My Moment of Great Disruption
Roger Thurow, senior fellow with the Chicago Council's Global Agricultural Development Initiative, gave a TEDxChange talk in Seattle on April 3. He recounts his experiences in Ethiopia during the famine and explains why the international community needs to invest in smallholder farmers.
Is the glass one-quarter full or three-quarters empty?
There’s been a lot of quiet clamor-raising going on recently.
With the arrival of spring comes an enduring optimism: Hope springs eternal.
The women farmers at the foot of the Lugulu Hills paused from the preparation of their fields for the planting season and looked forward to the harvest.
I returned from a day in the field with Kenyan smallholder farmers last week to find these words from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack as the Newsbrief’s Quote of the Week:“As I travel around the world talking about American agriculture, the one thing that has struck me is how jealous the rest of the world is about extension, how they would love to have the capacity that we have in this country and often, unfortunately, take for granted, of the ability to reach out and gain very useful information and insights to improve productivity.”
Exactly, I thought.
It’s been Christmas in February this week for thousands of smallholder farmers in western Kenya. Seeds and fertilizer for the imminent planting season arrived.
As the budget battles intensify, a reality check is in order: Slashing foreign aid targeted for boosting development in poor countries will hardly make a dent in the deficit. The savings will be negligible, but the consequences would be huge.
Joe Henry is raising the clamor step by step.
The writing on the wall, foretelling the turmoil that has roiled North Africa and the Middle East in recent weeks, appeared during the food crisis of 2008. It was then that staple food shortages and soaring prices sent protesters into the streets in dozens of countries in the developing world.
For those of us who were listening to the President’s State of the Union address this week, listening for a reference to the fight against hunger through agriculture development, we heard this near the end of the speech:
Once again, the great paradox of Africa emerges: hunger in one part of a country, food surplus in another.
As 2011 dawns, the United States government is poised to lead the greatest assault on global hunger through agriculture development since the Green Revolution half a century ago.
The college football bowl season, which begins this weekend, celebrates food and eating almost as much as it celebrates gridiron excellence. Just consider how many of this season’s bowls – Bowls! The very word comes straight from the kitchen — are sponsored by food companies or named after food:
The budget-cutting has begun, and governments around the world are paying attention to the sharp-knives in Congress.
This week in Cancun, international negotiators have been consumed with climate change. And on Dec. 1, all around the world, red ribbons were out in force for World AIDS Day.
Roger Thurow’s book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.
The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike.
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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?
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Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, award-winning writers on Africa, development, and agriculture, see famine as the result of bad policies spanning the political spectrum. In this compelling investigative narrative, they explain through vivid human stories how the agricultural revolutions that transformed Asia and Latin America stopped short in Africa, and how our sometimes well-intentioned strategies—alternating with ignorance and neglect—have conspired to keep the world’s poorest people hungry and unable to feed themselves.
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