Ending hunger is not just a moral imperative, but also a good investment for society. The cost to the global economy because of malnutrition is the equivalent of $3.5 trillion a year. Hunger leads to increased levels of global insecurity and environmental degradation.
Fifteen years ago, the UN developed eight Millennium Development Goals, the first of which was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Since then, 40 countries have been able to halve the proportion of people suffering from hunger.
The Agriculture and Food Security Team at Partners of the Americas has been working on the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program for the last 24 years to decrease hunger and malnutrition in the Caribbean and Latin America. To celebrate World Food Day, take a look at these examples from the past year of F2F volunteers helping communities to eradicate food insecurity.
Artisan Cheese in Nicaragua
Through hands-on activities and a five-day cheese-making workshop at the Queso San Ramon facility, Daniel was able to teach the principles and practices of artisanal cheese-making. Throughout these interactive trainings, Daniel facilitated discussions with Leonardo and his team about how these changes could impact the final cheese product.
Thanks to Daniel’s trainings, Leonardo and his team are now well on their way to producing a cheddar-style cheese and there are also plans to increase Queso San Ramon’s production to twice a week. As Queso San Ramon continues to grow, Leonardo hopes to eventually expand and include two dairy neighbors.
Jams and Jellies in the Bahamas
From June 15-28, 2014, food processing and food safety expert Donna Bromfield was the first Partners of the Americas Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer to travel to the Bahamas in 2014 on a flex assignment. During her assignment, Ms. Bromfield collaborated with BAIC to train seven women in the preparation of mango products from local fruits.
The goal of BAIC is to further support “Bahamian grown foods” and empower Bahamians by providing technical assistance in food preservation, post-harvest techniques, and compliance to food standards/regulations. In turn, this can help facilitate the export of “Bahamian-made” agricultural food products that are safe, of high quality, and follow the model of “from the farm to the fork”. Partners of the Americas’ Farmer-to-Farmer program hopes to continue to support BAIC in their efforts to improve the food security of the islands.
On March 22nd, Steve Oberle and Arlen Albrecht, traveled to Guatemala to volunteer their time and expertise through Partners' Farmer-to-Farmer program. Read below an excerpt from their experience.
They can supplement their diets and improve their self-esteem and self-worth through the mediums of composting and gardening.
If these initial efforts are successful and expanded upon, they could go a long way toward improving the self-sufficiency, food security, public health/safety, and environmental perspective/quality of the Guatemalan people.
I am always humbled and impressed with dedication of leaders in small communities. In the communities of Guatemala this is no different. Local leaders care for their neighbors and friends. They go the extra mile to help them when possible, they give from the heart. To grow at least some of your own healthy food is a hand up, not a hand out.”