+420794026409 +2348035820593
Graduate Food Security and Livelihood Assistant at Solidarites International – EDUREGARD

Graduate Food Security and Livelihood Assistant at Solidarites International – EDUREGARD

Graduate Food Security and Livelihood Assistant at Solidarites International

Job Title

Food Security and Livelihood Assistant

About the Company

Solidarités International (SI) is a French humanitarian organisation operating for over 35 years who is committed to providing aid in the event of conflict and natural disasters. Our mission is to provide aid as quickly and as efficiently as possible to endangered populations by meeting their vital needs: water, food and shelter.

SI has started activities in North-eastern Nigeria in August 2016 in the fields of Wash and is now intervening in 4 areas of the state for Wash and Shelter activities.

We are recruiting to fill the position above:


Ngala, Borno

Beginning of contract


Contract duration

3 months– Probation period: 1 month

Goal / Purpose

  • The Food Security and Livelihood Assistant is in charge of supporting the Multisector Project Coordinator towards the good implementation, achievement and reporting of the objectives defined in the proposals;
  • S/he guarantees the proper coordination mechanisms are in place inside the operational teams in the different areas of intervention, and in cooperation with the Multisector Project Coordinator.

Main Tasks

Project relevance, quality and design:

  • Contribute to establishing operational assessment and evaluations activities;
  • Contribute to define Solidarites International’s FLS local strategy and contribute to the annual programming by proposing new activities, especially activities targeting vulnerable people and IDPs in Borno State;
  • Responsible to propose and guarantee quality approach mechanism are in place for the programs to ensure transparency accountability of SI activities;
  • Support the writing of technical annexes and chapters (including the logical framework) for the proposals;
  • Support the implementation of the activities in compliance with the annual operational strategy and Solidarites International’s technical requirements;
  • Participate in evaluating the relevance of the activities carried out, as well as the effectiveness of the interventions and their appropriateness with respect to contextual development and the population’s needs;
  • Propose to the Multisector Project Coordinator adjustments to the programs, if necessary;
  • Participate in building the teams abilities with respect to techniques or new methodologies;

Implementation and operational monitoring:

  • Support the Multisector Project Coordinator in planning their operational activities;
  • Meet the deadlines and adhere to predefined quality specifications;
  • Support the Multisector Project Coordinator in ensuring the project management, monitoring and evaluation tools are in each operational department;
  • Propose quality criteria and monitoring indicators for programs;
  • Anticipate any issues linked with carrying out the activities and help to resolve any problems related to the activities;
  • Suggest any adjustments to be made to the activity depending on contextual and indicator developments;

Institutional Knowledge Building – IKB:

  • Use the IKB tools proposed by Solidarites International;
  • Participate in the centralization, validation, and distribution of procedures, guidelines and tools linked to the multisector activities;
  • Build up on Solidarites International (and stakeholders) intervention methods and techniques;
  • Ensure that project files are complete, regularly updated, and saved on the mission external hard drive;
  • Define the prerequisites for opened WASH positions together with the Multisector Program Manager;
  • Greet and brief the new staff working on the program;
  • In collaboration with the Multisector Project Coordinator, set up technical trainings depending on the operational needs and identified training requirements;
  • Lead working groups and thematic meetings with the support of the Multisector Project Coordinator;
  • Evaluate and assess the performance of colleagues under his/her direct supervision on a regular basis;
  • Ensure adherence to SI security regulations and reinforce them with his/her team.

Reporting/ Communication / representation:

  • Pass upward to the Multisector Project Coordinator and Coordination team any information on the security situation or on any event that could impact Solidarites International activities and safety of the teams;
  • Support the drafting of activities reports and amendments (including any annexes relating to specific activities) for the financial donors, local authorities and for internal purposes (weekly and monthly reports) by compiling all the operational data before sending them to the Multisector Program Manager;
  • Ensure that all reports required by the Multisector Project Coordinator are delivered on time and in the correct format;
  • In his/her assignment area, might be appointed to represent Solidarites International at meeting or forums concerning the activities;
  • In collaboration with the Multisector Project Coordinator, and administrative department, support the preparation of administrative documents (MoU, handover, etc.) to be jointly signed with government authorities, communities or partner’s;
  • Coordinate with field representatives in accordance with management guidelines;
  • Coordinate with support team (Logistic and Administration) as well as field team involved on the program;
  • Represent the organization when asked and/or delegated to do so;

Technical Competences 

  • Training: University degree in Environmental Science, Agronomy or Crop Science or a similar domain.
  • Relevant experience on Food items distribution and monitoring will be highly appreciated.

Personal abilities :

  • Professional experience: 1 year of experience in similar position (NGO/Private or Public sector)
  • Languages : English, Kanori, Haussa, Shua (additional languages a plus)
  • Personal qualities: reliable, honest, very good organization, resistance to stress, good interpersonal skills (communication), team player, capacity to delegate and to manage, initiative and autonomy, capacity of prioritsation of tasks

Salary and Conditions

  • In accordance with SI’s Terms of Employment; for national staff in Nigeria

Application Closing Date 

25th July, 2018.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should submit their Applications (with CV, Cover Letter, References) in only one file (Word or PDF) and named with your Name and Surname to:  The subject of the mail must be “FSL Assistant Ngala”


  • No paper applications will be accepted
  • Shortlisting will start as soon as we start receiving applications and deadline might be changed without prior notice.
  • As position is required as soon as possible, Solidarites International reserves the right to select a candidate and finalize the recruitment before the final date.

You Should Also See:

Agroecopolis fights for food security in Greece

Agroecopolis fights for food security in Greece

One of its goals is to make Community Supported Agriculture programs legal in the country.

Think of Greece and, chances are, images of mouthwatering food will come to mind. Greece is famous for its cuisine, from crispy phyllo pastries and oil-infused eggplant to herby salads and honey-drenched sweets. But the way in which these iconic ingredients make their way onto Greek tables is not so idyllic, according to Jenny Gkiougki.

Gkiougki is the head of Agroekopolis, a grassroots organization in Thessaloniki that is working to develop Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs as a way of supporting small-scale local farmers — people who face tremendous challenges and discrimination under the current food supply chain. Agroekopolis won a 2018 Lush Spring Prize for its work toward improving food security and sovereignty, and Gkiougki was at the award ceremony in London this past May to receive the £20,000 prize. That’s where I met her and had a conversation about her work.

Jenny Gkiougki© Lush Spring Prize (used with permission) — Jenny Gkiougki in UK, May 2018

Greece, as most people know, has been in a state of economic crisis for the past decade; but while the government claims the situation is improving, Gkiougki say it’s not the case. “The commons is under threat, as is the ownership of the commons,” she told me. “Our airports are privately owned by Germans. Our ports belong to the Chinese, trains to the Italian railway. This is a time when everything is being dismantled.” The worst is yet to come, she believes, once austerity measures have been normalized by the passing of time.

As a Greek formerly living in England, Gkiougki saw it as her civic duty to return home and help prepare her own people to survive the rough times she predicts. As the “real privatization and scavenging of the Greek people and their resources” gets underway, they will need to build a new kind of society that allows for self-sufficiency and security.

This is a kind of lifestyle Greeks once had, not long ago. The country is full of mountains and islands, so because of the geography people were forced to live in self-sustaining communities. That changed in the 1980s, Gkiougki explained, when the common agriculture policy came along, and people were driven to individualism, rather than community living. They began competing with neighbors, rather than relying on them. “We need to reclaim that,” she said. Agroekopolis strives to do this in a number of ways.

First, it connects Greek agricultural initiatives with the outside world. The organization works closely with the Global CSA Network and has established trading relationships that allow small citrus and olive oil producers in Greece to sell their products through a European CSA network. This makes their business more profitable. Rather than the 25-30 cents per kilogram that a farmer would earn for oranges sold to a middleman, the farmer now makes 1 Euro per kilo. It’s a fair price and that money is returned to the local economy to help others.

Second, Agroekopolis arranges for training for farmers through a program called Participatory Guaranteed Assistance. This is an alternative (and cheaper) way to get organic certification based on participation, rather than a pass-fail test. PGA is a program run by food producers, consumers, and agronomists, the purpose of which is to help a farmer improve his or her practices. “This goes back to sustainability, regeneration, the empowerment of people and practices,” Gkiougki said.

lessons in permaculture© Agroecopolis (used with permission) — Lessons in permaculture in a Corinth orchard

Third, Agroekopolis is involved in advocacy work. CSA programs are actually illegal in Greece right now, which seems shocking to many of us in the U.S. and Canada. As Gkiougki explained to me, “In Greece we don’t have farmers’ markets. We have street markets, but a huge percentage of those people selling food are not farmers. They’re merchants.” During the crisis, there was a new initiative called ‘No Intermediaries’ that sprang up, much like the farmers’ markets that we know. Gkiougki said:

“It was the first time that urbanites got together and organized once-monthly fairs where you get food producers coming from around the country and interacting with consumers directly. As soon as it picked up [in popularity], we had tear gas and arrests. People realized that we need to find ways around this.”

As a result, Agroekopolis is working with the state and municipalities to change the laws to allows CSAs in the country. It is also trying to get land to use for farming and to do more research, in the form of participatory videos, into the needs and desires of various groups around the country.

refugees and Greeks celebrate Ramadan© Agroecopolis (used with permission) — Refugees and Greek locals celebrate the end of Ramadan together

Finally, Agroekopolis works with some of the countless refugees that have flooded into Greece in recent years and tries to get them involved in local communities in ways that relate to food. In Gkiougki’s words,

“When you see people coming out of the sea, completely drenched, without anything, human instinct kicks in and says, ‘Maybe I don’t have enough to eat, but I can share it with you.’ Everything we do starts with food. I think that’s what really unites all of us, three times a day.”

Winning the hefty Spring Prize is an injection of hope for the organization, which is only a year old and has been running out of resources in a country already strapped for cash. The money will be used to pay the salary of a full-time employee and to buy some video-making equipment that will be used to share the stories of Greek farmworkers. In Gkiougki’s words,

“These small-scale producers, they are the people that are doing the regenerative work that will help us save humanity on this planet. This is why I do what I do.”

Jenny Gkiougki© Lush Spring Prize (used with permission) — Jenny Gkiougki received Spring Prize on behalf of Agroecopolis in UK, May 2018


Oxfam, WANEP Study Exposes Factors Undermining Food Security — Leadership Newspaper

Oxfam, WANEP Study Exposes Factors Undermining Food Security — Leadership Newspaper

A study by Oxfam and West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) has revealed factors that are undermining efforts at achieving food security and justice under climate change in Nigeria.
The research titled: National Budget In Relation To Climate Change Adaptation Frameworks and Policies in Nigeria by the two organisations was unveiled in Abuja, yesterday.
According to the research, “small-scale farmers are not the focus of investments in climate change adaptation in Agriculture in the country. Nigeria had the lowest share of spending on agriculture and rural development (4.9 per cent) as part of international aid between 2007 and 2015 behind countries like Pakistan, Tanzania, Philippines, Ethiopia and Ghana; Nigeria’s population size is about equal to the combined populations of the six countries receiving the largest share of multilateral climate adaptation funding; Nigeria’s agriculture sector received 0.08% of aid in financial Year 2014-2015, significantly behind aid invested in health (68%) and education (19%); Nigeria’s budget spending on agriculture has remained significantly below Maputo target of 10 per cent.

The national network coordinator, WANEP, Mrs. Bridget Osakwe, said the event was timely as it addressed issues that undermine food security in the country. Also, the influencing/public engagement officer of OXFAM, Mr Abdulazeez Musa, explained that with adequate support, small-scale farmers throughout Nigeria could overturn rampant malnutrition and move the country towards food security.
The chairman of Civil Societies and Development Partners, Peter Akpatason, noted that there is an inherent issue in the budget concerning allocation to agriculture. President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders, Barr. Ken Ukhuoha said there is a need to question the budgetary allocation for the 36 states of the federation (including the FCT), private sectors investments and Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).

We have a huge variety of games options offered on line that can produce it hard to look for yourself dependent on just one video game, but you could find your self spending just about every extra moment of your working day participating in web based games. – Jakarta Food Security Summit

When using the amount of gaming prospects there can be you must get yourself participating in at least one every week if you are a great serious on the net gamer.

A lot of games possess recently turn into developed by using miniclip. These types of games generally have some of the very best graphics meant for many of these easy video games which include the video game known since Bubble Problem installment payments on your This kind of video game offers a extremely simplistic situation yet seems to become a really addicting video game. In a subject of minutes you? lmost all find your self planning to continue playing the game and hours goes past ahead of you discover that you just? empieza sat performing Bubble Difficulty two pertaining to 4 hours straight. That? after hour a truly addictive game.

To make things more serious, a lot of these games add? t even have a cost so that makes them free of charge addicting game titles. When something happens to be given to you intended for free which you can use on a regular most basic you happen to be going to turn into hooked in no period. Hard to kick online games may become the entire existence. You might wake up each morning and discover yourself having to perform the game just a little bit just before you embark on your entire day and then stay up half the night so you can surface finish a several level. This happens a lot in the miniclip game titles world.

Obviously, the computer revolution and its large penetration even in the growing financial systems possess performed an essential function in impacting on peoples” options. Consequently, guys are today more willing to do things troubles personal computers than placing in any actual hard work. This is in fact clear right from the pattern in nearly all societies where reading, publishing and many other forms of activities became nearly out of date. As anticipated, video games offers also certainly not been ready to be untouched by the effect of pcs and laptops.

In recent years, more and more children are noticed spending their period on the personal computers playing a wide range of download video games. Notably, this kind of trend is definitely not restricted to boys or perhaps girls which is more pronounced among children coming via wealthier people. Therefore, occasions of acquiring boys playing racing download games or girls dedicating time in playing term download game titles is nothing fresh or unusual.

One of many reasons working in favor of the successful online gaming event is ease and availability of multiple options.

Unlike outdoor sports including rugby or perhaps baseball which regularly become hard to play as a result of poor climate conditions, online down load games can be played below any weather condition. Moreover, these types of download games do certainly not always require players to form groups for participating in. An specific player may consequently enjoy a casino game of his choice at any time of time he chooses.

Apart from this, the numerous choices perfect players will make online games an really beautiful activity for many people. Just for example, a sports video game enthusiast grows to choose coming from an array of down load game titles designed purely to get similar thinking players. At the same time, persons who favor word down load games over the rest contain options just like scrabble, scramble and crosswords.

Playing down load games web based is also a passion for those exactly who are away from their family and friends. As these download matches require the users in order to have a great internet connection, this becomes very easy for these people to play a game of their choice with family or close friends who also may thousands of miles far from them.

Via the internet gambling is usually a very useable in all business business that has evolved before couple of years and it is considered a money article spinner across the world. Appreciating the big potential with this new application form of games, many on the web gaming businesses have started efforts just like holding prize draws and offering cash gifts to champions over a daily, every week or fortnightly most basic. There are various video games programs that require avid gamers to indication up for any free account, play internet, increase ratings and compensate them meant for attractive prizes such seeing as gambling Computer games, amazing merchandises and also other stuff.

It has been found that numerous first of all time players are embracing internet game playing to win these awards and generate some speedy money. With this trend steadily growing, on the web gaming absolutely has a well lit near future in advance.

Via the internet video games can certainly be obsessive, but that may also certainly not end up being obsessive. There are some that simply do not apparently discover that perfect game your kids and that they obtain worn out of shopping around. It? h bound to happen at some point or another. With delete word such a huge variety of game titles though you may get in good fortune and find something which is not just an enjoyable experience to play, but you can play it without getting bored to tears. When ever you can look for a video game that you might want to continue participating in actually continue playing. These types of games could be hard for some to locate but once they carry out they? lmost all be in the region of obsessive games.

Bear in mind though that after you find free addictive game titles add? d let them above take your life. There can be something on the other hand of your monitor that is waiting for you to view it. Online video games can certainly be very addictive so make perfectly sure that in cases where you get yourself commiting to the kingdom of addictive games that you just set out a period of time that can be played these people so you can like these people designed for much longer. Hard to kick Game titles Internet comes with truly made this practical for you by having almost all their online games readily available day-to-day, so you can continue to retain returning all their games whenever, this will go for almost all their games like the miniclip and arcade town games.

For much more read here

We Need a Food Revolution to strengthen food security

We Need a Food Revolution to strengthen food security

We Need a Food Revolution to strengthen food security

In 1984, I gathered the most successful musicians of the time to form a “supergroup” called Band Aid to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. The next year, an even larger grouping was formed for Live Aid, a major benefit concert and music-based fundraising initiative that continues to this day.

At last month’s International Forum on Food and Nutrition, held by the Barilla Foundation, the enduring – and increasingly urgent – need for efforts to strengthen food security could not be more obvious.

The fate of the Easter Islanders illustrates the world’s current problem. Sometime in the twelfth century, a group of Polynesians found their way to a remote volcanic island where dense forests provided food, animals, and the tools and materials to build hundreds of complex and mysterious stone sculptures. But, little by little, the people destroyed those forests, ultimately committing social, cultural, and physical suicide.

Today, in relative terms, we collectively have only a small swath of forest left – and we are rapidly destroying it. We are running out of land to farm, and the desert is spreading. The food we produce is often wasted, while almost a billion people do not have enough to eat – a reality that leaves many with little choice except to migrate.

Most media coverage focuses on refugees fleeing armed conflict (think Syria) or migrants seeking better economic opportunities than they have at home (think Nigeria or Pakistan). But the link between food scarcity and migration is stronger than it might seem to those who are not among the hungry.

For example, the Arab Spring uprisings of 2010-2011, which produced a massive wave of refugees, were triggered by a rise in wheat prices, which led to widespread bread riots that morphed into broader political revolutions. In fact, many armed conflicts, and the mass displacement they cause, can be traced back to food insecurity.

While the poor South starves, the rich North gorges. More than two billion of us are overweight, puffed up by low-energy sugars and mass-produced processed foods rich in fat. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, just one-quarter of the food we throw out or squander each year would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people. Worldwide, one-third of all crops are wasted. Like the Easter Islanders of the past, we are setting ourselves up for self-annihilation.

Moreover, human-driven climate change threatens to intensify existing pressures affecting food supply and migration. In a report published last December, the European Commission’s European Political Strategy Center predicted that ever-more frequent droughts and floods will “dwarf all other drivers of migration,” with as many as one billion people displaced globally by 2050. Even the lowest estimate of 25 million climate-change migrants, the report warns, “would dwarf the current levels of new refugees and internally displaced persons.”

To be sure, some steps are being taken to address food waste and scarcity. For example, this year, the European Commission proposed cuts in farm subsidies, which contribute to overproduction. But this approach – framed in terms of “evolution,” rather than the “revolution” that is needed – is not even remotely adequate.

The European Union’s common agricultural policy has long been highly problematic. The CAP authorized tax money to be spent on growing surplus food, which was then warehoused (at further cost) and ultimately destroyed (at still further cost). The system has improved somewhat over the years, but not nearly enough. The farm bill in the United States – the federal government’s primary agricultural and food policy tool – is similarly wasteful.

What is needed is not just a politically tolerable adjustment to existing policies, but rather root-and-branch reform that emphasizes real results. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether there are any politicians up to the task, whether in the erratic and polarized US or in the ineffectual European Parliament and Commission.

The time to step up was yesterday; the time to adopt a new approach is now. We can discuss the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – which include targets like “halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030” – until we are blue in the face. What matters are well-designed, effective, and comprehensive policies, implemented in a sustained manner. And those are nowhere to be found.

The Earth is 45 million centuries old, but our century is unique, because it is the first in which a species could destroy the entire basis of its own existence. Yet we latter-day Easter Islanders seem unaware of this existential threat, preferring to build statues rather than sustainable systems for survival.

Will we acknowledge our predicament only when our land becomes a desert, when our health systems collapse under the strain, when even the wealthy are facing food shortages, when freshwater becomes scarce, and when our national shorelines are breached? By then, it will be too late, and our fate will be sealed.

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it. Each of us must recognize the seriousness of our situation and demand real action to change it. That means you.

Bob Geldof is an Irish singer-songwriter, author, and political activist. He is the founder and chairman of the Band Aid Trust for famine relief in Africa, and a member of the Africa Progress Panel.

Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2018.

The post We Need a Food Revolution to strengthen food security appeared first on East African Business Week.


Dependent on imports, Oman takes steps for food security

Dependent on imports, Oman takes steps for food security

Dependent on imports, Oman takes steps for food security

Oman currently secures approximately 60 per cent of its food needs from international markets.

Muscat: Approximately 60 per cent of Oman’s food needs are met by international markets, according to a new report released by Oman’s Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export (Ithraa).

In a detailed overview of the Sultanate’s food security, Ithraa stated in a recent report, “Oman currently secures approximately 60 per cent of its food needs from international markets. However, the growing demand for food is expected to continue to pressure self-sufficiency rates. Population growth, urbanisation, rise in middle-class status along with a growing number of international tourists, are expected to change consumption patterns.”

“Up to half of Oman’s population is dependent on the agriculture and fisheries industries, with one-third of the economically active population directly employed in agriculture.”

“The GDP contribution of the sector, however, is just 1.9 per cent. It is dwarfed by the industry (21 per cent) and services (53.7 per cent) sectors,” said Ithraa.

The report noted, “Oman’s sustained capacity to finance food imports allows it to maintain a situation of food security for its population. It does, however, render it vulnerable to disruptions in food supply and to price fluctuations in global markets.”

“This was highlighted during the global food price crisis of 2007-08, when world grain prices surged and a number of large agricultural producers, including Russia, Ukraine, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Kazakhstan placed emergency export restrictions on wheat, barley, rice and corn to ensure their domestic food security,” it added.

Experts agree with findings

Naveed Ahmed, General Manager of Muscat Livestock Company, said, “As a country which relies very heavily on imports to meet its food requirements, having a robust food security policy is paramount for Oman.”

“There are a lot of initiatives the government can take to improve this and learn a lot from its neighbours who have invested heavily in food producing countries such as Australia, India, and Somalia,” he added.

Steps are already being taken to ensure Oman’s food security. Recent agreements have focused on harnessing the potential of Oman’s food and logistics sectors.

During a recent MoU signing between Asyad and Oman Food Investment Holding Company (OFIC), Asyad CEO Eng. Abdul Rahman Al Hatmi said, “Oman currently loses 24 per cent of fisheries and 40 per cent of farm output through the supply chain, that can be reduced to 6 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Indeed, supply chain processes and logistics for farm and food produce are intricate. In this regard, our partnership with OFIC will help meet the increasing demand for food.”

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation calculated that world food production will have to increase by more than 75 per cent over the next 33 years to ensure food supplies for 9.6 billion people by the year 2050, compared to 7.5 billion today.


Next Generation 2018 – Engaging Youth in Agriculture: Challenging the Purpose Generation

Next Generation 2018 – Engaging Youth in Agriculture: Challenging the Purpose Generation

July 12, 2018 | By Amie Alexander

Next Generation 2018 – Engaging Youth in Agriculture: Challenging the Purpose Generation

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is pleased to present the 2018 Next Generation Delegates blog series. This year’s Delegation was comprised of 27 outstanding students from universities across the United States and around the world studying agriculture, food, and related disciplines. We were thrilled to feature these emerging leaders at the Global Food Security Symposium 2018, and look forward to sharing the exciting work of this extraordinary group.

I spent my childhood anticipating litters of piglets and spending snowy nights searching for cows that didn’t come in at feeding time because they’d stayed out to calve. For me, agriculture was always relevant, but even growing up in an agricultural community, few of my peers were interested in agriculture, and those that were tended to think of agriculture in much the same way I did. This singleness of perspective was turned out not to be unique: even later in life, when I was studying agriculture at college, my peers and I formed an echo chamber on the way we looked at agriculture and global food security efforts.

Recently, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs assembled diverse voices of change in Washington, DC, at the Global Food Security Symposium. There, as a part of the Next Generation Delegation, I was surrounded by peers who were scientists, engineers, researchers, economists, and entrepreneurs. One of my favorite conversations began when discussing the moment or opportunity that led us to the food security sector. I shared how I decided to work in the agriculture arena because it’s where I started—it’s where I felt at home, and it’s where I felt purposeful. This is the lens through which I have always viewed agriculture and food security. That’s when another delegate shared something that suddenly clicked for me. He said maybe we are all here not because we all first loved agriculture, but because agriculture was at the root of all of the issues we did love: poverty alleviation, community, economic development, international trade, nutrition, national security, and more. Global food security underpins every aspect of society.

The world is now home to the largest youth population in history, yet the world’s workforce is unprepared to provide meaningful employment to this rising generation. Without economic opportunities, the rising youth population is bound for stagnation, and vulnerable to migration, unrest, and extremism. This growing youth population will either be a major contributor to social disruption, political instability, and conflict, or they will shape the future of the world by impacting global economic, social, political, and food security. The determining factor? Our ability to engage youth in agricultural transformation.

It’s no surprise to anyone who works in agriculture that when trying to engage young people, we are fighting a stigma about agricultural employment. Our instinct is to try to communicate why we are passionate about our own interests, and we’ve seen this instinct reinforced by pushes for the importance of telling others our story as agriculturalists. My efforts to explain my fascination with agricultural biotechnologies or global trade policy have not inspired many budding agriculturalists, and as my friend pointed out in our discussion on how we got into agriculture, I think that’s because we’re approaching this backwards. It’s certainly important for us to tell our stories, but it’s more important to listen to the stories of others. Once we know what matters to young people, we show them the ways agriculture provides a meaningful context for advancing their passions.

My love for agriculture started on the farm, but it’s taken me far beyond that. Through meaningful investments into youth agricultural education, I have had opportunities to work extensively on the local level and in my community. The field of agriculture has allowed me to use my passions and talents for law and public policy to bridge experiences across the world: from working in global trade policy with the Foreign Agricultural Service in Tokyo, Japan, to proposing strategies for increased broadband deployment across rural Arkansas.

We know increased investments into agricultural development propel society forward. Continued funding and investment into programs that present agriculture as a meaningful career option for youth are critical. The National FFA Organization was instrumental for me to see how an agricultural career was a mechanism to grow my passion and purpose of global food security. In the ninth grade, I was competing in a speaking contest and delivering a speech on gene editing technology. Ten years later, as a result of an incredible internship opportunity with the United States Department of Agriculture, I was attending a meeting with international regulators on the same topic. These programs matter, and they deserve continued development and investment.

To engage youth in agricultural transformation, we must provide the thing youth are searching for: purpose. This “purpose generation” is the most entrepreneurial minded in history, and these young people want to engage their passions and talents through meaningful economic opportunities. To tap into this transformative talent, we don’t have to convince youth to work in agriculture. We only need to help them see how agriculture is the perfect context to apply their skills and passions to advance global food security. By doing that, today’s youth will empower a more a sustainable world by advancing global economic, social, political, and food security.

Read previous blogs from the 2018 Next Generation Delegates:


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


| By Amie Alexander

We are pleased to announce a new occasional blog series, Cultivating Tomorrow: Indian Agriculture Challenged, by Marshall M. Bouton, president emeritus of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The series will examine the state of Indian agriculture today and its areas of progress and challenge.


Black Churches set their sights on food security

Black Churches set their sights on food security

“We explored how we can help one another, as we’re impacted by food inequity in similar and distinct ways,” says Brown.

The ultimate goal is to build a sustainable, community-centered food system anchored by black churches and black food producers and led by those most directly affected by economic inequity. In both places, access to healthy, fresh, affordable food can be challenging due to what Brown and other activists call “food apartheid.”


Heber Brown during a tour of Browntown Farms.

Heber Brown during a tour of Browntown Farms.

“We feel that apolitical and ‘color-blind’ approaches to addressing food inequity fly in the face of the statistics, which clearly show that black people are disproportionately impacted in a negative way by food apartheid, environmental racism and discrimination in planning and public policy,” says Brown. “To ignore these realities in [so-called] food justice work is a gross miscalculation at best.”

The network provides guidance and ongoing support for people starting gardens on church-owned lands, finding and screening volunteers for those gardens, establishing pop-up produce stands before and after church services in the Baltimore metro area and connecting with black farmers to stock those stands.

In this way, BCFSN operates outside of the charity model. Instead, it calls itself a “self-help” organization, intent on challenging what Brown describes as “the harmful and dehumanizing dynamics of initiatives that make it almost a requirement to be in a posture of subservience and dependence on the benevolence of those who have the resources.”

Since 2015, BCFSN has expanded to include 10 churches across greater Baltimore and five black-owned farms in Baltimore, North Carolina and Virginia. This year, as interest grows, it’s on track to double those numbers and expand the network into Washington, DC, and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

A garden and an uprising

BCFSN began with a garden and an uprising. Seven years ago, Brown, now 37, was a new pastor at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church. One day, as he was walking toward the church, contemplating how to help members of his congregation who had ended up in the hospital for diet-related problems, he had a vision of the front yard lawn transformed into a vegetable garden.

“The land wasn’t in regular use; it was just being cut and made presentable so the people walking or driving by could appreciate a well-manicured lawn,” says Brown. His idea was enthusiastically embraced by the congregation — particularly the seniors — and within a year, the land was tilled and transformed into a productive garden. Now, it produces upwards of 1,100 pounds of produce each year. For the first five years, the food was given away to church and community members. This model wasn’t financially sustainable and now they sell the produce at prices generally lower than local markets.

A few years after they started gardening, the city of Baltimore was embroiled in violence and chaos after Freddie Gray died while in police custody. The ensuing uprising, born of routine discrimination and abuse toward low-income black residents at the hands of the Baltimore Police Department, shut down parts of the city, making it difficult for some residents to access food.


A senior member of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church works in Maxine’s Garden.

A senior member of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church works in Maxine’s Garden.

Food was already the calling card of the Pleasant Hope congregation. When the church started to receive pleas from hungry people, members jumped into action. Brown contacted Aleya Fraser, a farmer with the Black Dirt Farm Collective, and she and other farmer friends collected fresh produce for distribution. Pleasant Hope transformed into a command center where the food was processed, put on a truck, and driven to street corners across the city. With this, another vision was born: a “soil-to-sanctuary” program linking black churches and black farmers.

“While the nation saw images of bottles thrown and windows broken, the Black Church Food Security Network was being born,” says Brown.

Black churches countering long-running discrimination

BCFSN presents a chance to offer black farmers a sustainable business model by creating the infrastructure — such as farm stands — and consumer demand from within black church congregations to support their businesses. And, in many ways, the demand was already there.

“Many of the communities where we are active have suffered under the political violence of food apartheid for years, and have been crying for something to be done,” says Brown.

Julius Tillery is a fifth-generation cotton and vegetable farmer in North Carolina who has partnered with BCFSN. The impact has already been tremendous, he says. “Many black farmers have been burned by planting too much and then not having interested parties wanting to buy their products,” says Tillery. “[The network] has given black rural farmers confidence that the institution will have their backs when they stretch themselves to plant as much as possible to sell.”

Tillery also sees the clear benefit for the customers, who have a new opportunity to build more intimate relationships with healthy, local food. “They are trusting that good food is better for them and their health, not because some academic says so, but because they can actually feel and taste the love in the food and see who produced it.”

The explicit emphasis on black churches is intentional, says Brown. Even as private black landowners were drained of their resources, black churches continue to own property across the US. Longevity is another factor; some black Christian congregations go back centuries, resilient in the face of an onslaught of traumas.

“They have lasted through two World Wars, the Great Depression, racist violence and the lynching of our family members,” says Brown. “They have withstood fire-bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church — those little girls killed in Sunday school, and [the murder] of Pastor Clementa Pinckney in Charleston. I wanted to make sure that our organization was in the bosom of an institution that could stand the test of time.”

Black churches, he says, are a powerful cultural and socio-political force that has been overlooked in many food and environmental circles — they sit in a blind spot of the so-called Good Food Movement.

“I went to conferences where nobody was talking about African American churches; they were not at the table,” he says. “Thankfully our work is helping to change that. There is a whole world out there, a whole universe, that we should be more sensitive to.”

Building food sovereignty in black communities

Maxine White, executive director of the Coalition for Healthier Eating lives by the motto, “The person who controls the food controls the mind and the wellness of the body.”

Her food hub in North Carolina was a stop on the Pleasant Hope day trip. White’s organization, which has trailers and other key food-distribution infrastructure, has partnered with BCFSN to get fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, poultry and eggs produced by local black producers to black churches and community members along the East Coast.

“Prior to the whitewashing of food production, everything our ancestors produced was done in a healthy and sustainable way,” says White. “Black society then began to rely less on providing for ourselves, and more on what the big grocery store owners — most of whom are white — could provide us to feed ourselves. BCFSN is returning the old feeding ways back to our community. People are eating seasonally, preserving what is reasonable to preserve, and black producers are producing almost year-round what comes to the table — on their own terms.”


a church sign advertising fresh produce in baltimore

Reverend Heber Brown returned from the trip to the Virginia farm and North Carolina food hub with produce, 65 dozen free-range eggs and multiple cases of locally produced strawberry jam to sell at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church’s monthly community market, which targets African Americans from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

Over 100 people attended the market, which also included a vegan juicer, a bakery, herbal medicine and cooking workshops, and vending by farms such as The Greener Garden, a local, chemical-free urban farm. It was a rousing success; Brown said the eggs sold out within 45 minutes, followed closely by the produce.

“One of our urban farmers sold out of her produce in less than two hours, whereas she usually has to vend for six hours at the city’s farmers’ market and sometimes doesn’t even break even,” Brown says.

All signs point to the beginning of a national movement, says farmer Julius Tillery.

“I believe that black economic development through food will build bridges for many black people to be active in their churches and support small black business again,” says Tillery. “In faith, I believe BCFSN will be leaders in that movement.”

All photos courtesy of BCFSN.


Energy, Central to Major Challenges, Including Poverty Eradication, Gender Equality, Adaptation to Climate Change, Food Security, Health, Education, Jobs

Energy, Central to Major Challenges, Including Poverty Eradication, Gender Equality, Adaptation to Climate Change, Food Security, Health, Education, Jobs

“We believe that what we need going forward is to strengthen ambition, strengthen action and strengthen cooperation,” said Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, on the second day of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The Forum, which will run through 18 July, aims to examine progress already made by dozens of countries towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – adopted by 193 Member States in 2015 – and discuss the remaining challenges and the best way forward.

Amin moderated an afternoon session that focused on Goal 7 – ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, highlighting how the increasing use of sustainable energy has become a tangible reality in many countries, including Portugal, where the whole country can now be powered through renewable resources.

The Forum featured a statistical presentation by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), whose representative said that despite improved access to electricity globally, nearly one billion people continue to live without electricity while about 3 billion people lack access to clean-cooking solutions and are exposed to dangerous levels of indoor air pollution.

Panellists discussed how achieving SDG 7 will galvanize actions to meet the Paris Agreement on climate change, and how women are disproportionately affected by indoor air pollution caused by the use of fuels such as coal and wood indoors.

The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council, ECOSOC, including a three-day ministerial segment, and is due to meet once every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government, under the auspices of the UN General Assembly.

Under the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”, this year’s Forum focuses on six of the 17 goals:

Goal 6: To ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Goal 7: To provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Goal 11: To make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Goal 12: To ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Goal 15. To protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss.

Goal 17. To strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, that will be considered each year. (SOURCE: ).

Predictable agricultural trade conditions needed to address food security challenges: FAO – Pak China News

Predictable agricultural trade conditions needed to address food security challenges: FAO – Pak China News

UNITED NATIONS, July 10 (APP): Poorer countries with rising populations and scarce natural resources are likely to be “increasingly dependent” on imports to feed their people, according to an annual report jointly compiled by the United Nations food agency.

Although overall exports from countries and regions with plenty of agricultural lands are forecast to increase, the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2018-2027 stressed that because agricultural trade plays an important role in food security, there needs to be an enabling trade policy environment.

According to the Agricultural Outlook, undernourishment is concentrated in conflict-riddled and politically-unstable countries “with the and (MENA) facing simultaneous challenges of food insecurity, rising malnutrition and managing limited natural resources.

The report forecasts strong growth in agriculture and fishing in developing regions whose populations are rising fast, including , South and East Asia and MENA. These areas are facing the challenge of limited land and water resources as well as extreme-weather related issues of climate-change, resulting in high dependence on food imports.

By contrast, this growth is predicted to be significantly lower in developed countries, particularly across Western Europe.

“The Green Revolution of the last century largely increased the world’s capacity to feed itself but now we need a sustainability revolution,” Jose Graziano da Silva, Director General, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), presenting the report with Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“This includes tackling high-input and resource-intensive farming systems that impose a high cost to the environment,” he added, noting the continued degradation of soil, forests, water, air quality and biodiversity.
The Agricultural Outlook recommends that re-orient policies away from cereals that require intensive watering, toward rural development, poverty reduction and farming of higher-value horticulture products.
“We need to adopt sustainable and productive food systems that offer healthy and nutritious food, while also preserving the environment and biodiversity,” Da Silva stressed.

Elsewhere in MENA, population growth is prompting a rise in food demand where exceptionally high wheat consumption coupled with skyrocketing sugar and fat consumption are leading to what FAO calls “an alarming spread of overweight and obesity.”

Anticipating global improvements in agricultural commodities and food products, the report predicts a slide in demand, which will reduce the price of most food staples, over the coming decade.

The report attributes the slowdown to stagnating per-capita consumption of staple foods, a drop in emerging economy consumption, and a gradual decline in global population growth rates.

Moreover, a decline in the desire to buy meat products will put a brake on the demand for cereals and protein meal used in animal feed.

With slower consumption and production growth, agricultural and fish trade are projected to grow at about half the rate of the previous decade.