This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
the past year, the World Food Program has operated a project to prevent hunger
in twenty-one countries in Africa. In the project, the United Nations agency works
with small farmers to grow more and better produce.
World Food Program buys the produce through local cooperative associations.
Then it distributes the products within the country or area. The project works mainly
Sheila Sisulu from the
World Food Program says the project aims to break a cycle that keeps people
hungry. The situation is when farmers have to sell their produce at low prices
after harvest, when supplies are greatest. Then they have to pay high prices to
buy food for themselves during the "lean season," when supplies are limited.
when farmers produce more food, they can sell more. And when they produce high-quality
food, they can get higher prices. They can also store food for themselves, and
have enough money to buy food if they need to during the lean season. Sheila
Sisulu says the farmers are now starting to earn profits through the project.
Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural
Development help the farmers choose the best seeds and fertilizers. They also
advise the farmers on the quality levels that the World Food Program requires
to buy their produce.
Two other groups
recently launched a separate effort to increase food security in Africa. The
groups are the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and the New
Partnership for Africa's Development.
say African governments have to increase their investment in agriculture in
order to fight problems related to climate change. The groups want the
governments to develop programs in seeds, soil health, policy and markets.
Former United Nations chief Kofi
Annan is the chairman of AGRA. The group's president, Namanga Ngongi, says many
African governments are not meeting a target of spending ten percent of their
national budgets on agriculture. But he says investment has risen from four
percent of national budgets to probably five and a half percent today.
And that's the VOA
Special English Agriculture Report. Today's report was written by Jerilyn Watson, with Lisa
Schlein in Geneva and Selah Hennessy in London. You can find transcripts,
podcasts and archives of our reports at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Jim Tedder.