Africa’s small farmers, who comprise two-thirds of its population, toil in a time warp, living and working essentially as they did in the 1930s. Without mechanized equipment, fertilizer, or irrigation; using primitive storage facilities, roads, and markets; lacking capital, credit, and insurance; they harvest only one-quarter the yields of Western farmers, half of which spoil before getting to market. But in 2011 one group of farmers in Kenya came together to try to change their odds for success—and their families’ futures. Roger Thurow spent a year following their progress.
In The Last Hunger Season, the intimate dramas of the farmers’ lives unfold amidst growing awareness that to feed the world’s growing population, food production must double by 2050. How will the farmers, Africa, and a hungrier world deal with issues of water usage, land ownership, foreign investment, corruption, GMO’s, the changing role of women, and the politics of foreign aid?
The Last Hunger Season tells the story of four farmers in western Kenya—Leonida Wanyama, Rasoa Wasike, Zipporah Biketi, and Francis Wanjala—and their efforts to put an end to the hunger season. Learn more about their lives, families, and struggles and aspirations
This section features The Last Hunger Season documentary film trailer by Courter Films & Associates, video clips featuring smallholder farmers in Kenya, and Roger Thurow’s book discussion videos and speeches.
See media coverage and interviews with Roger Thurow about his book, The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change.
Zipporah Biketi is a 31 year old mother of four from the village of Kabuchai in western Kenya, where she lives with her husband, Sanet, who is in the animal trading business.
Francis Mamati is a 54 year old maize farmer from the village of Kabuchai in western Kenya, where he lives with his wife Mary and their nine children. His main goal is educating his children to lift them from poverty.
Leonida Wanyama is a 43 year old farmer and village elder from the Lutacho village in western Kenya. Her husband, Peter, was injured in a traffic accident many years ago; thus, she completely supports her seven children with food and education.
Rasoa Wasike is a 31 year old mother of three young boys from the village of Kabuchai in western Kenya. She is a small-holder farmer and an upcoming entrepreneur as she invested in a calf to eventually pay for her son’s education.
The Last Hunger Season Multi-Part Series
Documentary Film Trailer by Courter Films & Associates
The Last Hunger Season – Faith Video Series by One Campaign
Book Discussions and Speeches
Roger Thurow’s TedxChange at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Last Hunger Season Book Discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
Setting the Stage: One Billion Hungry. Can we Feed the World Sustainably?
Take Note: Hunger in an Age of Plenty
Roger Thurow’s Interview with WPSU’s Kate Lao Shaffner, February 2014
Roger Thurow’s Interview with Tom Paulson at Humanosphere, April 2013
The Last Hunger Season: When Will It Come?, Bread for the World, May 29, 2013
The Last Hunger Season: Study Guide and Quotes, Opportunity International, May 2013
The Last Hunger Season, One Billion Hungry, April 26, 2013
One Book One Northwestern: Last Hunger Season, Northwestern University, April 8, 2013
University Announces hoice for Next One Book One Northwestern, The Daily Northwestern, April 8, 2013
Out of Africa, Harvard Business Review, November 2012
The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change By Roger Thurow, Washington Post, September 7, 2012
The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change, Philanthropy News Digest, November 29, 2012
The Last Hunger Season, Acumen, August 8, 2012
The Last Hunger Season, Financial Times, July 22, 2012
The Last Hunger Season: How an NGO is Raising African Crop Yields, The National, May 26, 2012
The Last Hunger Season, USGLC, May 18, 2012