Agriculture

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Learn how Ousmane is making a difference in his family and community in Mali.

If you want to understand some of the best new ideas to chip away at global poverty, an excellent place to start is the Nasoni family hut here in the southern African nation of Malawi.

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The farm fields here are cemeteries of cornstalks: a severe drought has left them brown, withered and dead. Normally, a failed crop like that signifies starvation.

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"For one to be productive, you need to have access to resources and to markets," says Henry Swira. "And it's easier for men to have access to resources, because that's how traditionally it's been constructed, when actually it is women who do 70 per cent of the work in the field." 

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In Africa, the majority of food is grown by women, yet women own less than 2 percent of the world’s land, access only 10 percent of agricultural credit, and are routinely – systematically? – excluded from oppportunities to engage in more profitable agricultural activities and productive crop systems.

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Hector Gutierrez walks through his avocado grove just after the trees have been irrigated. Water glistens on the leaves as he pulls down the brim of his cap to shade his eyes from the sun. He talks about working long days on haciendas (large farms) as a boy and, more recently, how locals from this remote town in the saddle of the Andes had resisted Shining Path militants. The 66-year-old farmer grips a fully grown avocado with one hand and holds the branch in the other.

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Her eyes focused on the narrow walking path that zigzagged up the steep mountain. Her legs and shoulders burned with each step, but she was almost home. The plastic container strapped to her back weighed about 40 pounds. She strained to keep it balanced, careful not to lose a single drop of water. As a teenager, Sonia Quispe Viscardo would walk 13 miles every day to fetch water – an exhausting chore that never seemed to end. Back then, she wasn’t even sure if her precious cargo was safe to drink. “We felt like civilization would never reach our town,” she recalls.

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Policy makers focus on Food Security and Nutrition Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 21, 2013) - Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and several policy makers traveled with the global poverty-fighting organization CARE on a Learning Tour to South Sudan and Tanzania to better understand the challenges and solutions to food security and nutrition in each country.

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