Looking down at her feet and wiggling her toes a little, Anne Malemba Simuyu says she likes to wear open-toed shoes. She owns two pairs that she alternates. She says closed-toed shoes rub too much on days she walks a lot, and for Anne—most days are days she walks a lot.
Forty-eight years old, Anne has eight children, five of whom are now adults. She works selling vitamins door-to-door when she isn't cultivating her acre and a half of farmland in Lugulu, Kenya. Her smile doesn't come easy, but she always welcomes neighbors into her home, and on the occasion that she jokes, everyone in the room laughs hard.
Anne says farming and raising her children has made her tired. She says she looks to God to give her energy for each day.
“I am ever busy,” she says. “I prepare myself each day by saying that when God gives me breath tomorrow, I will wake up and continue to work.”
Violette Mukamana carefully measures and applies fertilizer to her maize in Kiruhura, Rwanda.
The post below is courtesy of the ONE Campaign. To view the original post, click here.
Today we are calling on you to join a global food revolution. In just 46 days, decision makers are coming together for a food summit in London ahead of the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland. This is the biggest opportunity in a decade to get some serious action taken on nutrition, an issue that has been neglected for too long.
A tiny percentage of the money that the world spends on helping the poorest people improve their lives goes towards better nutrition – less than 0.3%. Which seems incredible when 40% of children in Africa are so malnourished that they will never fully thrive and reach their full physical and mental potential.
We all know what it’s like to have dreams, imagine if something as simple as adequate nutrition meant you never quite made them a reality. Tragically for 2.4 million of those children every year, malnutrition also claims their lives.
If you’ve ever visited Kenya, you have likely come across ugali, a stiff porridge usually made from maize flour. Ugali is the staple food for millions of people across Africa. Rich or poor, educated or illiterate, almost every Kenya will say that a meal without ugali is not a meal.
After a new maize disease emerged in Kenya late last year, the One Acre Fund team in Kenya began focusing its energy on answering one question: If growing maize in Kenya is extremely risky, and no longer a reliable source of food, how can we help farmers mitigate risk with different food crops?
The core package of maize seed and fertilizer had been fine-tuned over six years, but we had only six months to come up with an alternative crops package for the 2013 season.
Two crops quickly emerged as potential substitutes for maize and became the focus of intensive research and trials. Millet and sorghum showed signs of resistance to the maize disease and could also be ground...
Workers load thousands of sacks of sweet potato vines into delivery trucks from the One Acre Fund sweet potato vine multiplication farm in Kitale, Kenya. The sweet potato vines were then delivered to more than 60,000 farmers.
Eunice Kuteli steps carefully through her field, pausing periodically to drop a small pink seed into a meticulously dug hole. She relies on the seed One Acre Fund provides for her livelihood; it holds the potential to grow into a healthy maize plant that can be harvested and eaten. Eunice might not know it, but that seed is the result of years of work.
One Acre Fund recognizes that improved farm inputs (seed and fertilizer) are essential to increasing farm yields. We invest tremendous resources to ensure that the seeds we offer our farmers are of the highest quality. Every one of the seeds we distribute to our farmers in Kenya has a long journey from development to production, procurement, delivery, and planting.
Seed development and creation of hybrids
While farmers always have the option of reusing local seed from previous harvests, One Acre Fund encourages farmers to invest in hybrid maize seeds every year. Local seed has degraded in quality over time, and most local seed that farmers plant...
Hundreds of bags packed to the brim with sweet potato vines wait to be loaded on OAF delivery trucks. Each will then be delivered to a farmer in no more than one day after the vines were originally cut.
We are honored to announce that One Acre Fund has been featured in a report entitled “Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture.” “Sustainable intensification” refers to producing more farm outputs through the efficient use of inputs. The report examines how smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa can benefit from sustainable intensification initiatives. It first describes intensification principles, then how to ensure that intensification is sustainable, and finally what practical solutions have been implemented in Africa using the sustainable intensification framework.
One Acre Fund is featured as a proven example of how sustainable intensification has been implemented in the field. One Acre Fund demonstrates the dramatic increase in outputs smallholder farmers can produce when equipped with the appropriate tools and techniques.
The report was written by the Montpellier Panel, a panel of international agriculture, sustainable development, trade, policy, and global development experts working to make policy recommendations in support of agriculture development and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. It was presented to the UK Parliament...
Last month, millions of Americans filed their taxes and soon many will debate how their government should spend this tax money. Although many countries engage in dialogue about how to best invest national resources, in some countries such transparency and debate is rare. For small-scale farmers like Felicite Mukambaraga, this means that governments might not be doing all they could to enable her to grow more food. A recent report published by the ONE Campaign, A Growing Opportunity: Measuring Investments in African Agriculture, looks at public investments in African agriculture and government openness about those investments.
Ten years ago, in a 2003 African Union Declaration made in Maputo, Mozambique, African governments promised to allocate at least 10 percent of their national budgets to agriculture and to engage the public in debate about how they spend that money. However, out of the 19 countries evaluated in the ONE report, only Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger met the 10 percent goal in 2011 and only half of the 19 had somewhat open budgets. Rwanda and Kenya...
Farmers and their families help unload sweet potato vines at a OAF delivery site in Kakamega, Kenya. Every OAF farmer present at the drop took home a sack filled with more than 400 vines ready to cut and plant!
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