Haiti has been receiving food aid for half a century - over 1.5 million tonnes from the U.S. alone during the past two decades.
Thanks to food riots in several African cities fuelled by high rice prices between 2007 and 2008, sub-Saharan Africa is growing and eating more rice after governments were forced into ambitious production programmes.
Fahima Begum rises each morning at dawn and walks two kilometres to a small pond, the nearest source of fresh water. On her way she passes the rusty old hand-pumped tube well that used to supply water to her village in Bangladesh’s arid Barind region until the water table here dropped out of reach.
Wild elephants are usually the primary attraction in the remote shrub jungles of Udawalawe, about 180 kilometres southeast of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo. But this Christmas season, the massive Udawalawe dam stole the limelight from the lumbering beasts.
Uruguay is in the headlines of agricultural development news this week as it hosts the Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD 2) from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 in the resort city of Punta del Este.
The old adage ‘nature is the great equaliser’ no longer holds true in countries like Sri Lanka, where the poor bear the brunt of extreme weather events.
Chad has more than 400,000 square kilometres of arable land, but poor rainfall and a reliance on basic agricultural techniques have left the country with a grain deficit in the past two years. The government is turning to mechanisation in a bid to improve harvests.
Kafoumba Koné sounds almost smug. "Our first rice harvest is in, and we're getting ready to plant again," he says, surveying his farm in southeastern Guinea. "Other farmers who have not yet tried NERICA are still preparing for their only harvest of the year."
Mohamed Ceesay, a 20-year-old farmer from the Central River Region in the Gambia, is a high school dropout. But thanks to an initiative to discourage local youths from emigrating to Europe, he earns almost half the salary of a government minister from his rice harvest.
Just two years ago, rice farmers on the Ruzizi plain in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo were content to harvest 2.5 tonnes of rice per hectare. The adoption of new techniques has seen their output rise to between six and eight tonnes, with smallholder farmers also increasing their local market share.
For many Sri Lankans, the effects of climate change can be summed up in one word: rainfall.
The year 2011 was one of extremes for the small Sri Lankan village of Verugal.