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.
In March, the social innovation lab launched the BRAC Innovation Fund for Mobile Money. The challenge fund was an opportunity for us to think ‘digitally,’ and explore the potential of mobile money to innovate and improve BRAC’s work.
It is an inherent advantage when joining an organisation for the first time, to be able to consider its work with fresh eyes. I’ve spent the first weeks in my new role at BRAC’s disaster management and climate change programme (DMCC) absorbing a wealth of information filled with a combination of climate change warnings and interesting programme results.
Over the past 40 years, BRAC has grown from a small relief organization into the world’s largest NGO. Yet despite this scale, BRAC is always looking for new ways to improve its programs for the 135 million people it serves around the world. One such way is to ensure that BRAC International’s country programs are filled with qualified and capable local individuals with first-hand knowledge of the community landscape and local culture.
How can we quickly boost farmer incomes so they have a chance to lift theLike 80 percent of Tanzanians, she earns a living from agriculture. The smile on Khabitu’s face suggests she’s doing well. She works as a model farmer, demonstrating good techniques to her neighbors at her small vegetable farm, which she tends with her husband Said, in Iringu, central Tanzania.mselves out of poverty?
At a ceremony this Sunday, the Food and Agriculture Organization will recognize countries that have achieved Millennium Development Goal number one, to halve their proportion of hungry people. Bangladesh, once labeled a basket case, will be one of them.