Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Grameen Foundation Selected as a Global Resilience Challenge Winner

Source: Press Release

Grameen Foundation was selected by The Global Resilience Partnership to implement transformative resilience solutions to problems facing smallholder coconut and cocoa farmers in Southeast Asia. A global leader in innovations to help the world's poor, Grameen Foundation was among eight global teams in the Global Resilience Challenge, a multi-stage design competition that received nearly 500 initial applications to address the most difficult resilience challenges. The foundation will now receive up to $1 million to implement its proposed solution in a way that can be scaled and adopted by others in the future.
Thursday, September 17, 2015 — South Asia

Small Farmers and Business Get Reason to Cheer as Reserve Bank of India Grants Licenses to 10 Small Banks

Source: The Economic Times

The Reserve Bank granted small bank licences to 10 applicants, most of which are engaged in microfinance, in a move seen as one of the most far-reaching initiatives on financial inclusion since bank nationalisation in the late 1960s.
Friday, September 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

DKM Microfinance Saga in Ghana: Three Die in Nkoranza

Source: Ghana Web

Frustrated customers of financial companies with frozen accounts have vowed to make Nkoranza a living hell for government employees if monies lodged with the microfinance companies are not released to them.
Friday, September 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

FAO and MasterCard Join Forces on Financial Inclusion

Source: Finextra

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and MasterCard are joining forces to create an innovative new alliance against hunger.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

34 Indigenous Crops Promoting Health and Feeding the World

Source: Food Tank

Every day, plant species across the globe are disappearing. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s plant genetic resources are now extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity is expected to disappear by 2050. Up to 100,000 plant varieties are currently endangered worldwide.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cocoa Farmers Embrace Telemedicine

Source: Modern Ghana

Kuapa Kokoo Farmers' Union - a farmers' cooperative, has introduced a telemedicine project to help effectively tackle the health needs of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Smartphones help Tanzanian women secure land rights


In an effort to help Tanzania's authorities secure village land rights, USAID launched a project to map geographic and demographic data using mobile phone technology, with the aim of speeding up land rights registration.
Monday, August 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet Moringa, The African Superfood That's Healthier Than Kale

Source: Fast Company

It's packed with calcium, protein, and vitamins — and putting it in your smoothie will also send money to African farmers.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard Foundation to Invest in Ugandan Companies

Source: New Vision

Uganda is among eight countries set to receive USD50m (Sh177b) by the Master Card Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity to fund innovations aimed at improving access to finance in rural populations in sub Saharan Africa.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

President Obama Announces Major Progress Through Feed the Future Initiative


On July 28 President Obama announced that Feed the Future, his signature global hunger and food security initiative, is delivering on his promise to reduce hunger and malnutrition through agricultural development. New data demonstrate that, thanks in part to Feed the Future and other U.S. Government efforts, stunting rates have declined in Ethiopia, Ghana, and parts of Kenya by between 9 and 33 percent in recent years, while areas in Uganda have seen a 16 percent drop in poverty.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bangladesh-Based Poverty Group Founder Wins World Food Prize

Source: The Associated Press

A man who created a nonprofit organization credited with helping more than 150 million people out of poverty was named the winner of the 2015 World Food Prize on Wednesday. Fazle Hasan Abed, of Bangladesh, created BRAC, the organization originally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, as a temporary relief organization to help the country recover from the 1970 typhoon that killed about 500,000 people and the subsequent war fought in 1971 to win independence from Pakistan. Bangladesh was once listed as the second poorest country in the world.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — South Asia

Burning Bridges by Building Bridges

Source: Philstar

Do you remember the old folk song that goes, “ako ang nagtanim at nagbayo at nagsaing, subalit nang maluto ay iba ang kumain” (I planted, pounded and cooked my own rice, but some other guy ate it)? It is not exactly the same story for the farmers, but it is certainly how they still feel.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

Beyond Organic: Promoting Indonesia’s Indigenous Farming Cultures

Source: The Guardian

The first time Helianti Hilman visited the indigenous farmers of the West Java town of Garut, she was asked to remove her shoes before entering their fields. Her surprise grew when the farmers quizzed her on her mood – they didn’t want her upsetting the plants.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New App Helps Farmers in Kenya Find Climate-Smart Seeds

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

A new app launched in Kenya June 10 could help millions of farmers adapt to climate change by offering information on the best seeds for changing growing conditions, agriculture experts said.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: What's Driving Ethiopia's Remarkable Improvements in Nutritional Health?

Source: allAfrica

Since 2000, Ethiopia has been doing something right in early childhood nutrition. Under-five child stunting rates have dropped from 58 percent to 40 percent, child wasting has dropped below 10 percent, and the prevalence of underweight in young children has declined from 41 to 25 percent.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Can This Scientist Unite Genetic Engineers and Organic Farmers?

Source: National Geographic

Eighteen scientists are sitting in a lab, talking about new ways to feed the planet. These are some of the world’s foremost experts on rice. Most of them are from China. Nearly all of them are men.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Root Capital Announces New $15 Million Lending Facility to Finance African Agricultural Enterprises

Source: Root Capital

The company will finance agricultural enterprises throughout sub-Saharan Africa to enhance local food security and stimulate inclusive economic growth in the region.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodafone expands Farmers Club to 4 new markets

Source: Telecom Paper

Vodafone announced that it is launching its Farmers’ Club initiative - which offers a range of mobile services to help farmers in Turkey boost productivity - in India, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Why India's farm sector is getting increasing attention from impact investors

Source: Economic Times

Impact investors are now turning their focus to agriculture and its allied fields, after a decade of attention to microfinance, financial inclusion and healthcare.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Report: Simple mobile services can boost Indian farmers’ income

Source: Mobile World Live

The introduction of a number of simple mobile services in India has the potential to boost the income of two-thirds of the country’s small-scale farmers by up to $9 billion a year by 2020, according to a report by Vodafone.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

Analysis: Golden Rice in India: Is It Necessary? What Are Impediments to Adoption?

Source: Genetic Literacy Project

There is a saying in Chinese used to wish others well that means, “may you never live in interesting times.” In a complex world full of conflict, disease, and death, the idea of living in a simpler world without the plagues of the present must seem comforting to most. Sadly, this is not the world we live in, no matter how much one may wish it into reality. For those living in rural India, life can be a constant struggle.
Friday, May 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan women make a healthy profit selling aloe to cosmetics firm

Source: Christian Science Monitor/Thomson Reuters Foundation

Women herders in Kenya's semi-arid Laikipia County have broken with tradition to export the leaves of a desert plant to Europe, boosting their incomes. Three hundred women in El Poloi have switched from the age-old occupation of goat-keeping to the new and far more lucrative activity of farming aloe, a plant with healing properties. Along the way, they are transforming their economic status and creating educational opportunities for their daughters.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — Latin America

Latin American Organizations Campaign to Ban Monsanto

Source: TeleSUR

Doctors, scientists and environmentalists in Argentina, and across Latin America, are demanding a ban on Monsanto products.
Friday, April 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mali's Farmers Count on National Fund to Expand Climate Insurance

Source: allAfrica

A lack of rain in the middle of last season caused Seydou Diarassouba's sorghum crop to fail.
Monday, April 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Heifer Awarded $750,000 From Starbucks Foundation to Support Coffee Farmers in Tanzania

Source: Market Watch

Heifer International was awarded a Starbucks Foundation grant of $750,000 to help fund the Mbozi Farmer Livelihood Improvement Project in Tanzania, which will help improve livelihoods and quality of life for smallholder coffee growing communities in the East African country.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Activists Protest Gates Foundation Plan for African Farmers

Source: Humanosphere

Activists in Seattle and London held demonstrations on Monday to protest efforts by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and others to privatize seeds as part of a push to industrialize farming in Africa.
Friday, March 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Lending to Poor Farmers: Seeding the Market

Source: The Economist

“Coffee is our gateway drug,” jokes Willy Foote, founder of Root Capital. “Then we move on to harder stuff, like cocoa, cashews, quinoa and sorghum.” That is how the firm got started in 1999, after Mr Foote quit his job as a Wall Street analyst, lending $73,000 to a coffee (and cardamom) co-operative in Guatemala. It has since expanded to 25 countries in Latin America and Africa, and in December set up shop in Indonesia, with a loan of $550,000 to an organic coffee co-operative.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Grameen Launches Media Project for Ghana Smallholders

Source: Voice of America

A new initiative has been launched to increase food security for small holder farmers in five regions in Ghana. The initiative - ICT Challenge – is a partnership between the Grameen Foundation, Farm Radio International and Digital Green.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Remittances to Developing Nations to Hit $500 Billion in 2015 - U.N. Official

Source: Reuters

An estimated 230 million migrants will send $500 billion in remittances to developing countries in 2015, a flow of capital expected to do more to reduce poverty than all development aid combined, a senior official of the U.N. agricultural bank said.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Agriculture Insurance Turning Around Farmers’ Lives in East Africa

Source: New Vision

Jackie Kiconco sits in her garden with her right hand supporting her chin. Her eyes are gazing across the maize garden that she had planted but because of late rainfall, the seeds failed to germinate.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — Latin America

Press Release: Better Than Cash Alliance Study Shows Colombia's Digital Payment Tool for Coffee Farmers Is a Model to Replicate

Source: Market Wired

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) Smart Coffee ID Card (CCI), launched in 2006, has become a vital tool for financial inclusion and change in the productive dynamics of Colombia´s rural sector, according to the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), a United Nations alliance of governments, companies and the development community committed to the global transition from cash to electronic payments.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bank of Zimbabwe Launches $50 Million Fund to Support Smallholder Farmers, Rural Development

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor Michael Gondwe has launched a US$50 million Fund under the MasterCard Foundation’s Fund to support smallholder farmers in the rural areas.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Davos 2015: Live Updates From the World Economic Forum

Source: The Huffington Post

Wednesday marks the second day of the 2015 World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Annual Meeting.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Three Questions with David Aylward, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Technology at Ashoka

Source: The Daily Meal

Food Tank, in partnership with The George Washington University, is hosting the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington D.C. on January 21-22, 2015.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Growing Global Health Awareness Could Mean Big Business for Manufacturers

Source: Market Watch

The battle against the bulge is a global phenomenon that could translate into real opportunity for manufacturers, according to a new study by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Nearly half (49%) of the global respondents in Nielsen's Global Health & Wellness Survey consider themselves overweight. Obesity rates around the world are accelerating and not just in developed countries. In fact, 62% of the world's 671 million obese individuals live in developing markets, according to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study. The study estimated that 2.1 billion people (nearly 30% of the global population) were overweight or obese. Nielsen's study shows that consumers are attempting to take charge of their health—50% are actively trying to lose weight and 88% are willing to pay more for foods with healthy attributes to some degree.
Monday, January 5, 2015 — Latin America

Bolivian Women Bank on Sweet Success of Quinoa Bars

Source: The Guardian

Women in a Bolivian cooperative hope to boost income by adding value to their quinoa crop through making chocolate-coated energy bars.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Mobile Wallets Will Be Offered to 120,000 Zambian Farmers

Source: Ericsson

MTN Chief Sales and Distribution Officer Amos Jere told journalists at the Zambia Agriculture Show that MTN Zambia plans to work with 120,000 farmers in the next farming season through the Ericsson Wallet Platform. Quoted by the Lusaka Times, he said that the company is in the process of rolling out our mobile money platform to integrate MTN Mobile Money with all banks in the country and added that some 4,000 subsistence farmers in the country have already been successfully paid through the platform for their cotton sales in Eastern Province.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Magic Wand for Nutrition and Incomes in Mozambique?

Source: Science and Development Network

Smallholder farmers in Mozambique are growing nutritious and lucrative varieties of orange-fleshed sweet potato.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Insurance for Ethiopian Herders Aims to Combat Drought, Conflict

Source: Reuters

Nomadic livestock herders in Ethiopia have received their first payout from an insurance scheme that tracks poor pasture conditions with satellite technology.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A New Milk Can for The Developing World, Funded by Bill Gates

Source: Co.Exist

When you buy milk in America, it generally comes from farmers with hundreds of cows. They do their own milking with mechanized equipment, and, generally, their own pasteurization and bottling. In Kenya, it's different. About 80% of the country's milk comes from small-scale farmers with a few cows, who milk by-hand. They don't do bottling and, instead of trucks to get to market, they go by bike or foot.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Gates Foundation refutes report it fails African farmers

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has rejected accusations that too much of its funding goes to Western researchers, saying it is helping small farmers in African countries.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Pershing Square Foundation Makes $611,000 Grant To myAgro To Support Small-Scale West African Farmers

Source: PR Newswire

The Pershing Square Foundation has announced a grant of $611,000 to myAgro – an organization that helps small-scale West African farmers save their way out of poverty through a unique mobile layaway lending program, allowing them to increase harvests by an estimated 75%.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Mobile Technology Can Help End Poverty For Rural Farmers

Source: Huffington Post

Mobile phones are giving farmers in rural communities served by Grameen Foundation's Community Knowledge Workers access to information that helps them improve their practices and earn more for their produce.
Monday, August 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Your Coffee Is Getting Fancier, But Is It Getting Better For The World?

Source: Fast Company

Fair-Trade certified coffee has become known as an easy way for coffee drinkers to make the world a better place for coffee growers, many of whom are among the world’s poorest people. But a study released in April 2014 seriously questions how much fair-trade certification really does for them.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Why Farmers Are Loyal to Micro-Finance Institutions

Source: AllAfrica

Rwandans have hailed the role of micro-finance institutions just as Kigali is hosting a global financial inclusion summit starting today.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Supply Chain Overhaul To Boost Coffee Farmers' Income 400%

Source: Forbes

This is about a social enterprise on a mission to reinvent the coffee supply chain, giving farmers a bigger and more equitable piece of the action.
Monday, June 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Planting for Profit, and Greater Good

Source: The New York Times

A lemon tree springs from the soil in Jason Aramburu’s backyard in Berkeley, Calif., alongside rose bushes, birds of paradise, strawberry plants and squash blossoms. The garden is thriving, but its upkeep requires almost no effort from Mr. Aramburu. Instead, a foot-high soil sensor does much of the work.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

Opinion: How Rising Food Prices Can Bring About the End of Poverty

Source: The Globe and Mail

One of the world’s cruellest dilemmas is that the great majority of its starvation and malnutrition cases are found among farmers.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Fake seeds force Ugandan farmers to resort to 'bronze age' agriculture

Source: The Guardian

Gangs selling counterfeit high yield seeds are trapping farmers in a cycle of poverty as crops fail.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Social Lenders Join Forces to Develop Industry Standards, Best Practices for Smallholder Agricultural Finance

Source: CSAF

The alliance of social lending institutions, also referred to as impact-first agricultural lenders, was formally launched today at the 11th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.
Thursday, April 3, 2014 — South Asia

Oxfam Vietnam Will Begin Investing in Social Enterprises

Source: Social Enterprise Buzz

Oxfam’s office in Vietnam has launched a new impact investing program to support social enterprises in the country.
Thursday, November 7, 2013 — Latin America

Joining Forces to Fight the Leaf Rust Epidemic Devastating Latin American Coffee

Source: News Release

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the InterAmerican Development Bank and Skoll Foundation announce today support for the non-profit agricultural lender Root Capital ‘s Coffee Farmer Resilience Initiative. The initiative is a collaborative venture designed to stabilize supply chains by investing in coffee farmers at the base of the value chain, who are on the front lines of battling the leaf rust epidemic in Latin America.
Monday, August 19, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

SC Johnson and Partners Help Rwanda Pyrethrum Farmers Boost Incomes, Build Sustainable Supply

Source: Press Release

SC Johnson, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture announced the Rwanda Pyrethrum Program, a Global Development Alliance (GDA) public-private partnership designed to help Rwanda pyrethrum farmers boost incomes while creating an environmentally and economically sustainable raw materials source. The three-year extension of the initial 28-month program focuses on increasing both production and quality of pyrethrum and on strengthening and expanding the capacity of the cooperative organizations that the farmers rely on to market their crops.
Monday, August 5, 2013 — No Region Specified

Fish 2.0: A Competition That Connects Investors With Sustainable Seafood Businesses

Source: National Geographic

A new breed of investors is starting to shape business growth across the globe.
Monday, July 29, 2013 — South Asia

Insight: The poison pill in India's search for cheap food

Source: Chicago Tribune

Nearly a decade ago, the Indian government ruled out a ban on the production and use of monocrotophos, the highly toxic pesticide that killed 23 children this month in a village school providing free lunches under a government-sponsored program
Friday, July 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

To Help the World's Poor, Give Them Real Jobs

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

The latest U.S. jobs numbers showed a U.S. unemployment rate still at 7.6 percent. The official global unemployment rate, compiled by the International Labor Organization (ILO), is around 6 percent—which suggests American workers are worse off than their counterparts worldwide. But that statistic is deeply misleading. Unemployment is, by and large, a luxury of rich countries. Billions of people across the world are stuck working long hours in subsistence farming, hawking, or other informal occupations, desperate for a job that provides a weekly wage packet.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 — South Asia

Poverty alleviation: Villagers thrive by using alternative energy

Source: The Express Tribune

Farmers in Ahmadwala, a village some 40 kilometres to the west of Lahore, are no longer worried about power outages affecting their livelihoods.
Monday, June 3, 2013 — No Region Specified

A Hyperrealistic Farmville To Train The World’s Farmers

Source: Co.Exist

Farm Defenders, a Gates Foundation-funded game that lets people use incredibly detailed data (down to soil conditions in specific villages) to help people learn agriculture techniques before they actually start planting.
Saturday, May 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

Food prices squeezing poor people and driving social change by stealth

Source: Oxfam

A new era of high and volatile food prices goes beyond affecting what people can afford to eat and is causing life-changing shifts in society, experts warn today.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

A Plan to Bring Sun-Powered Irrigation to Poor Farmers

Source: The New York Times

A proposed system uses mirrors to increase the power of a solar panel and pump water to crops.
Thursday, March 21, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World food security and what young Africans can do about it

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Leaders in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with the world’s fastest-growing and youngest population, seek to create more agriculture jobs.
Tuesday, January 22, 2013 — Latin America

The unpalatable truth about quinoa

Source: The Guardian

Ethical consumers should be aware poor Bolivians can no longer afford their staple grain, due to western demand raising prices.
Friday, January 18, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

An inconvenient truth

Source: The Australian

LAST year, Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates gave $US10 million to British scientists to crack a problem he hoped might help solve the looming world food crisis. Unusually, this time the philanthropy of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was met with howls of outrage from left-leaning politicians and environmental groups that previously had welcomed its efforts to eradicate malaria and alleviate global poverty and hunger.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 — No Region Specified

IFC, GAFSP Invest $10 million in Root Capital to Support Small Farmers in Africa, Latin America

Source: Press Release

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the private sector window of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP) will invest $5 million each in Root Capital to help expand access to working capital and markets for 300,000 farmers over the next four years.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — South Asia

Delhi Dispatch: Rice, Wheat, and Water Serve Up Equal Helpings of Punjab’s Wealth and Risk

Source: Circle of Blue

NARAINGARH, Haryana, India — The first rain in six months, and a stout and cold wind whipped at the black plastic covering stacks of grain Thursday morning at the Shivshakti Rice Mill, one of 13 mills surrounding this roadside village about 70 kilometers west of Chandigarh.
Monday, December 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

From NYC To Nairobi: Interview With SunCulture, Audience Choice Award Winners 2011-12

Source: Forbes

All entrepreneurs are inherently risk-takers, but some are willing to go above and beyond for an idea they believe in. NYU Stern alumnus Samir Ibrahim and serial entrepreneur Charles Nichols, winners of the Audience Choice Award at the 2011-12 Entrepreneur’s Challenge fit this description perfectly. The two recently packed their bags and moved to Kenya, where their start-up SunCulture sells solar-powered irrigation products and agricultural services to local farmers.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Italians, Israelis aim to fight hunger in Senegal

Source: The Jerusalem Post

Trilateral agricultural development project seeks to eradicate hunger by providing farmers with technological know-how.
Monday, November 12, 2012 — No Region Specified

The Paradox of Property Rights and Economic Development

Source: Council on Foreign Relations Blog

Recent weeks have seen simmering property rights conflicts around the world: Burmese citizens marching in protest against the government’s seizure of their lands for a hotel zone; Vietnamese villagers contesting the confiscation of their land for an EcoPark satellite city project; and violent clashes breaking out in Panama City over a controversial law allowing the sale of state-owned land in the port city of Colón—Latin America’s largest duty-free zone.
Friday, October 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: UN, Brazil Sign U.S.$20 Million Pact to Help Farmers in Developing Countries

Source: All Africa

A $20 million agreement signed during the week by the United Nations and Brazil will seek to transfer the expertise of the South American country to support cotton farmers in developing economies.
Friday, October 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sisal board introduces mobile decorticators to revolutionise farming

Source: IPP Media

Way back in the early 60s, the sisal industry was the best organised commercial agriculture in East Africa with Tanzania leading in terms of production, followed by Brazil.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 — No Region Specified

New Dalberg Report Guides Investors on Addressing Finance Demand for Smallholder Farmers

Source: Press Release

WASHINGTON DC – Dalberg Global Development Advisors has released a new report today identifying innovative and sustainable ways that investors can help fulfill the largely unmet need for smallholder agricultural financing.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Microfinance Firm Boosts Agro-Mechanisation

Source: All Africa

A local microfinance institution, Duterimbere IMF Ltd, has launched new products that target the promotion of agricultural mechanisation among small scale farmers.
Monday, August 6, 2012 — South Asia

Ideas man: professor in quest for India's rural inventions

Source: Hindustan Times

t's 43 degrees Celsius, and Prof. Anil Gupta has been hiking the scorched plains of central India for hours. But he smiles widely as he enters a tiny village in search of another unsung genius. "If you have any new ideas or you have any new inventions, I'm here to promote you," he tells farmers squatting beside a dusty roadside shrine to Lord Shiva.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New Farmer Alliance to Improve Incomes and Food Security in Africa

Source: TechnoServe

WASHINGTON, DC, June 12, 2012 – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Vodafone, and TechnoServe launched a new partnership to increase the productivity, incomes and resilience of smallholder farmers in Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania. The Connected Farmer Alliance will leverage mobile phone-enabled solutions to improve supply chain efficiency and increase farmers’ ability to access secure, timely payments and other financial services.
Thursday, May 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

'Explore cocoa potential,' ICCO urges manufacturers

Source: Daily Times

The International Cocoa Coordination Organisation (ICCO), on Wednesday, urged Nigerian manufacturers to explore the potential of cocoa, so as to produce more cocoa-based goods.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Scaling up the fight against poverty and hunger in Africa


Agriculture is a powerful tool for reducing poverty and hunger. Events of recent years – such as food price increases, droughts, growing climate change impacts and other emergencies – have put agriculture high on the international agenda. We should be clear that agriculture is the solution. Economic growth generated by agriculture is more than twice as effective in reducing poverty as growth in other sectors. Agricultural development is also an effective means of assisting developing countries in building capacity and infrastructure as well as introducing innovation and technology.
Friday, May 18, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Obama turns to private sector to feed world's poor

Source: Agence France-Presse

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Friday reached out to the private sector in hopes of lifting 50 million people in the developing world from poverty, as wealthy nations grapple with a budget crunch.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can Coffee Kick-Start an Economy?

Source: The New York Times

When he set out to wedge his coffee onto supermarket shelves in England and America, Andrew Rugasira didn’t start by making phone calls from his home in Kampala, Uganda. He didn’t begin by sending e-mails. The distance seemed too great for that. At one end of his business were farmers who, until he came along, thought their beans were purchased and carried off to make gunpowder. At the other were buyers at the corporate headquarters of chains like Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. If he was going to succeed, he felt he would have to do it physically; it was as if he believed he could stretch himself to span the divide between the two worlds. So he got on a plane to London, without trying any advance contact.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 — South Asia

Villgro Innovation Marketing Raises Seed Capital

Source: Press Release

Chennai based Villgro Innovation Marketing Private (VIM), an innovative rural distribution company, has raised a significant seed series investment from US-based investment firm Unitus Seed Fund and a group of angel investors to further expand its operations in South India.
Friday, March 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

Is Microfinance an Engine of Development? Finca Says Yes

Source: The Guardian

The jury is still out on whether microcredit makes a difference to the lives of the poor, but stories of its success are compelling
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cape Town's Women Take the Lead in Farm-Focused Social Enterprise

Source: GOOD

Abalimi’s profitable social business, Harvest of Hope, relies on a community-supported agriculture model that provides customers (who pay in advance) a box of fresh, organically grown produce harvested from community gardens each week.
Thursday, March 22, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

One Acre Fund Helps Africa's Small Farmers Keep in Their Fields

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

The One Acre Fund provides access to microloans, training, insurance, and other hard-to-get help that boosts farmers' incomes and curbs flight from farms into cities.
Monday, March 19, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Facebook-style Microcredit Site Helps China Farmers

Source: NewStraitsTimes

BEIJING: Dairy farmer Deligeerma needs 642 to buy fodder for her cows during the harsh winter months in northern China. So far, she has received 149 in pledges from four people around the world.
Thursday, March 15, 2012 — South Asia

Organic Farming Promises to Yield a Sustainable Future for India's Rural Poor

Source: The Guardian

Organic agricultural practices are improving prospects for India's farmers by providing greater profit and sustainability
Thursday, March 15, 2012 — No Region Specified

UN: Soaring Demands Will Add More Stress to World Water Supplies

Source: Voice of America

Despite recent good news that millions more people now have access to potable water, a new report finds sharply rising demands for water threaten a myriad of development goals.
Monday, March 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Enterprise Sets Up Service Centres for Livestock Farmers

Source: Business Daily

A social enterprise has opened 16 livestock service centres to help farmers improve production through better extension services.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Opinion: Bill Gates' Support of GM Crops is Wrong Approach for Africa

Source: The Seattle Times

Bill Gates' support of genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution for world hunger is of concern to those of us involved in promoting sustainable, equitable and effective agricultural policies in Africa. There are two primary shortcomings to Gates' approach.
Thursday, February 23, 2012 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates to UN: Find new ways to help poor farmers; announces $200 million in grants

Source: AP/Washington Post

ROME — Current approaches to global agriculture are outdated, inefficient and don’t give small farmers in poor countries the help they really need, Bill Gates told U.N. food agencies Thursday as he announced nearly $200 million in grants. The Microsoft founder brought his campaign to fight poverty and hunger in Africa and Asia to a forum of the U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), one of three Rome-based U.N. food agencies. Much of some $2 billion spent over the past five years to fight poverty and hunger in Africa and Asia by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has gone toward improving agricultural productivity.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can The iPad Revolutionize Rural Agriculture?

Source: FastCo.Exist

The iPad’s fairly steep price has kept it firmly entrenched in the developed world. That’s starting to change, however, as evidenced by efforts from Exprima Media and coffee importer Sustainable Harvest to bring the iPad to coffee co-ops and farmers in East Africa, Mexico, and South America.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India to MFIs: Shape Up or Face Music

Source: Economic Times

HYDERABAD: India's booming microfinance segment is under the scanner, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issuing a veiled warning that it could be taken off the priority sector lending list of banks if the industry fails to improve its governance standards. This was spelt out at a meeting in late January between senior RBI officials, representatives of Sa-Dhan-the association of Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs)-and some senior MFI managers from Karnata...
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