October 8, 2014

Rasoa's Big Plans

This post by senior fellow Roger Thurow originally appeared on the Outrage and Inspire blog.

We’re excited to announce the launch of a new multi-part film series on Roger Thurow’s The Last Hunger Season. Now through October 16—coinciding with World Food Day 2014—we will be releasing new episodes from the series each week. Part 7 is now available below. See all episodes.

With Rasoa Wasike’s first big harvest came big plans for the future.

She and her husband Cyrus would begin saving money for their three sons to attend high school.

Rasoa and Cyrus, now seeing their family farm in western Kenya as a family business, strategized about diversifying their crops. Growing a greater variety of vegetables would be good for the nutrition of their boys. And the crop rotation would help revitalize the depleted soil in their field.

Hazy, distant plans for adding another cow or two, and starting a poultry business, and planting more fruit trees became clear and imminent.

And, of course, there would be a new house, with a bedroom just for the boys.

Tripling the size of their maize harvest opened up the possibilities. Relieved of the daily worry of putting enough food on the table, Rasoa was free to think ahead. Greater productivity on her farm—thanks to the access to financing and the ability to purchase better quality seeds and soil nutrients through One Acre Fund—yielded a cornucopia of choices. It liberated her entrepreneurial spirit.

In this video, Rasoa personifies the benefits of investing in Africa’s hard-working family farmers.


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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