Agriculture

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WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2014) — Congressional chiefs of staff from seven states and a group of journalists traveled to Ethiopia with the global poverty-fighting organization CARE to see how U.S. investments in food and nutrition security are enhancing the resilience and self-sufficiency of smallholder farmers.

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Undeveloped transportation infrastructure in Zambia is a major constraint to improved productivity for the estimated 800,000 smallholder farmers living in remote, rural areas of the country.

Without transportation, these farmers either have to pay inflated prices for local goods, or travel up to 120km to access affordable seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other farming essentials.

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High in Ecuadorian cloud forest, CARE is testing a program to help families harvest water from the air for drinking and washing.

On a foggy day, the mist collection system – made of a stainless steel screen, PVC piping, a water collection bucket and sensors – can net up to 200 liters of water, which is then filtered and ready for use in the home.

Before the system was installed three months ago, Maria and her daughter walked down to the river and back up the mountain carrying heavy buckets of water whenever her extended family of 11 cooked, bathed or cleaned the dishes.

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CARE works with poor families in Timor Leste to help them grow their own crops, improve their diet, sell surplus crops for a profit and store their seeds for the next season.

Take the example of Arminda Pererira, a mother of six children between the ages of 4 and 17 and a member of a women’s farmer group. Her involvement with CARE taught her agricultural techniques that will help her plan for the future.

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