World Food Day

October 16th, 2010 Sorted under Do-Gooder Stuff, Places, SB Projects, World Affairs and tagged with , ,

World Food Day is today, October 16th. It’s a day to reflect and create a worldwide group hug designed to increase awareness on poverty and it’s relationship with food. Better yet, it’s a day flooded with news, article, blogs, tip and tricks.

The goal is for each individual to create an informed action to alleviate hunger all year around.

(Joy Bryant holds a fresh batch of rice as we visit the Village)

Recently, I visited Cambodia with Joy Bryant and the team at Oxfam under the Sisters on the Planet constituency. It was a tremendous group of women in our crew, and together we visited some farms that have been using SRI farming (System of Rice Intensification). Might I add, the country and it’s people were breathtaking.

(Joy Tests out the new Weeding Tool in Cambodia’s Takeo Province for SRI Farming. Tool is left of screen too.)

(Local Farmer in the Takeo Province, Cambodia, using SRI Farming)

Here is what I learned: Nearly a billion people around the world are will go to bed hungry tonight… even though there is plenty of food to feed all of us. Climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as floods, drought, and storms that destroy food supplies, wipe out crops and put the world’s poorest people at risk.

I also learned that Oxfam and Rachana (a local organization) collaborated to help local farmers increase their crop yield by creating a very special weeding tool. On top of that, there are specific steps to planting the seeds far apart and in a single line (which you will see Joy demonstrate in this video). We saw that the SRI Farming techniques increase rice yield from 50-150% more than traditional methods of farming. Can you believe that?! That means up to 150% more income for these families to send their kids to school, get more entrepreneurial, and better empower the ‘hood overall. We had many conversations with local families that have a whole new life. Can I just say, as a spoiled Westerner who buys her rice at Whole Foods and never knew the origin, it was incredible to see Joy sow some seeds, and see the process of weeding, irrigating, and consequently, hold a basket of fresh rice kernels. I was deeply humbled and developed a respect for the wonder of this crop.

The stuff really works! More-over, it is extremely “do-able” to spread this knowledge throughout Cambodia (and other nations) with a little organization, province by province. World leaders have the power to act against climate change, invest in agriculture and save lives. World leaders must get the climate negotiations back on track and help the world’s most vulnerable people. To deliver on their promises, they must succeed in establishing a fair, accessible and accountable global climate fund at the UN Climate Conference in Cancun later this year. Doing so, will sow the seed for a binding global climate agreement by 2012.

Check out the video at this link:

SRI Farming, Oxfam from Jauretsi Saizarbitoria on Vimeo.

Sign Petition to End World Hunger or read more on World Food Day (Official Site). Today is the day you might be able to create a dent in this Millenial goal. What can you do? Write a blog post, or write a letter to a Government leader? Or if you don’t have time for any of that, then just tell one friend at lunch today. Mention the website too.

Time to huddle as a planet, and spread the good word. Make a ripple.

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Photos + Video: by Jauretsi