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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog


Haiti Drought Cuts Harvests, Raises Prices, Food Crisis Looms: WFP

Street market in Haiti. Photo credit: Smallholder Farmers Alliance / Andres Cortez

REPRINT > by Anastasia Moloney for Thomson Reuters Foundation / August 26, 2015

A severe drought in Haiti has led to acute water shortages, shriveled harvests and raised food prices, weakening the fragile food supply and worsening hunger among the poor, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said.

The poorest country in the Americas, Haiti already struggles to feed its population of 10.4 million, and 600,000 Haitians already rely on international food aid to survive, the WFP says.

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Chelsea Clinton Meets Moringa Farmers in Haiti

Chelsea Clinton in Haiti last week with two women farmers, Mercillie Romeus (left) and Marie
Dorcelus (right), who are leaders in introducing moringa trees (such as the sapling they are holding)
as a new export crop there. Photo credit: Sebastian Petion / Smallholder Farmers Alliance.

Who would have thought the leaves of one very ordinary looking tree would hold the secret for addressing three critical issues in Haiti: improving nutrition, empowering women and expanding agricultural export.

The leaves of the fast-growing moringa tree, which grows throughout Haiti, contain 9 essential amino acids, 27 vitamins and 46 antioxidants, making it one of the most nutrient dense plants on earth. Just one tablespoon of dried moringa leaf powder is the equivalent of a full serving of vegetables plus a multivitamin combined, making it a valuable tool for improving nutrition.

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Moringa Recipe Competition Supports Smallholder Farmers in Haiti

Kuli Kuli, the company that introduced moringa to the US market in food products, has launched a moringa-inspired recipe competition on Instagram.

The top ten recipes that receive the most Instagram likes will be reviewed by internationally-renowned Chef José Andrés and a panel of judges from World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit that uses the power of food to empower communities and strengthen economies. The winner will receive a trip to Washington DC and dinner at Chef José Andrés' new restaurant – China Chilcano.

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Small farmers can be major actors in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint - UN agency

Farmers growing lettuce and other vegetables in the highlands of Bevatu Settlement, Nadrau,
Viti Levu, Fiji. Photo: IFAD/Susan Beccio

REPRINT > from UN News Centre / July 8, 2015

Helping farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change can also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, finds a new study released today by one of the agricultural agencies of the United Nations system.

“What this report shows is that smallholder farmers are a key part of the solution to the climate change challenge,” said Michel Mordasini, Vice President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). “With the right investments, smallholders can feed a growing planet while at the same time restoring degraded ecosystems and reducing agriculture's carbon footprint.”

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Dominican Republic’s deportation of Haitians is ‘akin to apartheid’

Getting their voices heard: Activists participate in a rally outside the Embassy of the Dominican
Republic on Monday in in Washington, DC. Activists protested the mass deportations and expulsions
taking place in the Dominican Republic, as a result of a 2013 ruling. | Alex Wong Getty Images

REPRINT > by Raymond A. Joseph for the Miami Herald / June 27, 2015

Dominican officials are poised to deport thousands of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent to Haiti in an ethnic-cleansing folly with wide-range repercussions.

The Dominican officials, who fancy their country as being white, are determined to rid the Dominican Republic of as many people as possible who “look Haitian,” meaning too black for their taste. (Although of fairer skin than Haitians, the overwhelming majority of Dominicans would be classified as black in the U.S.)

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Moringa vs Cancer

Could moringa leaf powder treat cancer? Dr. Il Lae Jung, with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute in South Korea, addresses this question in a scientific paper outlining his research into the potential of a new type of water-soluble extract from moringa leaves to treat various types of cancers.

Published last year in the peer-reviewed science site PLOS ONE, the study is titled “Soluble Extract from Moringa oleifera Leaves with a New Anticancer Activity.” While more research is needed, the study suggests moringa could potentially be an ideal anticancer therapeutic candidate specific to cancer cells.

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Meet moringa, the (latest) world’s most amazing superfood

REPRINT > by Nathanael Johnson for Grist / June 16, 2015

I have an involuntary reflex to the word “superfood”: It makes a single eyebrow twitch upward. Or, if I see the word in a story pitch, another reflex causes a spastic finger to delete the email. This reflex stems from Pavlovian conditioning: Every time I have heard the word “superfood,” I soon after find that someone is spoon-feeding me a hot bowl of hype. 

So what I’m about to write here comes as a surprise even to me: Moringa should be the next superfood! 

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Smallholder farmers are the new global food frontier

A farmer walks with her son during a potato harvest in Huancavelica, southern Peru. Smallholder farmers
produce nearly 70% of all food consumed worldwide. Photograph: Martin Mejia/AP

One-third of the world’s 7.3 billion people are smallholder family farmers who produce nearly 70% of all food consumed worldwide. So why aren’t we doing more to protect them?

REPRINT > by Hugh Locke for The Guardian / May 12, 2015

A third of the world’s 7.3 billion people are smallholder farmers and their families who produce nearly 70% of all food consumed worldwide on 60% of the planet’s arable land. For what sounds like a major part of the global economy, you would expect these farmers to be relatively well off and financially secure. But they aren’t. In fact, they represent the majority of the poorest and hungriest people on earth. How did this happen? 

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