The definition of food security is simple: It means that people consistently have access to sufficient and affordable food to meet their basic nutritional needs. But delivering food security to impoverished populations facing droughts and other natural risks is anything but simple. Winrock takes a comprehensive approach to food security by working with farmers, governments, businesses and communities to establish conditions that ensure people have reliable access to food that will keep them healthy and productive.
Increasing the productivity and profitability of smallholders in Burma has the potential to substantially improve food security and livelihoods in poor, rural communities. The USAID-funded Value Chains for Rural Development program provides technical assistance to producers, farmer groups, agribusinesses and community organizations in the coffee, soybean and horticulture value chains. The project leverages the expertise of volunteers to improve farmer productivity and market access. By introducing new technologies and techniques, improving access to extension services, stimulating private sector investment and promoting market-based approaches, this program aims to boost production and incomes of 80,000 households.
Northern Ghana has a new ally in its struggle against climate change. The USAID Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Project (AgNRM) is protecting both food security and the region’s natural resources. It’s doing this in a holistic way: boosting incomes from natural products such as shea nuts; improving food security through household gardens, cook stoves and improved water management; securing land tenure, especially for women; and strengthening environmental stewardship.
Nepal’s economy is dominated by agriculture, yet the country is one of the most food insecure nations in the world. By working with the country’s private sector to improve on-farm production and facilitate market development, this program helps subsistence farmers become commercial agriculture producers and earn more income.
Despite tremendous progress, farmers in Asia continue to grapple with two major challenges: food insecurity and poverty. By accelerating the transfer and adoption of innovative agricultural technologies, this USAID-funded Feed the Future program gives smallholders in South and Southeast Asia the knowledge and resources they need to grow more crops and earn more income.
Bangladesh’s aquaculture industry is growing, but its small-scale shrimp and prawn producers still need help. They lack the resources and the knowledge of international standards to run farms and hatcheries to their full potential. By providing farmers with technical training and access to financial services — and by building the capacity of the trade associations and government agencies they work with — this project aims to boost livelihoods, increase productivity in the shrimp and prawn industries, and improve food quality and safety in Bangladesh.
Crops that spoil or arrive at market in a condition consumers reject are a missed opportunity for the Philippines to reduce its food insecurity and increase the profits of its small farmers. To address that problem, the Philippines Cold Chain Project works to help smallholder farmers and fishermen on the island of Mindanao to produce high-value products consumers want, and to establish the cold chain infrastructure (basically, a refrigerated supply chain) necessary to ensure those goods are fresh and appealing when they arrive at market. The project also seeks to facilitate and encourage production and post-harvest handling practices that reduce losses of perishable food products.
Guinea has plenty of farmable land and water, a large youth population, and three quarters of its labor force employed in agriculture. But despite these advantages, the nation is still one of the poorest in the world. One reason is the lack of opportunity that prevents women and youth from contributing significantly to the economy. Guinea’s Strengthening Market-Led Agricultural Research, Technology and Education (SMARTE) is enhancing the nation’s agricultural strengths by working with these populations, boosting education, promoting agricultural extension and introducing new technologies.
Poverty and food insecurity are inextricably linked in Bangladesh. Particularly vulnerable are women, youth and those in areas of the country most likely to be impacted by climate change. The goal of this program is to improve nutrition and food security through training in entrepreneurship, improved production of high-value foods as well as reliable access to markets and important agricultural inputs.
To meet Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security and economic challenges, the entire agriculture sector must learn new skills and embrace innovative technologies. Effective agriculture education and training providers — ranging from institutions providing formal certificates and diplomas to NGOs, agribusinesses, and cooperatives that directly train farmers — are absolutely essential in this task. Volunteer experts from the U.S. are supporting entities to better prepare students for productive careers and to transfer knowledge and innovations directly to farmers and others in the agriculture sector.
Nobody knows the challenges and opportunities faced by farmers better than other farmers. Credibility and practical know-how are at the core of this program connecting U.S.-based volunteer farmers and agricultural experts with Asian universities, government training centers, and individual farmers. Through instruction and hands-on training, thousands of Asian farmers and fishers learn about practices and technologies that can boost both the sustainability of their businesses as well as their incomes.
A large percentage of Guineans lack food security and spend a sizable portion of their income on rice. To better meet the needs of its citizens and adapt to the impacts of climate change, Guinea’s agriculture sector must implement new technologies and modern land-management methods. This program focuses on building the capacity of local training and research institutions so that they become effective agents to share knowledge and transform the sector to become more productive and sustainable.
To be effective and long-lasting, solutions to Sub-Saharan Africa’s food security challenges must be homegrown. That belief drives this USAID-funded Feed the Future initiative to develop the capacity of African agriculture professionals, institutions and stakeholders to reduce hunger and poverty. The program seeks agricultural transformation by engaging stakeholders at the continental, regional, country, and local levels to improve the effectiveness of institutions, strengthen the capacity to manage policy change, and promote effective participation of non-state actors.
Millions of Egyptians live below the poverty line and the results are predictably bad, including high rates of illiteracy and infant mortality. In the area of the country known as Upper Egypt — which consists of the Nile River Valley from Cairo south to Lake Nasser — the majority of impoverished people are agricultural laborers, landless farmers and smallholders. This program uses a combination of technical assistance and market-oriented approaches to help these smallholders better serve consumers and increase their incomes.
Rice is critical to the food security and economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s capital city of Kinshasa. This USAID-funded program aims to improve the local rice supply chain through a variety of steps; these include increasing the productivity of small farmers, improving post-harvest processing and handling of rice and strengthening farmer associations and cooperatives.
Communities that most need healthy and affordable food options often have the fewest choices. The Wallace Center at Winrock International collaborates with vulnerable communities to establish value chains that make nutritious and local food available to everyone. This happens through training, mentoring, peer-to-peer learning opportunities and by fostering collaboration between organizations committed to delivering the benefits of good food to all.
The foundation of Ethiopia’s economy, agriculture can play a substantial role in improving livelihoods and increasing the country’s food security. This project supports the Government of Ethiopia’s efforts to establish important regulatory and policy conditions that improve local and national land governance. A particular focus of the project is allowing itinerant pastoralists to secure community land rights and manage their natural resources. Winrock provides administrative and technical support to Tetra Tech ARD, the prime implementer of USAID’s Land Administration to Nurture Development project.
As an important aide to Dr. Norman Borlaug, the father of the Green Revolution, Christopher Dowswell played a critical role in helping hundreds of millions of people achieve food security. One key to the Green Revolution’s success was education. Appropriately, this scholarship fund supports the training and education of primarily female agricultural extension workers. Not only can these workers train farmers to increase their production and incomes, they also become important role models to encourage more African women to pursue leadership positions in agriculture.
The Wallace Center supports entrepreneurs and communities as they build a new, 21st century food system that is healthier for people, the environment and the economy. The demand for locally produced food is strong, growing and often outstrips the ability of small farmers to keep up. Through research, education and technical assistance, The Wallace Center at Winrock International helps groups of local producers (known as food hubs) work together to reach and serve large and sustainable markets.
As part of USAID’s Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally program, Winrock is working to improve the nutrition and health of women and children in Guinea. In particular, project activities will focus on improving the diets of young children and pregnant and lactating women. By conducting research into obstacles preventing proper maternal nutrition, infant feeding and agricultural practices and by working with community members and groups, Winrock will help ensure women and children have steady access to the food they need to thrive.
Small farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa are better able to achieve food security and earn a sufficient livelihood when they receive assistance from the continent’s agricultural colleges and universities. This program helps bolster the ranks of agricultural experts by introducing new opportunities for mid-career professionals to participate in extension education and degree programs at African universities.
The local food movement is improving the health, economies and environment of communities around the country. But for the benefits of healthy and sustainably grown food to reach more Americans, changes throughout the food chain are required. The Wallace Center’s National Good Food Network helps build regional food hubs that allow all participants in the supply chain to share the knowledge and resources necessary to meet the burgeoning demand for local food.
Encouraging private enterprise in Liberia’s agriculture sector is critical if the country is to lower its high rates of unemployment and poverty. Progress will require extensive changes — everything from bolstering the country’s road infrastructure and weak institutions to promoting the importance of women and youth in agriculture. As a partner on this USAID-funded program, Winrock provides technical assistance to help increase farmer productivity and profitability.
Consumer demand for sustainably grown local food is an unprecedented opportunity for family farmers. To take full advantage of the opportunity, small farmers are increasingly working with food hubs — enterprises that utilize cooperative aggregation, distribution and marketing strategies. The Wallace Center at Winrock International works to develop and strengthen food hubs that help small farmers gain entry into large markets they could never access on their own and build a strong culture of food safety.
The need for affordable and healthy food is especially acute in Mississippi, a state that routinely leads the nation in obesity and poverty rates. The Wallace Center at Winrock International collaborates with communities, farmers, wholesale distributors and others to build local food value chains that will make healthy and fresh food readily available in the state’s schools, hospitals and stores.
The availability of fresh and healthy local food often depends on the success of farmers markets. For markets to reach their potential individual vendors and market organizers need training and financial resources to boost sales and awareness. This program provides new and emerging farmers markets in Arkansas with instruction on topics ranging from fundraising to marketing and promotion to vendor recruitment and retention.
American consumers increasingly recognize that locally grown food is not only fresh and delicious, but also provides communities important environmental and economic benefits. The Wallace Center at Winrock International is collaborating with farmers, wholesalers, distributors and other partners in Maryland to meet the state’s burgeoning demand for local food through food hubs. By delivering collective marketing, packaging, product aggregation and other activities, food hubs improve the financial viability of producers and increase the availability of nutritious food.
Crops that spoil or arrive at market in a condition consumers reject are a missed opportunity for Bangladesh to reduce its food insecurity and increase the profits of its small farmers. To address that problem, the Cold Chain Bangladesh Alliance is helping small farmers produce high-value products local consumers want and to establish the cold chain infrastructure (basically, a refrigerated supply chain) necessary to deliver those goods to market.
Increasing awareness that local food is nutritious and good for both the environment and the economy has propelled the growth of regional food economies. In order to encourage more investment in regional food systems and sustainable agriculture, it’s important to showcase the benefits to local economies and communities. This program seeks to build awareness by assisting The Wallace Center at Winrock International in expanding the reach of its National Good Food Network by developing a regional food economies working group and fellows program, and by supporting a national communications strategy that underscores the economic benefits of fostering local food systems.
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