By Sung Lee
Today's top stories on global agricultural development and food security issues.
Global Sanitation Target Under Threat, Guardian, April 20
Their aim is to agree on urgent action towards ensuring that access to sanitation and safe drinking water becomes a reality for the billions of people lacking such basic services. The UN report said that the target for access to improved sanitation – calling for 75% of the world to be covered – will not be met by 2015.
Israel Signs USAID Agreement to Fight Hunger in Africa, Globes, April 19
USAID and MASHAV, Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have signed a memorandum of understanding to increase cooperation on the topic of food security in Africa. The agreement is part of USAID’s “Feed the Future” initiative. The MOU allows for closer cooperation on the issue of food security in four countries: Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda.
BRICS Agitate for a Seat at the Table, New York Times, April 19
With Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa signing new financial cooperation agreements at their fourth annual meeting in New Delhi in March, the countries are signaling discontent at their lack of influence over decision-making within the world’s existing financial institutions, and exploring steps to do something about it. In theory, a BRICS bank would gather resources and provide financial support to infrastructure projects in member countries as well in as other developing markets.
Howard Buffett, Son of Billionaire Investor, Asks Fellow Farmers to Help Feed Rural US Poor, Associated Press, April 19
Buffett and other organizers planned to announce the “Invest an Acre” initiative. It will encourage farmers around the nation to donate profits from the sale of 1 acre’s crop to the charity Feeding America, which will use the money to support food banks in rural communities where advocates say malnutrition is a serious — if often overlooked — scourge. Buffett’s foundation has focused largely on areas of the world that many aid groups avoid because of war, geographic isolation or other challenges.
GMO's to Increase Kenya's Food Security Says Expert, The Star (Kenya), April 19
Kenya is expected to introduce commercial farming of genetically modified cotton, maize, potatoes and cassava, and already has several tissue culture biotechnology food crops growing in various regions. Some of the companies involved in development of the GM crops will offer free seeds to farmers in Africa during the first phase of introduction to open field farming, to stimulate demand before turning it into a commercial venture.