With recent data showing that 793 million people still go to bed hungry, ending hunger and poverty in 15 years is the next development challenge that world leaders have set for themselves.
As the World Farmers' Organization meets for its annual conference in Zambia to promote policies that strengthen this critical sector, IPS looks at how farmers across the globe are tackling the interconnected challenges of climate change, market fluctuations, water and land management, and energy access.
In the past, all rural homes in Cuba had gardens for putting fresh vegetables on the dinner table. The local term for these gardens is “conuco”, a word with indigenous roots that is still used in several Caribbean nations.
‘No Farmer, No Food’ is an old slogan that the Zambia National Farmers’ Union still uses. Some people consider it a cliché, but it could be regaining its place in history as agriculture is increasingly seen as the answer to a wide range of the world’s critical needs such as nutrition, sustainable jobs and income for the rural poor.
“Fishing isn’t just for making a living, it’s also enjoyable,” said Pedro Pascual, a 70-year-old fisherman who has been taking his small boat out to sea off Chile’s Pacific coast in the early hours of the morning almost every day for the past 50 years, to support his family.
Inside a health clinic run by the Catholic Daughters of Saint Anne, a nurse wraps a special tape measure around the upper arm of 2-year-old Rodas cradled in her mother’s arms. The tape reads yellow, meaning “moderately” malnourished, according to the attending nurse.
In 2015 the international community took some huge strides forward on a number of vital issues.There was the agreement on the United Nations new Sustainable Development Goals.
Small-scale farmer Augustine Sibanda has grown resilient traditional sorghum varieties passed down through generations but has increased his yields after he adopted improved seed varieties developed through research.
Busia County in western Kenya is home to an array of indigenous vegetables. But for decades there has been a shift in popular taste leading to leading to little interest in what is indigenously grown. This relegated the vegetables to the periphery with most farmers cultivating kale and cabbages among other more exotic varieties.
“Sometimes we have too much water, which washes everything away,” Cecilia Joseph, originally from Haiti, said in heavily accented Spanish while pulling up a ñame root (a kind of yam) on her farm in the municipality of Santo Domingo Norte in the Dominican Republic.
World Trade Organization (WTO) members concluded the Tenth Ministerial Conference in Nairobi on 19 December by securing an historic agreement on a series of trade initiatives. The “Nairobi Package” pays fitting tribute to the Conference host, Kenya, by delivering commitments that will benefit in particular the organization’s poorest members.
Cameroon is on the path to introduce genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). This would be overseen by the Cameroon Academy of Sciences, in collaboration with the National Biosafety Committee, if the Cameroon Cotton Corporation successfully implements a three-year test cultivation of cotton.
Ugandan farmers are increasingly inter-planting coffee, the country’s primary export, and banana, a staple food, as a way of coping with the effects of climate change.
One of the most significant aspects of the international conference on climate change, concluded in Paris on December 12, is that food security and ending hunger feature in the global agenda of the climate change debate.
Every day in the wee hours of the morning Verónica Reyes’ extended family grinds corn to make the dough they use in the tacos they sell from their food truck in Mexico City.