Sustainable agriculture can help conquer hunger, UN says – With experts predicting that farmers will need to double production to feed a global population by the middle of the century, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization is focusing on sustainable agriculture strategies based on “saving more.” Targeting the 2.5 billion people whose livelihoods rely on farming in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the UN’s new “Save and Grow “report promotes tactics which include “preserving soil’s natural fertility by minimizing ploughing” and a “smarter, integrated way of managing pests.” (LA Times Greenspace Blog)
G20 Urged to Focus on Small Farmers in Food Price Volatility Action Plan – Leading up to the G-20 agriculture ministers meeting from June 22-23 in France, the Food Policy Research Institute has said member countries should prioritize agricultural and rural development with a focus on smallholder farmers to prevent food price volatility and protect the poor from rising global food prices. The institute also said there needs to be a focus on equal opportunities to education and farm inputs for female farmers. (Ivy Mungcal, Devex)
Rajiv Shah Names Some of Biggest Challenges as USAID Administrator – USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah says one of his biggest challenges is to convince US citizens that giving aid to developing countries is in the United States’ interests. Speaking to the Guardian, Shah said Americans must realize “development is a fundamental part of our national security.” He also spoke about how the US is partnering with the private sector to help farmers improve their productivity with the Feed the Future initiative. (Ivy Mungcal, Devex)
Michelle Obama’s Africa Trip to Focus on Youth Leadership – According to her staff, first lady Michelle Obama’s trip next week to South Africa and Botswana will emphasize youth leadership, education and health. Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, also said the first lady’s visit is “directly connected to President Obama’s policy to advance democracy in Africa,” in which he views Africa as “fundamentally connected to the wider world.” (James Butty, Voice of America).
Private-Equity Firms Get Started on African Game Hunt – The Wall Street Journal reports that US investment interest in Africa is rising because of its “commodity riches and rapidly urbanizing one billion population offer huge potential.” The Journal reports that sub-Saharan economic growth is forecast to hit 5.5% this year, which should help companies investing in Africa increase earnings. (Hester Plumridge, Wall Street Journal)