Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss

Soybeans are harvested on a farm near Pergamino, Argentina, July 14, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Jose W. Fernandez serves as Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

On February 19, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs along with the Office of Global Food Security and the Foreign Service Institute will host the conference “Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss.” Government officials, representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and foreign diplomatic corps will discuss the issue of postharvest loss, focusing on Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Postharvest loss is collective food loss along the production chain, from harvest and handling to storage and processing to packing and transportation.… more »

In Malawi, the Future Belongs to the Organized

Women farmers welcome U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome David Lane to Tidi Village, Malawi, on January 14, 2013. [State Department photo by Sharon Ketchum/ Public Domain]

About the Author: David Lane serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.

After an early morning departure from Tanzania, we arrived in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe in a steady rain. The rain is not always favorable for travel, but it was very welcome in Malawi after a drought during the 2012 rainy season impacted the maize crop and food security, particularly in the south. 

As I continued my first media tour as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations food and agriculture agencies in Rome I was excited to have two reporters from Malawi join the group of seven talented reporters traveling with me, five African and two European, to witness programs on the ground and help tell the Malawian story of increasing food security in Africa.

Despite the difficult situation in the south, it is an exciting time to visit Malawi because… more »

Smallholder Farmers Go Commercial in Tanzania

Ambassador David Lane meets with farmers in Hoyohoyo Village, south of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, January 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: David Lane serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.

With the seven journalists accompanying me on our media tour, we said goodbye to Augustino, Fortunata, and the other farmers we had met around Arusha, and flew south to the humid, coastal climate of Dar es Salaam. We were eager to hear how the projects we had seen, along with many others across the country, are adding up to something bigger.

We spent a morning visiting a cassava multiplication project that the Government of Tanzania has undertaken in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Cassava, a starchy root similar to the sweet potato, is a staple food in many parts of Tanzania.

On the way to Hoyohoyo Village, south of Dar… more »

A Conservationist, Woman Leader, and Peacemaker

Members of the Turkana tribe near Shaba in Kenya, 2012 [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Wenchi Yu serves in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

Since 2008, the drought-induced food crisis that affected many countries in the Horn of Africa not only cost the regional economy billions of dollars, but also exacerbated regional instability, insecurity in distressed communities, and tribal competition for scarce resources.

Josephine Ekiru, a 26-year-old conservationist from the Turkana tribe near Shaba in Kenya, was determined to do something for her community after witnessing the devastating impact of frequent conflict on both the region’s people and wildlife. She started by talking to the women in her community, hearing about their common concern of losing husbands and sons in the conflicts. She also reached out to women of the other major tribe, the Borana, with which the Turkanas were in conflict. After years of work, she gained trust from both groups. In May 2010, Josephine’s work helped unite the two tribes… more »

Photo of the Week: Observing World Food Day


A Kenyan man shows millet he has grown at his farm in Siranga in western Kenya, July 18, 2012. [USAID/Kenya photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Sarah Goldfarb serves as DipNote’s Associate Editor.

Every year on October 16, the international community unites around World Food Day to increase awareness about global hunger. Today, nearly one billion people suffer from chronic hunger, and more than 3.5 million children die from undernutrition each year. As President Barack Obama said in his message recognizing World Food Day, “The United States has a moral obligation to lead the fight against global hunger, and we have put food security at the forefront of global development efforts. Through initiatives like Feed the Future, we are helping partner countries transform their agriculture sectors by investing in smallholder farmers — particularly women — who… more »

World Food Day: A Call To Action To End Global Hunger

A farmer sows wheat at Chunnikhel, Katmandu, Nepal, Nov. 15, 2011. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security.

World Food Day is a reminder and call to action for the international community to strengthen efforts to end world hunger and malnutrition.

Today, nearly one billion people suffer from chronic hunger, which means that they do not get enough food to satisfy their body’s basic nutritional needs.

Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative and works with partner countries to support their own agriculture development objectives to increase agricultural productivity and improve nutrition, which can help reduce poverty and hunger. Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, where most people’s livelihoods rely directly on agriculture, and women in the developing world make up to forty-three percent of the agriculture…more »

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivers remarks at the World Food Program - USA Awards Ceremony at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on October 3, 2012. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/10/198648.htm.

Five More Questions About the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

Women and children pick green beans at the Dodicha Vegetable Cooperative in Ethiopia. The beans will be sold to a local exporter, who will sell them to supermarkets in Europe. [USAID photo by K. Stefanova/ Used by Permission]

About the Author: Tjada McKenna serves as the Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, and Jonathan Shrier serves as the Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security and as the Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future.

In May 2012, we answered a few of the most common questions about the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition in the blog post Five Questions about the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. This blog post follows with additional answers to other common questions about the New Alliance and progress.

1. What has happened with the New Alliance since the G8 announced it at the Camp David Summit in May 2012?

While it has only been a few months, we’re excited about the progress and momentum of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which is a unique partnership…more »

Secretary Clinton Highlights Civil Society Contributions To End Global Hunger

Dairy farmer Margaret Chinkwende explains her work to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Martin Banda of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Lilongwe, Malawi, August 5, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security.

Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton co-hosted an event with President Joyce Banda of Malawi, to highlight both the progress made in the last three years under Feed the Future and the contributions of civil society organizations to advance our food security goals.

The highlight of the event was an extraordinary commitment by civil society organizations.

As Secretary Clinton said, “Today, I am pleased to announce a new commitment by civil society groups…InterAction, an alliance of 198 U.S.-based organizations, is pledging more than one billion dollars of private, non-government funds over the next three years to… more »

In Niger, Hope for Ending Hunger

Ambassador David Lane visits the a dry land farming and seed distribution site in Tolkobeye Niger, August 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: David J. Lane serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies in Rome.

I have just returned from a thought-provoking visit to Niger, one of the largest countries in the Sahel — a region of Africa where close to 19 million people are at risk of severe food shortages.

Before I flew to Niger, I had expected the trip would leave me feeling depressed and hopeless. More than 3 million people in the country do not have access to sufficient food, and suffer — especially the children — from moderate to severe malnutrition. And for Niger, this is nothing new. For the third time in a decade, Niger is reeling from the repercussions of massive drought, this time compounded by high food and fuel costs, locust infestations, and conflict in bordering Mali.

But despite those dire statistics, I saw a more hopeful picture when I toured the country. Indeed, by the time I left Niger, I was filled with optimism and confidence in the multilateral… more »