All sorts of problems cause people to lack access to food but the outcome is always the same, “no food equals no hope.” Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck put it another way, “Hunger makes a thief of any man.” If 870 million people, or about 1 in 8 of us suffer from hunger on World Food Day this October 16, 2013, then we must also look to 2050 when there will be a third more mouths to feed.
Convoy of Hope’s agriculture program is powered by education to undergird hard-working farmers in order to increase crop yield and provide hunger solutions for the farmer and the community, today and tomorrow. Farmers are hard-workers with natural intuition so they sieze the opportunity to leverage their work. We utilize local agronomists, specialized staff, and university partnerships to provide agriculture training seminars, curriculum and hands-on field research.
Since launching our efforts in Haiti with our partner Mission of Hope, we’ve trained 2,300 farmers in best management practices specific to their region and cropping system. We recently polled 400 farmers who reported a 250 percent increase in yield and an 80 percent increase in income and quality of life as a result of our education and seed program. In El Salvador our agronomy staff works with 100’s of women in mother’s clubs from 17 communities with focus in education and community gardening. In the United States we’re focussed on seed distribution, research and education with a goal of starting 400 community gardens in 2014. These solutions are exciting, but if we’re going to solve hunger in our lifetime it’s going to take all of us.