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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog


Haitian Development Breakthroughs That Could Change the World

A few weeks ago I had the honor of delivering Fordham University's Fall 2013 Gannon Lecture. The venue was the United Nations, and the talk was titled, "The Haiti Experiment: Development Breakthroughs That Could Change the World." You can listen to it from an audio link and check out photos of the evening. 

The lecture began with an exposition of three development failures I encountered in Haiti, but which affect the whole of the developing world: devastating loss of tree cover, the intentional collapse of domestic agriculture, and the near-total bankruptcy of foreign aid.

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2014 Declared "International Year of Family Farming"

Reprint from International Year of Family Farming

The 2014 International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) aims to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming by focusing world attention on its significant role in eradicating hunger and poverty, providing food security and nutrition, improving livelihoods, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, and achieving sustainable development, in particular in rural areas.

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FAO Links Farms, Forests and Smallholders

Benefits for smallholders include poverty reduction, livelihood improvement
and sustainable income.

Reprint from FAO

Strengthening  forest producer organizations should contribute significantly to reducing poverty, improving livelihoods and enhancing economic development of smallholder forest owners and farmers, FAO said today at the International Conference on Forest Producer Organizations, taking place in Guilin, China, 25-28 November 2013.

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Haitian Farmers Help Filipino Farmers Affected by Typhoon Haiyan

Eliette Pierre (in white shirt) and members of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance
presenting a check in support of farmers in the Philippines who were affected
by Typhoon Haiyan.

Yesterday a group of farmers from the Gonaives area in northern Haiti made a donation to assist their counterparts in the Philippines.

"We were very sad to hear that many farmers in the Philippines are suffering from Typhoon Haiyan, like we did in Haiti after Hurricane Sandy last year," said Eliette Pierre, a local farm leader and member of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. "We want to tell all of you that the farmers here are praying for you and we are also sending a donation to help you recover from the storm damage."

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Farmer-to-Farmer Food Relief in Haiti

Jean-Robert Castin, representing farmers in Gonaives, giving rice, beans and
cooking oil to Ametide Estimable, a farmer in Terre des Nègres.
Today, in a first for Haiti, one group of farmers sponsored food aid for another group of farmers in need.

In July, community leaders from the small and remote farming community of Terre des Nègres, in Northern Haiti, wrote very polite letters to the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) and the Government of Haiti requesting emergency food relief. "We have never before had to ask for help like this," the letters explained, "but we have never faced a situation where our own people are going hungry."

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GM agriculture is not the answer to seed diversity – it's part of the problem

Traditional farmer in Wollo, the northern highlands of Ethiopia, 2012. Photograph: Damian Prestidge/The Gaia Foundation

Reprint from The Guardian Global Development by Teresa Anderson

For thousands of years, farmers across the globe have skilfully observed, saved and bred a wealth of seed diversity, cultivating ever more crop varieties to deal with the challenges of farming. The need to save, exchange and pass seed on is so important to farming that it is embedded into cultural practices around the world to ensure future generations can have the seed diversity and complex farming knowledge they need to continue to grow food and develop crops.

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How to Feed the World

Reprint from New York Times by Mark Bittman

It’s been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy spoke of ending world hunger, yet on the eve of World Food Day, Oct. 16, the situation remains dire. The question “How will we feed the world?” implies that we have no choice but to intensify industrial agriculture, with more high-tech seeds, chemicals and collateral damage. Yet there are other, better options.

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Online Game Plants Trees in Haiti

NEW YORK, NY – For every virtual tree planted as part of a new online social network game called The Hive, a real tree will be planted in Haiti by the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA).

The Hive, which begins beta testing in early 2014 and goes live by mid-year, is the creation of the Australian-based production company Smith&Nasht. Guided by an impressive array of leading scientists and mathematicians, the company’s plan is to use the new science of cooperation to trigger social change through an online and mobile Facebook game that links to an interactive website. Development of the game and its links to the real world are also the subject of science documentary commissioned by leading international broadcasters. The project aims to reveal the hidden codes of cooperation that can help solve some of humanity’s most pressing problems.

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