I often write and speak about the awful oxymoron, "Hungry Farmers." How can the smallholder farmers of Africa suffer through an annual hunger season when every morning they rise with one task: grow food for their families?
Forward with feeding the future!
The most difficult conversations were about the malnourished children.
Francis Mamati was gobsmacked by what he heard.
Since Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, many people have peered into the House budget plan that the Wisconsin Congressman shaped - the so-called Ryan budget — to see what it might portend for a Romney-Ryan administration.
The London Summer Olympics have been chock full of wondrous achievements and inspiring moments: Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Sarah Attar, Oscar Pistorious, an impressive roster of African athletes rising from deep poverty to the medal platform. Just imagine the journey from Somalia or Sudan to a stadium filled with 80,000 people, flashbulbs sparkling like stars. Amazing.
Are we paying attention now? The shriveled corn and wilting beans and severely parched soil of the U.S. farm belt are trying to tell us something: focus on the global food chain.
As we have heard during this week's international conference in Washington, D.C., there has been wondrous progress on the AIDS treatment front since President George W. Bush launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) nearly a decade ago.
The farmer fell to his knees, landing on hard on the parched soil, and raised his arms to heaven.
With the London Olympics approaching, it is time that we dusted off the old Nike solgan - Just Do It - and apply it to the agricultural development front.
There is no doubt that the financial crisis roiling Europe has unsettled world markets, scrambled politics, shaken re-election prospects in several countries and darkened many 401-k prospects. But as the drama stretches on and on, another mighty impact is emerging: it is derailing the momentum to fight hunger and poverty through agricultural development.
It was a beautiful day, as Bono might sing, when President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton and a phalanx of corporate leaders, and the Irish rock star himself, gathered in Washington DC on May 18 to shift the effort to end hunger through agricultural development into a higher gear.
Too poor, too remote, too insignificant. That was the unofficial mantra behind the neglect of smallholder farmers in Africa for the past four decades. It was recited by the farmers’ own governments, by rich world governments, by development institutions large and small, by the private sector. It has left Africa’s farmers far behind those in the rest of the world. It has left them unable to feed their own families throughout the year. It has given rise to that horrible oxymoron “hungry farmers.”
President Barack Obama issued an "all hands on deck" command to combat chronic hunger and malnutrition, which he said was "an outrage and an affront to who we are."
The Chicago Council Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security opened with a jolt of urgency and possibility.