear data that agricultural investment abroad serves US interests. Beyond even the positive effect on trade, it is key to mitigating the rural hunger that creates the conditions where states fail, mass migration increases and terrorism thrives, threatening to pull US forces back into foreign entanglements.

>>>Read the full article on Agri-Pulse

About

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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1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

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Bread Blog, Bread for the World

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Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

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ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

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Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

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WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA

Archive



| By Brian Diers, Rita Mumm, Michelle da Fonseca Santos

Guest Commentary - USAID’s Feed the Future Soybean Innovation Lab is Working Across the Value Chain to Enable the Advancement of Soybean Development in Africa

Soybean has been the fastest growing crop for the last 20 years. Despite soybeans having a long history in Africa, soybean yields have increased very little over the last half century, especially when compared to the U.S. and Brazil. Through a number of targeted interventions, the Soybean Innovation Lab at the University of Illinois has been working to change that. 








| By Roger Thurow

I am Gita

Roger Thurow's essay "I Am Gita" from The End of Hunger, edited by Jenny Eaton Dyer and Cathleen Falsani.