Status of Female Farmers. Oliver Twist. Millennium Development Goals. Land Grabs. – Weekly Link Round-Up

Status of Female Farmers Rises During Food Crisis [Women’s E-News]
“The women who grow more than half the world’s agricultural produce have gained international recognition and aid since the start of the global food crisis in 2007. Instead of being seen as a minor, vulnerable group, international aid agencies have begun keeping sex-specific data and reaching out to them as development partners, said Jeannette Gurung, director of the Washington-based Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and National Resource Management.”

Oliver Twist Seeks Food Security [The Hindu]
“The rotting of lakhs of tonnes of food grain in open yards, while shocking, is hardly new or surprising. Remember the rural poor marching on go downs in Andhra Pradesh in 2001 in similar circumstances? The Supreme Court was quite right in jolting the Union government. “In a country where admittedly people are starving, it is a crime to waste even a single grain,” said the annoyed Court. And suggested that the grain be released to those who deserve it.”

“U.S. Releases Millennium Development Goal Plan, 10 Years Late” [] “The good news is that some of the strategies the U.S. paper lays out have real promise. For starters, placing innovation — technological and otherwise — at the heart of the plan is a key move, and Nicholas Kristof is surely feeling gratified by how the strategy emphasizes the role women and girls in the developing world play in lifting their families out of poverty. There’s no aha! moment in the strategic blueprint, but the report does represent a mammoth-sized shift in the way the U.S. plans to engage in the business of humanitarian and economic development.”

Food Insecurity Rising in America [Newsweek]
“Food insecurity is on the rise. In 2008, 14.6 percent of U.S. households fell into the food-insecure category at some point during the year—the highest rate since the Department of Agriculture started recording stats in 1995.”

Innovations in Access to Land: Land Grab or Agricultural Investment? [Huffington Post]
“There has been a documented trend in recent years of foreign governments and private firms investing and acquiring large tracts of land in other countries for the purpose of agricultural production and export. While the trend is global, increasingly the countries where these deals are taking place are in largely under or undeveloped regions in Asia and Africa.”

Poverty and Lack of Research Block Path to a Well-Fed World [NY Times Blog]
“I’m catching up with a great package of reports, commentary and analysis in the July 28th edition of the journal Nature on the challenging, but entirely doable, task of feeding roughly 9 billion people by midcentury (and doing so without using up the last patches of arable land). One of the best things about the package is that most of the content is freely accessible, as was the case with an important paper on feeding the world in the competing journal Science in February.”