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Technology and Innovation Aim at Greater Food Security

Through a Feed the Future project in Kenya, smallholder farmers, particularly women, are introduced to high-value crops such as orange flesh sweet potatoes that can both boost household food security and increase incomes. Credit: Fintrac Inc.

Through a Feed the Future project in Kenya, smallholder farmers, particularly women, are introduced to high-value crops such as orange flesh sweet potatoes that can both boost household food security and increase incomes. Credit: Fintrac Inc.

WASHINGTON, Jul 27 2013 (IPS) - In the face of global climate change and currency devaluation, improved strategies are being used to combat high international poverty and malnutrition rates, and to increase global food security. 

The  administrator of  the the U.S. Agency for International Development  (USAID), Dr. Rajiv Shah, this week announced two new innovation labs at Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

“The U.S. has a proud history of providing food and services to the most in need countries,” said Shah at a Feed the Future progress report on Capitol Hill Thursday.  “It will continue to be our goal to modernise and strengthen these programmes, to create a pathway from receiving food when you are hungry to living in a food secure society.”

One of the recently announced labs, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum & Millet is a partnership between the organisation and Kansas State University.

The lab will attempt to find new technologies and techniques for smallholder farmers to use in order to ensure that their productivity of grasses raised for grain, including sorghum and millet, increases in times of climate change.

“The perspective from us is that we think the emphasis that has been given to agriculture is critical, not just for food security but for economic development and growth in developing countries overall,” senior policy advisor on agriculture and food security at the advocacy organisation Oxfam International, Eric Munoz, told IPS.

“We certainly have questions about USAID’s direction, but they are intended to strengthen their direction as opposed to redirect them.”

The second of the two new labs, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security, is a partnership with a number of universities including Michigan State University and the University of Pretoria.  The lab will attempt to improve food security policies and increase private sector investments to support smallholder farmers.

“The food security policy innovation lab is intended to increase the body of knowledge and understanding of the best way to go about influencing policy and what the best ones are to accelerate the impact that we are trying to achieve,” the food policy advisor for USAID’s Food Security Bureau, David Atwood, told IPS.

Both of these labs will focus on Senegal, Niger and Ethiopia.

“If you look at the big food crises, some 17 million people were affected in 2012, including people in those three countries,” Munoz told IPS.  “They have large populations of food insecure and hungry people.  Focusing on those countries makes a lot of sense.”

A gender lens

Launched in 2011, Feed the Future issues annual reports analysing progress during the fiscal year.  The reports outline overall goals for 2015 and yearly targets along the way.

“The programme is still just a couple years in so we are starting to see some nice results, especially on nutrition,” Katie Lee, advocacy and policy coordinator for international development at the alliance of nongovernmental organisations InterAction, told IPS.

“More gendered data were provided in this second progress report, but the data show that work needs to be done to make sure the programme is reaching more women.”

According to the report, Feed the Future has met the majority of the goals it set for fiscal year 2012 in terms of who is receiving aid and how it is benefitting them.  Leaders at the organisation say that they put more of an emphasis on providing food aid to women.

“Women tend to invest more in family and child education and health, so investing in women can really help take the whole development effort a long way,” Atwood told IPS.

According to Feed the Future, women make up 45 percent of the agricultural labour force in developing countries, and if they were given the same access to land as men, their agricultural output could potentially reduce the number of hungry people in the world by 150 million.

In 2011, Feed the Future supported a group of 65 female farmers in Ghana for five months by training them in record keeping, planning and management.  The group was eventually able to buy new technologies to increase their rice production.

“The progress report is not just about technology, it’s an opportunity to understand where we can do better,” said Shah at the talk on Capitol Hill.  “We’ve gendered out data and learned that we have a great deal further to go to ensure that every dollar is preferentially benefitting women and girls.”

By fiscal year 2013, Feed the Future hopes to see over 15 million rural households directly benefit from U.S. government intervention, over eight million people apply for technologies or management as a result of intervention, and over 13 million children under the age of five have access to U.S.-supported nutrition programmes.

“We want to ensure that when American assistance touches the lives of the hungry, we help them immediately and help them stand on their own two feet in the future,” said Shah.

“When we lead with our values and we partner with our great academic and scientific institutions, our efforts are recognised an appreciated.”

 
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  • SM Farid Uddin Akhter

    Confronting the Growing
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    sasrai
    Commandment for Nature, Next Generation. Wish the Peace for Each, to ensure
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    AIMED AT SUSTAINABLE LIVING,
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    sasrai – sustainable augmentation, solicited restraint, animated integrity

  • SM Farid Uddin Akhter

    Eid Mubarak

    Peaceful and
    Prosperous Eid for all

    To

    Dr. Rajiv Shah

    The
    administrator U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

    Dear Sir

    Greetings from sasrai-Movement that works
    voluntarily since 2004 across the globe aimed at promote prudent and
    sustainable consumption and conservation, optimum use and reduce the abuse of
    resources. sasrai target to animate, activate each individual, family,
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    food, fuel, water, poverty, disaster, waste, ecosystem, biodiversity – finally reverse the
    devastating trend of globe. Road map towards the implementation of the
    United Nations Millennium Declaration – sasrai brings into focus Six MDGs, 09 time-bound
    targets and 31 quantitative indicators.

    UNSG said climate change “is a
    humanitarian issue, a development issue, and an issue of security and
    stability.” USA President in his recent speech in Berlin has said the
    global threat of our time severe storms, Famine and floods, Coastlines vanish,
    Oceans rise and Climate change. International Energy
    Agency says we are headed toward an increase in global temperatures of 6.5 °F
    to 9.5 °F, most of it during the lives of young people alive today. And I do
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    stop this undesired trend.

    Our Bangladesh identified as the most vulnerable to climate threat. Minimum 50 million people will force to evacuate their home. And 200 million people will be displaced due to climate change and natural disaster by 2050, according to Refugees International. Could we ponder how, where those will be settled? We must get each person caring to the each particle of food, resource.

    Wish
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    save a bit,
    reserve, preserve, rejuvenate and conserve resources

    sasrai ONLY THE PATH TO SAVE MOTHER PLANET EARTH, NATURE.
    It’s only the path to Eliminate Racial Discrimination – End violence against
    WOMEN and CHILDREN. sasrai only the path to end POVERTY, VULNEARABILITY,
    HUNGER, DISASTER, CLIMATE Threat. Each second, minute, hour day needed to be spent
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    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=532999326722502&set=a.410051592350610.85835.410048385684264&type=1&theater

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=588860224469745&set=a.410051592350610.85835.410048385684264&type=1&theater

    Albert Einstein Opine -”Those who
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    Climate Study Predicts Flood-prone Future For Major
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    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=578778172144617&set=a.410051592350610.85835.410048385684264&type=1&theater

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    Climate Change to
    Low-Income New Yorkers: Drop Dead

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-robbins/climate-change-to-lowinco_b_3683217.html

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    Should you have any query feel free to contact.

    Regards

    SM Farid Uddin Akhter

    Secretariat In-charge

    sasrai-Movement

    Let’s we try to save one
    Taka/dollar/pound/yen
    ……..from our daily use, consumption, expenditure, LUXURY combat
    the CLIMATE CHANGE, GLOBAL WARMING and the sequences.

    http://www.facebook.com/sasraiMovement.2004

    http://sasrai.wordpress.com/sasrai-movement/

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8450962401

    http://www.facebook.com/Pallipathagar

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Priyoithu

    Let’s be a desired friend
    to all creature, humanity, environment, earth

    Plant for planet, water for
    world, environment for entire

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