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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog


The Future of Food

In an eight-month series on The Future of Food, National Geographic is exploring how we will feed two billion more people by 2050 without overwhelming the planet. Their extraordinary in-depth coverage represents a turning point in understanding the complex and interconnected issues around this global challenge.

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Climate change’s souring effects on Haiti crops

In September, Walmart will begin offering TOWO Supreme, made from Haiti-
grown coffee beans, at select Florida stores (coffee distributed by Kafe Pa Nou).

Reprinted from the Miami Herald by Jacqueline Charles.

Haiti’s coffee production, which is enjoying a sweet comeback, could be adversely affected by warmer temperatures and less rainfall in the future, a study released Thursday by Catholic Relief Services said.

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African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Reprinted from Voice of America by Jennifer Lazuta 

DAKAR, SENEGAL—Agricultural experts say that small-scale farmers in Africa can play a key role in ending food insecurity in the region - if they are included in the value chain. Small-scale farmers produce an estimated 80 percent of the continent’s food each year, but most lack the capacities to sell their crops in commercial markets.

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Could Specialty Cocoa Be Haiti’s Golden Ticket to Prosperity? 

Maman Pye cacao, a Haitian supertree, can produce 20 times as many cacao
pods as ordinary trees, and the pods themselves are denser with cacao seeds
than ordinary pods.
Reprinted from NPR by Rashmee Roshan Lall

In Robillard, a tiny hamlet deep in the Haitian hinterland, Valmir Mamonvil is standing next to a would-be national hero: Maman Pye cacao, which in Haitian Creole means "mother cacao tree." His father planted it 30 years ago, but for Mamonvil, the tree is more than a family heirloom. It could be his kids' ticket to prosperity — and his country's chance to cash in on surging chocolate demand around the world.

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Haiti slum blooms into urban oasis

The Jaden Tap Tap garden project has sown seeds of community enterprise in the Cité Soleil slum. Photograph: Daniel Tillias, Jaden Tap Tap

Reprinted from The Guardian by Rashmee Roshan Lall

"Plant moringa; harvest community harmony" could be a good motto for Jaden Tap Tap, a green oasis in the tough, garbage-strewn eyesore that is Cité Soleil. The slum, in the north of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, is often described as the one of the most dangerous in the western hemisphere.

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World food security at risk as variety of crops shrinks

The last of the 2012 drought-stricken corn is seen at a farm in Maryland on
October 27, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Reprint from Thomson Reuters Foundation by Samuel Mintz 

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Globalisation touches almost every aspect of life in the modern world, including the food we eat. Over the last 50 years, diets around the world have become more and more similar while the diversity of food supply has decreased, which could mean that the world’s crops will be increasingly vulnerable to climate change and other dangers, according to a new report.

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Family farms are model farms, says FAO chief

José Graziano da Silva says family farming plays a crucial role in
sustainable food production. Photo: Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images.

Reprint from the Guardian Professional by Francesco Rampa

There are an estimated 500m family farms in the world, and family farming is the predominant form of agriculture and main food producer in developed and developing countries.

The rising Africa narrative suggests that there will be a 4.7% growth rate in African economies in 2014, but while this offers opportunities to rural farmers, they often struggle to meet growing demands and find themselves at a disadvantage due to high costs, and low bargaining power.

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Haiti, Unfinished and Forsaken

Reprint from The New York Times | EDITORIAL | January 10, 2014

Four years after the earthquake, Haiti is a fragile, largely forgotten country. It’s possible that some natural or man-made crisis this year could push it back into the headlines. But sustained attention, with the kind of support from outside that Haiti still needs to rebuild and become more self-sufficient, is mostly gone.

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