A man moves his family’s sheep herd down from the mountains for the winter. These sheep are one of many herds of sheep and cattle that will pass by the FVSC on their seasonal herd movements around Armenia and benefit from the center. Photo credit: Elizabeth Leonardi (USDA/FAS) and Gocha Shainidze (USDA/FAS Georgia)
In November, I joined other representatives from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for a dedication ceremony for the Farm and Veterinary Service Center (FVSC) in Armenia. The opening ceremony was attended by more than 70 community members, farmers, veterinarians and government officials from throughout the Syunik Marz region. Prior to the ceremony, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan visited the center to tour the facility and witness firsthand the products and services that will be readily available to local farmers. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (right) speaking at Hanoi University of Agriculture, Hanoi, Vietnam on Wednesday, November 16, 2011.
There are many things that Americans are known for, including dreaming big, working hard to turn those dreams into a reality, and reaching out to help others who are also trying to make their dreams come true. During his trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, earlier this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack—whose own personal story and history of public service epitomizes these very characteristics—challenged a packed auditorium of more than 600 students and faculty at the Hanoi University of Agriculture (HUA) to be the generation whose dreams transform their communities, their country and their world. Read more »
Ever wonder exactly how many Americans struggle to put food on table? It’s a question pondered more and more during a tough economy. Today, the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has shed some light on these conditions with their annual analysis of Americans’ success in feeding themselves and their families.
The report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2010, provides an important analysis of how well people are faring on this front during difficult economic times.
In 2010, just over 85 percent of American households were food secure throughout the entire year. However, about 17.2 million households were unable, at some point in the year, to provide either enough food or adequate food for at least one member due to a lack of resources. That equates to nearly 49 million people in the United States – roughly one in six – who lived in a food insecure household in 2010. Read more »
Employees at Hillside Green work in the pack house certifying fresh vegetables for export. Photo credit: Ayub Otieno
In 2009, Eunice Mwongera decided to expand Hillside Green Growers and Exporters Company, her family-owned fruit and vegetable business. A graduate of Nairobi University and former finance officer at the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture, Mwongera, applied for the USDA Norman E. Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology (Borlaug) Fellowship Program. Not long after, she was paired with a mentor at Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center for six weeks to learn U.S. best practices in agribusiness development and management. The fellowship was part of a program that provided U.S.-based agribusiness and collaborative research training to African women. Read more »
U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Stephen McFarland provides food assistance to a family in the department of Santa Rosa. Photo credit: U.S. Embassy-Guatemala
The “dry corridor” in Guatemala suffers from annual drought and food shortages that affect the food security and incomes of people in the region. Last year was worse than most—drought followed by devastating floods caused by tropical storms and rain that destroyed crops, increasing food insecurity and child malnutrition. Read more »
The USDA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have once again joined forces to collaborate with individuals and organizations that feed hungry people, promote sustainable development and provide technical assistance around the world. This is the thirteenth year of the International Food Aid and Development Conference, and I was proud to deliver keynote remarks here in Kansas City, Mo. Nearly 600 people from more than 25 countries discussed what has worked, what has not, and what we can do in the future to improve our food assistance and program delivery.
The U.S. government’s international food assistance programs will benefit 5.2 million people in the developing world this year. The challenges of global food security are enormous — nearly one billion people are malnourished, and this number will likely grow as the world population continues to rise. Meanwhile, the United States, like many other nations, is facing serious budget pressures. In addition, commodity prices and demand continue to rise, squeezing food assistance dollars further. Read more »