smallholder farmers
Food manufacturing company Kellogg has teamed up with TechnoServe, an NGO focused on entrepreneurial initiatives in Third World areas, to launch an initiative helping female smallholder farmers receive training in climate-smart agriculture.

The initiative was unveiled on March 8, International Women’s Day. The work will predominately be focused in India to help 12,000 women who are smallholder farmers get access to tools, financing and agricultural inputs. A program will also be created in South Africa to train 400 women in improving the quality and quantity of their yields.

According to GreenBiz, the number of smallholder farmers around the world has been on the rise, and almost half of them are women. In developing countries where smallholding is a common practice, men are typically the ones trained in business transactions and financing. About half of India’s population is a part of smallholder families, and much of this group suffers from extreme poverty.

Diane Holdorf, Kellogg’s Chief Sustainability Officer, said in the GreenBiz report, “We know that in many of these societies, these women face very significant challenges; they lack access to training, lack access to financing and lack access to seeds that would really help them to improve their agricultural yields and livelihoods.”

Kellogg, like most multinational food companies, relies on international farmers to grow its ingredients. In India, GreenBiz reports that roughly 23,258 smallholder farmers supply the honey, wheat, rice, and maize that Kellogg uses in its nearby production.

About a year and a half ago, when the U.N. and the global business community began drafting Sustainable Development Goals to address world poverty, Kellogg investigated how to help female smallholder farmers. Kellogg then began a pilot program with TechnoServe to teach 3,000 smallholder farmers about sustainable farming, and now have established this official initiative.

With global warming becoming a growing issue, many farmers around the world are challenged with shorter planting seasons, droughts or floods. As a result, according to GreenBiz, Kellogg believes that helping smallholder farmers adjust will be both good business and good corporate citizenship.

Kerri Whelan

Photo: Flickr

The Kellogg Foundation, founded in 1930 by Kellogg Company CEO Will Keith Kellogg, focuses on issues relating to child development, primarily in Haiti, Mexico, the U.S., Brazil and southern Africa. Within the U.S., the foundation concentrates on Michigan, New Orleans, New Mexico and Mississippi.

“Concentrating our resources on early childhood (prenatal to age 8), within the context of families and communities, offers the best opportunity to dramatically reduce the vulnerability caused by poverty and racial inequity over time,” states the foundation’s website.

To achieve this, the Kellogg Foundation focuses on the following three strategic goals:

Educated Kids: Increasing the number of children who are proficient in reading and math by third grade.

Healthy Kids: Increasing the number of children born at healthy birth weight and who receive the care and healthy food they need for optimal development.

Secure Families: Increasing the number of children and families living at least 200 percent above the poverty level.

Embedded in these goals are a commitment to civic and community engagement and racial equity. The foundation considers these elements to be essential if communities are to create conditions under which all children can thrive.

Under the rubric of Educated Kids, the Kellogg Foundation seeks to increase the support and training that educators receive in a bid to enhance their leadership skills and professional development and ultimately improve the quality of both teaching and learning.

In the category of Healthy Kids, the foundation focuses its grants on efforts to improve the health of mothers and families, increase breastfeeding rates, provide community-based oral health care and transform food systems.

And to ensure Secure Families, the Kellogg Foundation assists families with their financial and employment prospects, helping them to increase their economic and social mobility. “We help make connections to financial resources and job skills training, so that families can be debt-free, pay their bills and feel empowered to help their children succeed,” says the foundation’s website.

The foundation also stands for racial equity and social justice, seeking to stamp out structural racism: “Far too many children of color live in racially isolated neighborhoods in metropolitan areas, and in segregated rural and tribal communities across the United States,” the foundation says.

NonProfit Quarterly notes that efforts to change structural racism can be difficult for foundations to achieve: “It is easier to find and fund the mentoring and leadership development programs which, in many cases, are hardly new, than to pinpoint how to effectuate changes in institutional and public policies that sustain these structural inequities.”

In spite of these challenges, the Kellogg Foundation continues to work on improving the health and development of children around the world and in the U.S. as well as enhancing communities and striving for racial equity.

Mayra Vega

Sources: WKKF, Nonprofit Quarterly
Photo: Flickr

development gateway
Development Gateway is an organization committed to international development. This nonprofit advises and provides consulting services for non governmental organizations and organizations operating oversees.

They apply effective methods of collaboration and cooperation in order to find solutions for how to utilize scarce resources or distribute aid workers to regions in humanitarian crisis. The Development Gateway is there as a tool for organizations and professionals involved in international development.

Development Gateway has offices in the United States, Europe and two locations in Africa. However, they work in 20 countries on five continents. The main tool they use to help professionals and organizations is called Results Management. Results management uses data analyses to track results in order to employ policies that reflect the findings of the data. The Development Gateway team uses custom data management applications and information management consulting to solve problems.

To show results of the data they gather and analyze, Development Gateway uses graphics, databases, dashboards and maps as ways to show the material and advise their partners and employers.

Many of Development Gateway’s projects are done in cooperation with other partners including public, private and non-governmental agencies and organizations. They work in tandem with other organizations in order to provide solutions that are well-rounded and dynamic. Gateway Development works with the United Nations, Virtual Statistical Systems and the Kellogg Foundation among many others to provide the most recent and up-to-date information.

The organization employs highly skilled and experienced Technical Project Specialists, Regional Managers, Business Analysts, Aid Coordinator Specialists, Policy Advisors and Financial Analysts among other roles. These highly skilled professionals contribute to solving the vast number of problems that arise in international development. Together, they work toward solving issues and forming solutions to better the world.

Maxine Gordon

Sources: Development Gateway, Glassdoor
Photo: Development Gateway