Today's top stories on global agricultural development and food security issues.
Somalia conflict: Why should the world help?, BBC News, February 20
The British government is hoping a conference it is hosting on 23 February can finally start to bring peace to Somalia, which has known little but conflict and misery over the past two decades. An aid appeal for Somalia last year raised at least £72m ($114m) - more than for any other food crisis in Britain's history. If Somalia had a functioning government, the effects of the drought would have been far less severe and thousands of lives would have been saved.
Smart agriculture to help world’s poor, Business Reporter, February 22
Experts from IFAD, a specialized agency of the United Nations, said that there was a satisfactory degree of agricultural success in developing nations but much still needed to be done as small holder farmers remained vulnerable to forces of climate change, lack of market access and under investment. Out of a global population of about seven billion, more than one billion people remained under nourished, yet there is enough arable land to feed the entire world population.
Kenya army says Somali militants causing food crisis by blocking trade in southern Somalia, Associated Press, February 21
Officials said Somalia’s south is now in the beginning stages of a humanitarian crisis because its residents are not getting the needed supplies, and they urged more relief agencies to step in. The Kenyan army blames al-Shabab for the blockage, and says that it is also slowing the army’s advance toward Kismayo.
West Africa: addressing food crisis, The Africa Report, February 22
The Accra meeting will review emerging challenges in funding, food availability, accessibility and other agricultural issues as well as the issue of climate change. FAO wants to achieve by 2015 in the sub region, sustained rural poverty reduction and food security through a broad-based growth on agricultural production, productivity and diversification as well as household incomes, with focus on small holders and vulnerable groups.
Brazil to fund food purchasing in five African countries, FAO, February 21
The Government of Brazil is providing $2 375 000 for a new local food purchase programme to be set up by FAO and the WFP to benefit farmers and vulnerable populations in five African countries – Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger and Senegal. Brazil will fund the project, as well as share expertise drawn from its own national Food Purchase Programme.
National Guard to train Afghans on agriculture, Green Bay News Gazette, February 21
A newly formed unit of the Wisconsin National Guard soon will deliver Dairy State know-how to war-torn Afghanistan. As Afghans become better able to produce more food, they will be less likely to grow poppies for opium or be recruited into the forces that have been battling the government and U.S. troops.
For woman in Sudan, no escape from misery, New York Times, February 19
Mary Nyekueh Ley has a quick way of summing up her life. “My life’s a curse,” she said. Mrs. Ley struggles to feed her children anything beyond wal wal, a tasteless dish of sorghum and water. She does not have any relatives nearby who can help.