By Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs
Today, in our third year of the Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge, we are proud to be recognizing a new group of young entrepreneurs who are creating cutting-edge, technology-based solutions capable of solving some of the world’s toughest challenges.
Five-year renewal aims to improve food and nutrition security, provide economic opportunities for smallholder farmers in Ethiopia
BERGSCHENHOEK, April 22, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Bayer has renewed its commitment to the “Bridging the Seed Gap” project for five years. The project, developed by the non-profit organization Fair Planet, facilitates smallholder farmers’ access to seeds of high-quality vegetable varieties suited to local growing conditions. Additional training on how to use these seeds sustainably and with minimal changes to traditional production practices helps the farmers improve their incomes based on significantly better harvests.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, there would be a 20-30 percent estimated yield increase if women farmers had the same access to resources as men. It's a powerful statistic that underscores the global issue of gender inequality, highlighting the integral role – and extraordinary potential – of women in agriculture.
Food insecurity is among India’s greatest development challenges. Though India has made rapid strides in improving its rates of undernourishment and malnutrition, it is still home to the highest number of hungry people in the world—194 million people (more than 15 percent of India’s population), according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s 2018 report, The State of Food Insecurity in the World, and shares a quarter of the global hunger burden.
Smallholder farmers near Gonaives, Haiti recently planted the first commercial cotton crop in the country since 1987, with support from Timberland and other brands. The farmers planted a demonstration farm which will train other smallholder farmers to cultivate cotton. As a key supporter of the effort, Timberland provided participating farmers with shirts as a symbol of the future market for the cotton they planted.
In Kenya, floods and landslides killed around 100 people and displaced nearly 300,000 between March and May 2018. Smallholder farmers along the Upper Tana River basin are now investing in bamboo trees to curb floods.
Many of the Kenyan communities affected by floods and landslides this year were already struggling to recover from the 2017 drought - a result of a failed rainy season in 2016 and unusually high temperatures.
"The rainfall patterns have completely shifted. We are receiving more torrential rains of high intensity, accompanied by flooding," Catherine Muthuri, a research scientist at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, told DW.
Agriculture has achieved a lot over the past century, but there’s still a long way to go to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 and ensure sustainable food production systems, increase the incomes of smallholder farmers and end hunger.