Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.


Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog


African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Reprinted from Voice of America by Jennifer Lazuta 

DAKAR, SENEGAL—Agricultural experts say that small-scale farmers in Africa can play a key role in ending food insecurity in the region - if they are included in the value chain. Small-scale farmers produce an estimated 80 percent of the continent’s food each year, but most lack the capacities to sell their crops in commercial markets.

Click to read more ...


Could Specialty Cocoa Be Haiti’s Golden Ticket to Prosperity? 

Maman Pye cacao, a Haitian supertree, can produce 20 times as many cacao
pods as ordinary trees, and the pods themselves are denser with cacao seeds
than ordinary pods.
Reprinted from NPR by Rashmee Roshan Lall

In Robillard, a tiny hamlet deep in the Haitian hinterland, Valmir Mamonvil is standing next to a would-be national hero: Maman Pye cacao, which in Haitian Creole means "mother cacao tree." His father planted it 30 years ago, but for Mamonvil, the tree is more than a family heirloom. It could be his kids' ticket to prosperity — and his country's chance to cash in on surging chocolate demand around the world.

Click to read more ...


Haiti slum blooms into urban oasis

The Jaden Tap Tap garden project has sown seeds of community enterprise in the Cité Soleil slum. Photograph: Daniel Tillias, Jaden Tap Tap

Reprinted from The Guardian by Rashmee Roshan Lall

"Plant moringa; harvest community harmony" could be a good motto for Jaden Tap Tap, a green oasis in the tough, garbage-strewn eyesore that is Cité Soleil. The slum, in the north of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, is often described as the one of the most dangerous in the western hemisphere.

Click to read more ...


World food security at risk as variety of crops shrinks

The last of the 2012 drought-stricken corn is seen at a farm in Maryland on
October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Reprint from Thomson Reuters Foundation by Samuel Mintz 

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Globalisation touches almost every aspect of life in the modern world, including the food we eat. Over the last 50 years, diets around the world have become more and more similar while the diversity of food supply has decreased, which could mean that the world’s crops will be increasingly vulnerable to climate change and other dangers, according to a new report.

Click to read more ...


Family farms are model farms, says FAO chief

José Graziano da Silva says family farming plays a crucial role in
sustainable food production. Photo: Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images.

Reprint from the Guardian Professional by Francesco Rampa

There are an estimated 500m family farms in the world, and family farming is the predominant form of agriculture and main food producer in developed and developing countries.

The rising Africa narrative suggests that there will be a 4.7% growth rate in African economies in 2014, but while this offers opportunities to rural farmers, they often struggle to meet growing demands and find themselves at a disadvantage due to high costs, and low bargaining power.

Click to read more ...


Haiti, Unfinished and Forsaken

Reprint from The New York Times | EDITORIAL | January 10, 2014

Four years after the earthquake, Haiti is a fragile, largely forgotten country. It’s possible that some natural or man-made crisis this year could push it back into the headlines. But sustained attention, with the kind of support from outside that Haiti still needs to rebuild and become more self-sufficient, is mostly gone.

Click to read more ...


Solar Micro-Grid Aims to Boost Power and Food in Haiti

A solar panel on the roof of a home in Les Anglais charges a battery for use at
night. Photo credit: EarthSpark.

Reprint from National Geographic by Josie Garthwaite

On Haiti's southern peninsula, the town of Les Anglais rises alongside a snaking river prone to seasonal swells. Some 400 homes and businesses form the downtown core within a wider community of roughly 30,000 people.

Most of them are among the 75 percent of Haitians, and the 1.2 billion people around the world, who live without access to electricity. But a new model for connecting homes and businesses to clean, reliable power using smart meters, solar panels, and a small, independent power grid is being put to the test in Les Anglais. The idea is to combine these ingredients into a recipe for sustainable economic growth—in part by supplying power to process local crops that would otherwise rot before arriving at markets. (See related story: "Five Surprising Facts About Energy Poverty.")

Click to read more ...


Haiti hopes miracle moringa tree can help to combat malnutrition

Elius Supreme working next to a 'miracle' moringa tree in Haiti. Photograph: Courtesy TreeForTheFutureReprint from Guardian Poverty Matters Blog by Felix von Geyer

Rich in vitamins, potassium and calcium, Haiti is promoting the moringa tree to address the country's chronic malnutrition.

The poorest country in the western hemisphere, 75% of Haiti's population lives on less than $2 a day, half on less than $1 a day, according to the UN World Food Programme. It imports 80% of its rice and more than half of all its food, despite 60% of Haitians working in agriculture. An estimated 7 million of the 10 million population are food insecure and USAid estimates that up to 30% of children are chronically malnourished.

Click to read more ...