Feed the Future Initiative

Feed the Future
According to USAID, “More than 800 million people across the globe go to bed hungry every night.” In order to bring this famine to an end, the agency has teamed up with the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative.

The strategy of this approach is much more effective than simply delivering crates of food to different regions of the world. Feed the Future focuses on educating farmers on more efficient ways to increase agriculture. Since climate changes affect the way crops grow in some of the world’s poorest countries, the plan finds better ways to cultivate food.

“Recent studies suggest that every 1 percent increase in agricultural income per capita reduces the number of people living in extreme poverty by between 0.6 and 1.8 percent,” says Feed the Future.

Although its focus is on ensuring food security, Feed the Future also focuses on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In most developing countries, women possess less power in the agricultural market, working for free with no control over farmland.

“There is consistent and compelling evidence that when the status of women is improved, agricultural productivity increases, poverty is reduced, and nutrition improves,” says Feed the Future.

One of its approaches is to introduce farmers to new technologies to help production. Written in Feed the Future’s progress report, a farmer in southern Bangladesh says, “This modern technology reduces my time in the field.”

So far, the initiative has helped nearly 7 million farmers and fed 12.5 million children. These farmers and children belong to countries in Central America, Africa and the Middle East.

Along with women’s empowerment and farm education, Feed the Future believes “a healthy, productive life requires adequate nutrition.” Since poor health can lead to disease and distraction from education, it directly correlates to the rate of poverty. By educating developing nations on proper health, these nations improve living conditions, as well as the physical and mental health of children.

Feed the Future also works with the Global Health Initiative and USAID Office of Food for Peace to secure meals across the world. As it continues to work with multiple sectors and partners, Feed the Future is looking for more ways to improve food security in developing countries. By focusing on the effects of greenhouse gases, and “by sustainably boosting agricultural yields and household income,” it is progressively finding ways to help farmers deal with climate changes.

Although the initiative has made great progress, its fight is not over as it continues to work with farmers across the globe.

Kimberly Quitzon

Sources: Feed the Future, USAID
Photo: USAID