14 October 2010. Over the last year Nourishing the Planet has traveled to 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, talking to farmers, farmers groups, researchers and scientists to learn directly about stories of hope and success in agriculture from people working on the ground.
During a breakfast panel event at the 2010 World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, they gave a preview briefing of State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, the culmination of their research. The panel featured Christopher Flavin (Worldwatch Institute), Dyno Keatinge (AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center), Hans Herren (Millennium Institute), and Co-Project Director Brian Halweil, as well the voices and stories from some of the individuals and organizations we’ve met on-the-ground.
AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center Director General, Dyno Keatinge, explained that alleviating hunger worldwide will require more than just providing people with more calories. He suggests a shift in the direction of global agriculture funding to include more research and support for the production of fruits and vegetables in order to address the growing number of people suffering from malnutrition. “If you can include some of these fruits or vegetable crops,” says Keatinge, “you are much more likely to be able to cope with the problems of lack of vitamin A and vitamin C and minerals which many poor men and women African farmers are facing today. So, I think it makes good sense to say that man should not live by bread alone.”
The Millennium Institute President, Hans Herren, also spoke at the Nourishing the Planet briefing breakfast panel at the World Food Prize and encouraged funders and policy makers to redirect their focus from what he calls “modern technology”—or silver bullet approaches—to “natural means” such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and permaculture. Doing so, he says, will allow the agricultural community to finally “treat the cause” and not “the symptoms” of global hunger.
Nourishing the Planet’s Co-Project Director, Brian Halweil, outlined some of the innovations and principles, featured in State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet, that hold untapped potential to transform rural economies across sub-Saharan Africa and alleviate hunger and poverty worldwide.