• Realizing the Dream: September’s Bread for the Preacher

    Did you know that each month the church relations department at Bread for the World produces a resource specifically for pastors? Whether you are searching for inspiration for a sermon you’re writing, or just a lectionary enthusiast, Bread for the Preacher is for you. After reading this introduction, explore this month’s readings on the Bread for the Preacher web page, where you can also sign up to have the resource emailed to you each month. By Rev. Gary Cook A…

  • Indian Farmers Facing Affliction

    Suicide can be defined as the act of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally by an individual driven to despair out of a complex web of motivations. It is estimated that more than a quarter of a million of Indian farmers have committed suicide in the last 16 years. Even while this figure is […]

    The post Indian Farmers Facing Affliction appeared first on The Borgen Project.

  • Home Gardens: Alleviating Hunger in Developing Countries

    Homestead gardening in developing countries is now being viewed as a key to alleviating hunger and providing a source of nutrition for millions of people in developing countries. For low-income families, the quantity of food they consume must also be supplemented by adequate nutrition; research conducted by the Lancet earlier this year concluded that malnutrition […]

    The post Home Gardens: Alleviating Hunger in Developing Countries appeared first on The Borgen Project.

  • Irrigation Could End Poverty

    By now, it is a well known fact that clean water is necessary for drinking and hygiene. About 1.1 billion people go without clean water every day and must rely on polluted or infected supplies to survive. Even more than that go without basic sanitation. But, water is not just for human consumption and cleanliness. […]

    The post Irrigation Could End Poverty appeared first on The Borgen Project.

  • Essay 4: Farmers: The Key to Ending Global Hunger

    The fourth essay in the Bread for the World series, called Development Works, is all about farmers solving problems. 

  • Reality Checks for High Level Panels

    Overcoming the dehumanization produced by a system of consumption, and reinvigorating love in every human being’s heart. Union and harmonious interaction in diversity are the…

Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana Alleviates Poverty

sustainable agriculture in ghanaGhana is a small country located in West Africa along the Guinea Bay. The country is rich in natural resources, especially oil and gold, but nearly 45 percent of the country’s population is employed in the agricultural sector and agriculture makes up 18 percent of Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Coca, rice, cassava, peanuts, and bananas are some of the top agricultural products grown in Ghana. Coca is one of the country’s popular exports, alongside oil, gold and timber. Despite being resource-rich, Ghana’s economy has been contracting. Its current growth is around negative 6 percent. Countries and organizations around the world, alongside Ghana’s government and people, have recognized this problem and are currently promoting sustainable agriculture in Ghana so that they can carve a brighter future for this recovering African nation.

Feed the Future Program

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has chosen Ghana, specifically Northern Ghana, as one of its focus nations for its Feed the Future Program. USAID reports that the majority of farmers in this part of the country own small farms that are often less than five acres. Much of this land is covered in pour soil. Due to climate change and the inherent climate of the region, rain is unpredictable.

These challenges mean that malnutrition is high amongst the population. USAID’s Feed the Future Program aims to increase the productivity of these farms that mainly produce corn, rice and soybeans and promote sustainable agriculture in Ghana. Since 2012, Feed the Future has helped supply 156 thousand producers with better farming equipment and educate them on sustainable farming techniques. These techniques have led to the alleviation of some of the malnutrition and poverty issues. They also earned the farmers a total of $40 million and $16 million in private investment.

Governments Role in Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana

This private investment is important to the government’s idea for the future of sustainable agriculture in Ghana. The Ghanaian Times reports that the government of Ghana recognizes the United Nation’s latest report about the future of food security. The government wants to do its part on the world stage and at home by promoting sustainable agriculture in Ghana.

Ghana’s Shared Growth and Development Agenda mention a few ways in which the country plans to do this. The government works with organizations such as the USAID and many programs based in Africa, such as the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program. Sustainable agriculture in Ghana is seen as a way to strengthen food security, alleviate poverty in the country and promote private sector growth.

Trax Ghana

Trax Ghana is a small nongovernmental organization that promotes sustainable agriculture in Ghana for all of the reasons mentioned above. Like the USAID Feed the Future Program, Trax Ghana operates mainly in Northern Ghana. It promotes the nitty-gritty of sustainable agriculture. It teaches farmers about the importance of soil management and how to construct proper animal pens. The organization also promote gender equality, teach business skills and farming skills to both women and men for over 25 years, since the organization was founded.

Attacking the issue of poverty from multiple fronts and with multiple allies, the future of sustainable agriculture in Ghana looks bright. Ghana’s government is in collaboration with USAID to set up the Ghana Comprehensive Agriculture Project to increase private sector investment into the agriculture sector. It will take time and there will probably be some setbacks, but with so many people dedicated the practicing and promoting the practice of sustainable agriculture, the country has a good chance of succeeding.

– Nicholas DeMarco

Photo: Flickr

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana Alleviates Poverty appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Global Food Insecurity Has a Common Solution

Crop fields NigeriaFood insecurity is outlawed by international rule of law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, as a minimum standard of treatment and quality of life for all people in all nations. Article 25, section 1 of the declaration states: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food.”

Causes of Food Insecurity

Often times, countries that are a part of the U.N. fall short on this promise to provide adequate nutritious food to everyone, including the United States of America. Malnutrition and food insecurity can be attributed to many causes worldwide, from political turmoil, environmental struggles and calamities, lack of financial resources and lack of infrastructure to distribute food equally within a country.

It is widely known that the poorest nations often lack the means or the will to sufficiently supply food to the people and their most vulnerable population, ethnic minority groups, women, and children often suffer the most.

In 2006, the Center for Disease Control reported that widespread media attention in 2005 brought global awareness to a food crisis in the West African country of Niger. According to the report, with a population of 11.5 million in 2002, 2.5 million people living in farming or grazing areas in Niger were vulnerable to food insecurity.

Food Supply Chains

In the United States, conventional food supply chains are used in the mass distribution of food. This method starts with produced raw goods. These products are transferred to distribution centers that may offload goods to wholesalers or sell them directly to food retailers, where these goods are finally purchased by consumers at grocery stores and markets. Food may travel long distances throughout this process, to be consumed by people who may have purchased comparable foods grown closer to home.

In her article entitled Food Distribution in America, Monica Johnson writes, “With each step added between the farm and the consumer, money is taken away from the farmer. Typically, farmers are paid 20 cents on the dollar. So even if the small-scale or medium sized farmer is able to work with big food distributors, they are typically not paid enough to survive.”

Hunts Food Distribution Center is one of the largest food distributors in the United States with over $2 billion in annual sales. According to the New York Economic Development Commission, it sits on 329 acres of land in the Bronx, New York and supplies over 50 percent of food consumed by people in the area, and also supplies food to about 20 percent of people in the region. Still, the Food Bank of New York City reported a meal gap of 242 million in 2014 and food insecurity of 22.3 percent, with 399,000 of people affected being children.

Solution to the Problem

About 13 years after the Niger food crisis the country is still one of the poorest in the world. The World Food Program (WFP), headquartered in Rome, Italy, continues to focus on fixing the problem of food insecurity in countries like Niger. Through helping those like Nigeriens build sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems for crop cultivation, the WFP hopes to lessen the high levels of food insecurity and issues related to it, such as malnutrition and high mortality rates among children under the age of 5.

Assisting locals to manage sustainable local food resources through soil conservation, water harvesting, rehabilitating irrigation systems and reducing the loss of biodiversity among other efforts, the organization focuses on local measures to solve food insecurity issues.

The same is happening in the United States. The country plans to upgrade agricultural facilities and operations, a plan that includes working with other food distributors at the state level to increase integration with upstate and regional food distributors, supporting local farms, and providing growth opportunities for emerging regional food distribution models.

Food insecurity is a big problem in developing, but in developed countries as well. Countries need to make sure to promote local agriculture development in order to achieve food production that will suffice each country needs.

– Matrinna Woods

Photo: Flickr

The post Global Food Insecurity Has a Common Solution appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Hope for Reducing Poverty in Nigeria

Reducing Poverty in NigeriaNigeria has recently overtaken India as the poverty capital of the world. Ranking lists like the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI) and the Human Capital Index (HCI) place Nigeria at the bottom or very close to the bottom. The country has the highest number of people in extreme poverty in the world, at 86.9 million people.

However, this is not stopping Nigeria’s population from growing. According to the most recent estimates, Nigeria is predicted to become the third largest populated country in the world by 2050. The poverty rate is expected to increase exponentially if something does not change soon. Fortunately enough, the causes of Nigeria’s high poverty rate have been identified. If changed, the improvement in the following categories can bring hope for reducing poverty in Nigeria.

Improving Education

Data from October 2018, Nigeria has the greatest number of children that are out of school. The number increased from 10.5 million to 13.2 million. There was an attempt by the government to increase school attendance, but the children were forced to return to the streets because they could not survive while in school.

The high number of children out of school is accompanied by the high fertility rate in the country. In 2016, the birth rate was estimated to be around six children for each mother and usually, these mothers first started having children around the age of 18. Having so many children, it is hard to put them all in school because of the education costs. It is no surprise that many children go without education and many families prefer that they do things that can bring money to the family, or help gather food. To make things even worse, the children who go out in the streets to make a living are often exposed to sex trafficking, drug trafficking and other violent activities.

The Nigerian government is reluctant to start more education funding in the hope for reducing poverty in Nigeria. The big problem is that there is a lack of data that shows them what to do and how to fix the system. Punch Newspapers, a Nigerian newsletter, urges the wealthy in the country, and elsewhere, to help fund the program that will be focused on collecting data, program that will be jointly funded by different organizations and the government.

Cash Transfers’ Role in Reducing Poverty in Nigeria

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) released a report in 2016 that showed that cash transfers, direct transfer payments of money to eligible people, can show direct growth in the economy, school attendance, health care and dietary diversity. The ODI determined that cash transfers, when invested correctly, can lead to an increased amount of income in the future. For example, if families invest money they receive from the government into agriculture, education, or beginning a new business, they would have the confidence to continue their prospects once the cash transfers end.

However, once the cash transfers end, the progress typically stops too. As Quartz Africa states, the cash transfers are great for temporary benefits and giving citizens hope, but with the loss of transfers from the government, some families revert to the way they were before. Therefore, this should be a good example for the government to see how important it is for their intervention.

Development of Agriculture

Nigeria faced an economic decline due to the decline in oil and natural gas prices, country’s main export products. However, due to the big dependence on oil and gas, agriculture growth in the country is out of great importance. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is conducting research on how to renew agricultural success. In their report on growing the agricultural sector, CSIS claims that this is a very important sector to grow because of its potential to feed the country as well as provide jobs and stability to the extremely impoverished.

The agriculture sector already employs 70 percent of the country’s population, but by expanding it, the country can provide even more specialized jobs that will allow people to move through the job ladders. One of the main reasons this has not flourished as expected is because the farmers have a hard time accessing loans to get the right machines required to run a successful farm. The other issue stems from a lukewarm commitment from the government that also leads to a lack of research into the potential for agriculture. CSIS plans to put the work and money into Nigeria to help this sector growth.

Cash transfers feed into the ability to pursue education, which will further the growth of economy and society. Not only that, but the bigger step in cash transfers can be long-term loans to farmers so that the agricultural sector can further develop.

There are also other steps and means that can help bring Nigeria out of extreme poverty, but the development of agriculture and education with the help of the government seem to be three pillars of success. As long as people recognize the steps that need to be taken to improve the situation, hope for reducing poverty in Nigeria remains.

Miranda Garbaciak
Photo: Flickr

The post Hope for Reducing Poverty in Nigeria appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Wine Production in Chile

The economic benefit of Sustainable wine production in ChileFor decades, the Chilean government has worked hard to promote sustainable agricultural practices. These practices began through joint programs with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the 1980s, when both the government and farmers realized that growing organic crops will yield both better food products and higher profits as well.

The government also worked with the Government of the United States in buying more efficient and organic fertilizers and pesticides. Modern programs promoted by the Chilean government through their agricultural bureau have helped to grow the agriculture sector by about 3 percent in 2017, which was twice the growth of the nation’s GDP. By 2020, the Chilean government aims to be in the world’s top 10 list of food producers. Sustainable wine production in Chile will help them get there.

Wine Production in Chile

The agriculture sector in Chile employs about 800,000 people or just over 4 percent of the population. Out of the total agro-forestry exports, wine makes 2.9 percent. The majority of the wine production in Chile comes from small and medium-sized farms that are spread up and down the country. In 2009, Chile was ranked 5th in the world in wine exportation and 7th in wine production. This ranking has stayed relatively stable for the past decade.

Chilean wine is world renown for its quality. Because of this fact, it has also brought in much foreign investment and tourism. Modern-day investors see a stable and ever-growing market to invest in, while tourists see a beautiful country made better by great wine.

Wines of Chile

The secret of the wine production in Chile is two-fold. One is certainly the Chilean climate that helps to reduce the need for harmful pesticides since it is difficult for certain bacteria and molds to grow. The second is the government support of the sustainability code of the Chilean wine. The code that promotes sustainable wine production in Chile is given to the wine producers by a voluntary organization called Wines of Chile, that now has over 100,000 members. The organization provides uniform quality standards that wineries must meet to receive their stamps of approval.

Wine Standard

The organization Wines of Chile helps wineries organize sustainable wine production in Chile by providing resources to help them earn the standard. A winery can receive three stamps that form a circle when combined. The first stamp is green for the vineyard. To earn this stamp a winery must prove that it is using sustainable methods to both grow and harvest its grapes. The second is orange that accounts for social dimension. A company must show social equality at all levels. The third is red for the process of the winemaking itself. The process includes all facilities and processes for getting the wine to market, such as bottling.

There are a few powerful benefits for receiving three stamps of approval. The first one is that it increases the marketability of the wine. Organic and sustainable labels make the wine more attractive, especially abroad. The second is that the resources available to the wineries allow them to grow and become stable. The third one is that it is great for the environment, that, in the end, allows for better harvests and longer use of the land.

In 2017, Chilean wine exports to China were worth over $250 million and to the United States, total exports were at $246 million. In 2016, Chilean exports totaled $1.8 billion. As sustainable wine production in Chile continues to grow and becomes even more successful, it will surely help Chile reach the much-desired place in the top 10 list of world’s food producers.

– Nick DeMarco

Photo: Flickr

The post Sustainable Wine Production in Chile appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Agriculture in the Republic of Georgia

Sustainable Agriculture in the Republic of GeorgiaThe beautiful Republic of Georgia is nestled in the picturesque Caucasus region between Russia in the north and Turkey in the south.

Much of the land between the sea and the peaks is green and fertile. Here, sustainable agriculture in the Republic of Georgia thrives.

In 2015, the Government of the Republic of Georgia began a push to improve its agricultural production for both economic and environmental benefit. The country’s agriculture strategy also aims to reduce Georgia’s dependence on grain imports, one of the country’s top import products.

The importance of agriculture in Georgian history, specifically winemaking, stretches back over 8,000 years. Wine has been and continues to be one of the most important aspects of Georgian agriculture.

The Strategy

The strategy has the vision to create an environment that will increase competitiveness in agro-food sector, promote stable growth of high-quality agricultural production, ensure food safety and security and eliminate rural poverty through sustainable development of agriculture and rural areas.

Each section outlines plans to implement everything from better irrigation, saving water and reducing water pollution, to improved animal husbandry.

On top of embracing modern techniques, they outline improving both industrial agricultural techniques and educating and helping smaller rural farms embrace these techniques.

The most important steps in the strategy from an economic standpoint are not just introducing techniques that will benefit the farmers’ crop yields while lowering their total overhead cost but the government’s idea to help bring crops to market within the country and for export.

The FAO and EU Help

The development of sustainable agriculture in the Republic of Georgia is not a solo mission.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), along with the European Union is partnering with the Republic of Georgia to bring its dream to fruition.

The European Union is helping the Georgian government by providing both money and expertise. The FAO has been working with the Republic of Georgia on promoting and implementing programs aimed at increasing food security since 1995.

From 2013 to 2015 the sustainable agriculture in the Republic of Georgia was spearheaded by a joint FAO and Georgian government venture. FAO assistance in Georgia has mainly focused on technical development and the livestock industry.

Wine Industry

It is nearly impossible not to talk about the connection between wine and Georgian agriculture.

Georgia and the surrounding area has been continuously producing wine for over 8,000 years. Grapes are one of the most produced agricultural products in Georgia and wine is one of the most produced industrial products. The country is known as the first wine-making region in the world.

While the wine exports do not hit the numbers that more notable wine countries like Italy, France, or Spain do, it should not go unnoted.

Georgian wine is beginning to gain more and more international recognition. This has the potential to grow the export industry surrounding wine and increase tourism of the country, both potentially big economic benefits.

Sustainable agriculture in the Republic of Georgia has been and always will be an uphill battle. Russian pressure from the North has historically put pressure on the region. Only eight years ago, the two nations were at war.

Georgia is pulling itself up by its boots straps and beginning to shake off the dust of the Soviet Union. The country is forging its own future from the ground up.

– Nicholas Anthony DeMarco
Photo: Flickr

The post Sustainable Agriculture in the Republic of Georgia appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica

Sustainable Agriculture in JamaicaSustainable agriculture in Jamaica is a practice that the country is committed to improving. The country’s vulnerability to extreme weather emphasizes the importance of smart agricultural practices.

Long-Term Strategies

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented strategies to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector. Portfolio Minister, Derrick Kellier, made a speech in preparation of the Vision 2030 Medium Term Policy. He said these strategies will contribute to the country’s GDP, and fulfill the mission statement “to advance the development of a modern, efficient and internationally competitive agricultural sector, and the sustainable management of our fishery resources, in order to promote food security and food safety in an effort to contribute to the development and well-being of our people.”

The strategies include the:

  • establishment of nine agro-parks;
  • farm road rehabilitation plan through the sugar transformation program;
  • implementation of an aquaculture development plan;
  • completion of the European Union Banana Support Program;
  • promotion and use of the farmer field school methodology in extension services;
  • training in proper land husbandry techniques; and
  • building climate resilience of the agricultural sector through the provision of water harvesting and irrigation infrastructure.

The Jamaican Sustainable Farm Enterprise Program

Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) established the Jamaican Sustainable Farm Enterprise Program in 2014 to help the agriculture industry in Jamaica. The goal of the program is to assist the building of local, ecologically based, disaster resistant organic food systems through technology transfer and management expertise that links farmers to markets. Additionally, the initiative aims to develop market-driven organic value chain production, certification and distribution systems for agricultural products that will sustainably reduce food insecurity and poverty.

The program also assists smallholder farmers through technical training covering three areas:

  1. Improving agricultural and agribusiness operations, inputs, organic agricultural extension, marketing and innovative farm credit approaches.
  2. Supporting Jamaican local food security and resiliency projects by providing rural and urban educational programs and technical support in organic farming and gardening, community gardening and Permaculture land management practices.
  3. As the southeastern U.S. shares similar climate conditions with the Carribean, the program will source volunteers by tapping into these successful organic and Permaculture communities, fostering a strong cultural and economic links between these two regions. Indeed, the Caribbean is prone to disaster at a much more common rate because of its geographical location located in the harsh waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Over the past 60 years, the Caribbean countries have suffered over 180 natural disasters, primarily hurricanes and floods. Jamaica has one of the highest rates of hurricanes out of all of the Caribbean Islands, with over a 10 percent chance for a hurricane to strike annually.

Collaboration Fosters Growth

The vulnerability to natural disasters makes it crucial for farmers to be monitored and to work together. A program that has helped agriculture, as well as the safety of farming groups is the Jamaica Organic Agriculture Movement (JOAM). The initiative has untied 10 coffee farmers in Jamaica, with a combined land total of over 200 acres. The advantages of the program include joint marketing efforts, pooling resources and sharing solutions for agricultural production.

Sustainable agriculture in Jamaica has aided the industry of farming. Organizational efforts to improve the sector, despite the vulnerabilities the country faces, must continue in order for Jamaica to flourish.

Casey Geier
Photo: Pixabay

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica

Sustainable Agriculture in JamaicaSustainable agriculture in Jamaica is a practice that the country is committed to improving. The country’s vulnerability to extreme weather emphasizes the importance of smart agricultural practices.

Long-Term Strategies

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented strategies to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector. Portfolio Minister, Derrick Kellier, made a speech in preparation of the Vision 2030 Medium Term Policy. He said these strategies will contribute to the country’s GDP, and fulfill the mission statement “to advance the development of a modern, efficient and internationally competitive agricultural sector, and the sustainable management of our fishery resources, in order to promote food security and food safety in an effort to contribute to the development and well-being of our people.”

The strategies include the:

  • establishment of nine agro-parks;
  • farm road rehabilitation plan through the sugar transformation program;
  • implementation of an aquaculture development plan;
  • completion of the European Union Banana Support Program;
  • promotion and use of the farmer field school methodology in extension services;
  • training in proper land husbandry techniques; and
  • building climate resilience of the agricultural sector through the provision of water harvesting and irrigation infrastructure.

The Jamaican Sustainable Farm Enterprise Program

Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) established the Jamaican Sustainable Farm Enterprise Program in 2014 to help the agriculture industry in Jamaica. The goal of the program is to assist the building of local, ecologically based, disaster resistant organic food systems through technology transfer and management expertise that links farmers to markets. Additionally, the initiative aims to develop market-driven organic value chain production, certification and distribution systems for agricultural products that will sustainably reduce food insecurity and poverty.

The program also assists smallholder farmers through technical training covering three areas:

  1. Improving agricultural and agribusiness operations, inputs, organic agricultural extension, marketing and innovative farm credit approaches.
  2. Supporting Jamaican local food security and resiliency projects by providing rural and urban educational programs and technical support in organic farming and gardening, community gardening and Permaculture land management practices.
  3. As the southeastern U.S. shares similar climate conditions with the Carribean, the program will source volunteers by tapping into these successful organic and Permaculture communities, fostering a strong cultural and economic links between these two regions. Indeed, the Caribbean is prone to disaster at a much more common rate because of its geographical location located in the harsh waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Over the past 60 years, the Caribbean countries have suffered over 180 natural disasters, primarily hurricanes and floods. Jamaica has one of the highest rates of hurricanes out of all of the Caribbean Islands, with over a 10 percent chance for a hurricane to strike annually.

Collaboration Fosters Growth

The vulnerability to natural disasters makes it crucial for farmers to be monitored and to work together. A program that has helped agriculture, as well as the safety of farming groups is the Jamaica Organic Agriculture Movement (JOAM). The initiative has untied 10 coffee farmers in Jamaica, with a combined land total of over 200 acres. The advantages of the program include joint marketing efforts, pooling resources and sharing solutions for agricultural production.

Sustainable agriculture in Jamaica has aided the industry of farming. Organizational efforts to improve the sector, despite the vulnerabilities the country faces, must continue in order for Jamaica to flourish.

Casey Geier
Photo: Pixabay

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Agriculture in Mauritania

Sustainable Agriculture in MauritaniaMauritania is a rather large country in western Africa that has abundant natural resources like iron, oil and natural gas. Unfortunately, water and arable land are not at the top of the list. Nearly two-thirds of the nation is desert. Despite the lack of water, nearly half of the nations 3.8 million people make a living from livestock and cereal grain farming. Sustainable agriculture in Mauritania is essential to put this land to its best use and help the rapidly urbanizing population economically.

Promoting Sustainable Agriculture in Mauritania

According to the FAO, the amount of food produced domestically in Mauritania each year only meets one-third of the country’s food needs, leaving the other 70 percent to be imported from other countries. The FAO has been working to increase crop output by promoting and supporting agriculture farming in Mauritania. One such program is the Integrated Production and Pest Managment Program (the IPPM) in Africa.

This program covers nine other countries in West Africa. Since its inception in 2001 as part of the United Nations new millennium programs, the program has reached over 180,000 farmers, 6,800 in Mauritania. In Mauritania, the IPPM program focuses on simple farming techniques to increase both the quantity and quality of the crop yield each year.

These techniques include teaching farmers how to chose the best seeds to plant along with the optimum distance to plant the seeds from one another. The program also educates farmers about the best use of fertilizers and pesticides. Overuse of these chemicals can pollute the already small water supply and harm the crops. The program also teaches good marketing practices to help with crop sales.

Programs Working With Government Support

It is not only outside actors that are promoting sustainable agriculture in Mauritania. The government has been helping as well. A report by the Guardian from 2012 explains the government’s new approach since 2011. The plan includes new irrigation techniques, the promotion of new crops, such as rice, and the training of college students in sustainable agriculture techniques through subsidies.

Data from the World Bank in 2013, showed that the program was slowly succeeding; however, too little water was still the biggest issue. The World Bank and the government of Mauritania are still working towards those goals by building off of the natural resources available. According to the CIA, a majority of the economy and foreign investment in Mauritania involves oil and minerals.

A Work In Progress

Data is not easy to find on the success of these programs after 2016. What can be noted, though, is that programs run by the FAO and other international organizations are still fighting for sustainable agriculture in Mauritania. They have been able to sustain using money from mining and oil that is coming in each year.

While these are certainly not the cleanest ways for a government to make money, it is a reliable way for the foreseeable future. The government has already proven that it is willing to spend this money on its people. Hopefully, the government will continue to invest in its people and sustainable agriculture in Mauritania.

Nick DeMarco
Photo: Flickr

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Mauritania appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet

Sustainable Agriculture in TibetSustainable agriculture in Tibet is crucial, because of the lack of arable land and the volatile weather conditions the country faces. Ensuring the health of crops is important for the wellbeing of people living in the country.

Overview

Despite the fact that only a very limited portion of the Tibetan region is arable due to extreme weather conditions and altitudes, farming supplies grains that are essential to the population. Farmers are accustomed to using sustainable farming methods to maximize output and to ensure crops remain healthy through extreme climate. Crop rotation and mixing crops help to maintain the fertility of croplands in an area where there is a limited growing season. Barley is the main crop produced in Tibet, due to its use as a beneficial food source for the abundant livestock in the country. Other crops have been introduced, including rice, maize and wheat.

Livestock is the main type of farming on the plateaus of Tibet because of the lack of fertile land. Farmers are nomadic, and usually have a mixture of yaks, sheep and goats. The constant migration the farmers and livestock engage in gives adequate time for the pastures to recover lost fertility. It is estimated that 75 percent of the land in Tibet is pasture-based, with the natural wealth of animals present in the country.

Biogas Program Aims to Boost Farmer Incomes

A Beijing-based non-profit and Worldwatch Institute partner, the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), developed a biogas program in the mountainous Chinese province. The project provides clean, renewable energy to households and helps the region’s agriculture trade market. Located in Wujinmai Village, it is the most recent of GEI’s sustainable rural development program and based on a similar model used in a three-year-old program in the Yunnan province that boosted farmer incomes 20-fold.

GEI’s program, launched in April 2006, uses three aspects to address issues of pollution and poverty. The first area is composting animal manure, a potential groundwater pollutant, into both biogas for energy and fertilizer for growing organic crops. GEI trains farmers to manage and maintain the biogas systems, which use small tanks that require only one cow or three pigs to provide 1–2 five-person households with year-round heating and cooking fuel. According to the Worldwatch Institute, “the clean, renewable and free source of energy eliminates the need for Tibetans to spend hours each day collecting firewood.”

The second aspect of the program, greenhouses for organic agriculture production that double as homes for the biogas tanks, which would otherwise freeze, compliments the Tibetan climate of extreme heat and cold. The third involves “capacity building and skills training to help the farmers learn to better manage their new businesses selling surplus organic vegetables.”

Focusing on Long-Term Efficiency

The Department of Home of the Central Tibetan Administration has taken an initiative to conduct training on sustainable agriculture development in Tibet. This will be done through modernization and market access combining Israeli agro-techniques. This training is aimed at improving crop production, collective marketing and community agribusiness management. The overall goal is to ensure that communities are well-informed about efficient agricultural practices, to benefit the communities in the long term.

Casey Geier
Photo: Pixabay

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet

Sustainable Agriculture in TibetSustainable agriculture in Tibet is crucial, because of the lack of arable land and the volatile weather conditions the country faces. Ensuring the health of crops is important for the wellbeing of people living in the country.

Overview

Despite the fact that only a very limited portion of the Tibetan region is arable due to extreme weather conditions and altitudes, farming supplies grains that are essential to the population. Farmers are accustomed to using sustainable farming methods to maximize output and to ensure crops remain healthy through extreme climate. Crop rotation and mixing crops help to maintain the fertility of croplands in an area where there is a limited growing season. Barley is the main crop produced in Tibet, due to its use as a beneficial food source for the abundant livestock in the country. Other crops have been introduced, including rice, maize and wheat.

Livestock is the main type of farming on the plateaus of Tibet because of the lack of fertile land. Farmers are nomadic, and usually have a mixture of yaks, sheep and goats. The constant migration the farmers and livestock engage in gives adequate time for the pastures to recover lost fertility. It is estimated that 75 percent of the land in Tibet is pasture-based, with the natural wealth of animals present in the country.

Biogas Program Aims to Boost Farmer Incomes

A Beijing-based non-profit and Worldwatch Institute partner, the Global Environmental Institute (GEI), developed a biogas program in the mountainous Chinese province. The project provides clean, renewable energy to households and helps the region’s agriculture trade market. Located in Wujinmai Village, it is the most recent of GEI’s sustainable rural development program and based on a similar model used in a three-year-old program in the Yunnan province that boosted farmer incomes 20-fold.

GEI’s program, launched in April 2006, uses three aspects to address issues of pollution and poverty. The first area is composting animal manure, a potential groundwater pollutant, into both biogas for energy and fertilizer for growing organic crops. GEI trains farmers to manage and maintain the biogas systems, which use small tanks that require only one cow or three pigs to provide 1–2 five-person households with year-round heating and cooking fuel. According to the Worldwatch Institute, “the clean, renewable and free source of energy eliminates the need for Tibetans to spend hours each day collecting firewood.”

The second aspect of the program, greenhouses for organic agriculture production that double as homes for the biogas tanks, which would otherwise freeze, compliments the Tibetan climate of extreme heat and cold. The third involves “capacity building and skills training to help the farmers learn to better manage their new businesses selling surplus organic vegetables.”

Focusing on Long-Term Efficiency

The Department of Home of the Central Tibetan Administration has taken an initiative to conduct training on sustainable agriculture development in Tibet. This will be done through modernization and market access combining Israeli agro-techniques. This training is aimed at improving crop production, collective marketing and community agribusiness management. The overall goal is to ensure that communities are well-informed about efficient agricultural practices, to benefit the communities in the long term.

Casey Geier
Photo: Pixabay

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana Alleviates Poverty

Ghana is a small country located in West Africa along the Guinea Bay. The country is rich in natural resources, especially oil and gold, but nearly 45 percent of the country’s population is employed in the agricultural sector and agriculture makes up 18 percent of Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP). Coca, rice, cassava, peanuts, and […]

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Ghana Alleviates Poverty appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Global Food Insecurity Has a Common Solution

Food insecurity is outlawed by international rule of law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on December 10, 1948, as a minimum standard of treatment and quality of life for all people in all nations. Article 25, section 1 of the declaration states: “Everyone has […]

The post Global Food Insecurity Has a Common Solution appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Hope for Reducing Poverty in Nigeria

Nigeria has recently overtaken India as the poverty capital of the world. Ranking lists like the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRI) and the Human Capital Index (HCI) place Nigeria at the bottom or very close to the bottom. The country has the highest number of people in extreme poverty in the world, at 86.9 […]

The post Hope for Reducing Poverty in Nigeria appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Sustainable Wine Production in Chile

For decades, the Chilean government has worked hard to promote sustainable agricultural practices. These practices began through joint programs with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the 1980s, when both the government and farmers realized that growing organic crops will yield both better food products and higher profits as well. The government also […]

The post Sustainable Wine Production in Chile appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Sustainable Agriculture in the Republic of Georgia

The beautiful Republic of Georgia is nestled in the picturesque Caucasus region between Russia in the north and Turkey in the south. Much of the land between the sea and the peaks is green and fertile. Here, sustainable agriculture in the Republic of Georgia thrives. In 2015, the Government of the Republic of Georgia began a […]

The post Sustainable Agriculture in the Republic of Georgia appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica

Sustainable agriculture in Jamaica is a practice that the country is committed to improving. The country’s vulnerability to extreme weather emphasizes the importance of smart agricultural practices. Long-Term Strategies The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented strategies to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector. Portfolio Minister, Derrick Kellier, made a speech in preparation […]

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica

Sustainable agriculture in Jamaica is a practice that the country is committed to improving. The country’s vulnerability to extreme weather emphasizes the importance of smart agricultural practices. Long-Term Strategies The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries has implemented strategies to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural sector. Portfolio Minister, Derrick Kellier, made a speech in preparation […]

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Jamaica appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Sustainable Agriculture in Mauritania

Mauritania is a rather large country in western Africa that has abundant natural resources like iron, oil and natural gas. Unfortunately, water and arable land are not at the top of the list. Nearly two-thirds of the nation is desert. Despite the lack of water, nearly half of the nations 3.8 million people make a living […]

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Mauritania appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet

Sustainable agriculture in Tibet is crucial, because of the lack of arable land and the volatile weather conditions the country faces. Ensuring the health of crops is important for the wellbeing of people living in the country. Overview Despite the fact that only a very limited portion of the Tibetan region is arable due to […]

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More

Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet

Sustainable agriculture in Tibet is crucial, because of the lack of arable land and the volatile weather conditions the country faces. Ensuring the health of crops is important for the wellbeing of people living in the country. Overview Despite the fact that only a very limited portion of the Tibetan region is arable due to […]

The post Sustainable Agriculture in Tibet appeared first on The Borgen Project.

Learn More