Stories: Farming

  • In drought-stricken Mali, women maneuver for land - and a future

    IRP fellow Alex Potter reported from Mali on the ways in which women struggle to maintain control of their land amidst environmental challenges and gender discrimination. The video can be viewed here.

  • Millions Face Starvation as Haiti’s Drought Stretches Into Its Third Year

    Mirene Raymond hasn’t seen a real downpour since last year. The 69-year-old rice farmer is one of millions at risk of malnutrition and starvation due to the combined effects of climate change and El Niño. “This is the first time in my life that I’ve seen things this bad,” she told ThinkProgress...

  • How Better Seeds Make Timor-Leste Climate Resilient

    For places such as Timor-Leste, a small South-East Asian country that is prone to weather extremes, climate change could deliver a serious blow. Drought and post-harvest losses from problems such as poor storage already worsen poverty and malnutrition in a country where 40 per cent of under-fives have stunted growth. The project Seeds of Life is designed to improve food...

  • What the Heck Is Shade-Grown Cacao? This Pricey Treat Is Actually Good for the Planet

    In Ecuador’s Amazon region, above the banks of the swirling Aguarico River, Luis Chamba grows cacao - the basis of chocolate and cocoa butter - on his family’s tiny finca. The furrowed, football-shaped cacao pods flourish under a steamy canopy of banana trees, balsam, cedar, and other local plants. Chickens strut and cluck, and a...

  • In the ‘Cradle of Cacao,’ Chocolate Brigades Fight for a Bigger Harvest

    When cacao farmers like Emilio Rivera first heard of a government-backed initiativethat would help them prune branches and leaves from their trees, they were skeptical. After all, a lush cacao tree with more, not fewer, branches meant more profits, the farmers said. That's been the traditional way of thinking for generations of cacao farmers here in the Ecuadorian...

  • Descending Into a Volcano — To Farm

    From the rim of Ecuador's Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, it's at least a 45-minute drive (no, more like plunge) down a winding, bone-crushing dirt road to the floor of the crater. But it's well worth it. After all, how often do you get to say you've traveled to what's billed as the world's only inhabited,...

  • In Honduras, a Wellspring of New Tools to Tackle Drought

    Gumersindo Rodriguez has become accustomed to measuring his family's well-being in inches: of rainfall, of crop growth, and the height of his grandchildren. And by that gauge, the drought that’s afflicted his corner of Central America these past two years is the worst he’s seen. “Barbaric,” he calls it. Walking down the steep,...

  • Farming While Pregnant in Tanzania

    Across Tanzania's multicultural landscape of an estimated 47 million people and more than one hundred ethnic groups, women, wives in particular, play major roles in sustaining family livelihoods. With more than 75 percent of the population living in rural areas, farming comprises up to 75 percent of Tanzania's workforce and farming while heavily pregnant has lead to considerable cause for alarm...

  • Reversing Chronic Malnutrition Starts Inside the Home

    Issa Abdulla’s sons, 10-year-old Nuhu and 7-year-old Sam, love dinners made with rabbit meat most. So the father of three (Sam and Nuhu have a 19-month-old sister named Tunda) gave each of his sons a rabbit of their own to raise and slaughter. “They’re excited about it,” Abdulla assured as his sons peeked around...

  • Tanzanian Women See Second Chance at Land Owning

    Rozalia Msaudzi, 68, quietly explains what her life is like in her small village, near Iringa, in the southern highlands of Tanzania. She maintains a collected expression as she relates the hardship of maize farming, the death of her husband in 1996 and the number of children who are still alive. But her voice starts to rise and she gestures emphatically when...