“Feed the Future has hit its stride,” Rajiv Shah, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator, told an audience of policymakers, food experts and administrative officials at this week’s Feed the Future Global Forum, a three-day event in Washington, D.C.Launched by the Obama administration in 2010 after a surge in global food prices, Feed the Future encompasses a number of programs aimed to increase agricultural development and food production as well as improve nutrition for vulnerable populations such as women and children. The initiative is part of a global effort to address hunger and food insecurity.
This week’s forum coincides with the release of the 2014 Feed the Future Progress Report and was aimed at highlighting results, identifying new opportunities for collaborations and accelerating progress towards the initiative’s goals of reducing global poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
It was also a rare occasion to bring together NGO professionals, governments and field responders who work every day to further the mission of Feed the Future. The initiative has indeed been a success. Currently, Feed the Future works in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In the last year alone, the initiative has fed nearly 7 million small-scale farmers and helped save 12.5 million children from the threat of hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.
- In Bangladesh, for example, 3.3 million small-scale farmers received support to improve their agriculture inputs and farm management practices enabling farmers to increase rice yields by 20% and creating additional rice sales of $25 million.
- In Ethiopia, a domestic company called Guts Agro Industry developed a ready-to-use supplementary food made with chickpeas sourced from 10,000 small-scale farmers, with current plans to expand the program to include 52,000 farmers.
- In Honduras, by increasing horticulture sales by 125% more than 4,300 struggling families were able to raise their incomes well above the $1.25 per day global poverty line.
Going forward, an increased emphasis will be placed on scaling up technology and nutrition programs to meet the rising demands of a growing global population. By transforming how people farm and what people eat, Feed the Future will continue to help build more sustainable and resilient communities around the world.
To read more about Feed the Future and 2014’s progress report, click here.