Monday, August 06, 2012

food security

right now i'm sitting on my step listening to the rain. there's something very peaceful about the rain falling on the zinc roof.  when it rains at night it is really nice to go to sleep.  what's even better is that it is raining in general considering it is the rainy season but recently we haven't had much rain.

i sat in a meeting with local rural credit cooperatives (community banks) last week, and they were discussing the impact the lack of rain is having on crops. i'm no ag expert, but i did learn from my mother that plants need water to grow.  it hasn't reached an alarming state yet, but significant lack rain could influence harvest yields, incomes, and, ultimately, the number of people without sufficient food.

food security is a serious issue in the developing world, not only just getting enough food, but nutritious food too. i'm sure it is something i will come back to regularly here since i am working with one organization with these credit co-ops to train them on business planning (and financial planning), plus the other organization i'm working with is doing a comprehensive natural resources management grant to mitigate the influence of climate change. i will be working a lot in the campo and seeing these issues first hand.

i read an interesting article from the council on foreign relations the other day about food prices in the US. you can find it here. i don't want to debate it, but i think it brings up some relevant issues and brings it a little closer to home. they also have a great backgrounder on global food security. a highlight:  "for the planet's poorest two billion people, who spend 50 to 70 percent of their income on food, these soaring prices may mean going from two meals a day to one."  another: the lack of access to markets for local producers in the developing world.

so i made it through my first week. it wasn't that bad actually. i've met almost everyone, save one teacher who wasn't there this past week. i'm really excited about what i have planned already. on wednesday i'm going to chinandega to learn how to make improved ovens that use less firewood.  next week i'm going out to a few rural communities to meet groups that have already been identified for the improved ovens. i also already have some activities with my other organization in the following week as well. juggling all of them will be interesting.

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