Husnaara ran to her house smiling from ear to ear as if she could not get any happier. At that point nothing seemed impossible; she could become a doctor, an engineer or a lawyer, go to a good university. She could not wait to give her father the news about her Secondary School Certificate results and assure him that his daughter would one day be able to provide for them.
Peeking from behind the tin door is Ibrahim’s two-year-old daughter, Amena, in a blue polka dot dress, and a kitten in her arms. Another kitten appears and darts across the courtyard. Ducklings scatter about in panic.
Albrecht Dürer’s masterful woodcut, ’Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ is drawn from the Book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible’s New Testament. In it, the horsemen ride on red, black, white and pale horses, symbolising war, famine, conquest and death.
The yearly Frugal Innovation Forum at BRAC brings together leading practitioners from the NGO, corporate and entrepreneurial sectors along with academics and policy makers. It has proven a great platform for debate and the sharing of best practice.
It has been a few days since Dr Mahabub Hossain has left us. As more and more people are remembering him, it is clear what a profound impact he had on those he crossed paths with. As a leader, Dr Mahabub’s contribution was immense in BRAC as well.
“Data not only measures progress, it inspires it. What gets measured gets done. Once you start measuring problems, people are more inclined to take action to fix them because nobody wants to end up at the bottom of a list of rankings.”
Sierra Leoneans celebrated in the streets last month when 42 days passed without a single new case of Ebola. The mix of mourning and jubilation called to mind the signing of a peace treaty after a war, and the end of Ebola should indeed be greeted as a victory.
Not often does one come across a girl who is interested in chasing a career in agriculture. Paradoxically, research shows that more than 60 per cent of women worldwide are responsible for putting food on the table. In that case, why aren’t more people, notably young women taking up a profession in agriculture?
While many developing countries have made breakthroughs in the agricultural sector, chronic hunger remains our biggest challenge. Today about 805 million people suffer from chronic hunger globally, and around 65 per cent of them exist in Asia and the pacific. We know that the global population is expected to increase to nearly 9 billion by 2050. To meet the growing food demand we need to increase agricultural production by 60 per cent globally. In the newly formed SDGs, agriculture is a crosscutting theme.
It is said that the total number of hungry people in the world could be reduced by 12-17 per cent if women’s access to resources were equivalent to that of men. Still perceived to be a male-dominated field, the agriculture sector in Bangladesh has seen a dramatic rise in female participation, now exceeding 50 per cent. October 15th is International Day for Rural Women and here are some of their stories.
In smallholder agriculture, innovation is the driving force for the improvement of farming systems. It is especially important for the development of adoption strategies to cope with constantly changing production and market conditions. Farmers have always been experimenting with new ideas and practices for locally adapted innovations. A number of approaches have been established to understand and support the important potential of smallholder farmers as innovators. These approaches provide participatory methods to identify and promote locally derived innovations.
Over the past 50 years, agricultural research has improved crop yields, particularly of staples like cereals and tubers. But this breeding has placed too little emphasis on nutrition, leaving the poorest, who often can only afford these staples, consuming too few essential nutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin A.