Roger Thurow

Roger Thurow is a ONE agriculture fellow, journalist and author. He was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal for 30 years, 20 of them as a foreign correspondent. He is the author of "The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change" and "ENOUGH: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty." Follow him on Twitter at @RogerThurow.

Author contributions

Nelson Mandela: Tolerance in an intolerant time

Nelson Mandela: Tolerance in an intolerant time

For Mandela Day, Roger Thurow reflects on his experience witnessing Nelson Mandela speak for the first time after 27 years in prison. This article was reposted from The Chicago Council’s Global Food for Thought blog.  What will he say?  What will Nelson Mandela say after 27 years in prison? That was the feverish ques......

Here’s an idea: Give small farmers the confidence their food will sell

We can make food aid more sustainable not by giving away Western food, but by working with local farmers and creating a market for their crops in the region. ONE Agriculture Fellow Roger Thurow reports.  Ten years after the Ethiopian famine of 2003, when international food aid rushed in to feed 14 million people, another&hel......
Healthy at the start, healthy for life

Healthy at the start, healthy for life

Kids really, really need to start life with vitamin-rich foods if they want to grow up to be healthy, strong and productive adults. Roger Thurow shares the story of Harriet and her son Abraham. This post was originally published on The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting’s website.  A mother knows. “This child is b......
Imagine this: Food aid reform

Imagine this: Food aid reform

By Roger Thurow, ONE agriculture fellow and the author of  The Last Hunger Season.  As word spread earlier this week of the food aid reform section of President Obama’s 2014 budget, I wondered how Jerman Amente would greet the news.  He was a wiry 39-year-old Ethiopian farmer and grain trader when I first met him…...
ONE’s new report: A Growing Opportunity

ONE’s new report: A Growing Opportunity

Ten years ago, Africa’s hunger season reached new levels of desperation. Hunger crises gripped the continent from the Horn to the southern tip. In Ethiopia, the feast of successive bumper harvests had incredibly, swiftly turned to famine, with 14 million people on the doorstep of starvation, surviving on international food ...
Give peas a chance

Give peas a chance

As the ballots were being counted in the recent Kenya election, I saw photos of people displaying the encouraging message: Give Peace a Chance. So far, that sentiment seems to be holding. Equally important for the future of the country is this imperative message for the new government: Give Peas a Chance. And Maize. And Beans...
Agriculture development – dull? Not in Kenya

Agriculture development – dull? Not in Kenya

Roger Thurow recently traveled to Kenya to check in on the farmers he wrote about in his book, “The Last Hunger Season.” There’s a building boom going on in this western Kenya village. The blueprint for Zipporah and Sanet Biketi’s new house is coming to life. The walls, made of some 4,000 bricks formed by&hell......
Forward ever

Forward ever

The young man from the farm was looking smart in an olive green suit, salmon tie and cufflinks. His black shoes were a bit scuffed, but his English was polished. “We are moving forward,” he said. “Forward ever, backward never.”
Learning to Fish

Learning to Fish

In the vast assembly room at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, overlooking one of the nation’s premier food banking facilities, Drexton Granberry joyfully came to the end of his speech. He and 25 others were graduating from Chicago’s Community Kitchens (CCK), a 14-week program that teaches culinary skills to unemployed......
Hanging on the edge: The daily fiscal cliff

Hanging on the edge: The daily fiscal cliff

The smallholder farmers of Africa know all about fiscal cliffs.“Everybody wants money,” Leonida Wanyama despaired as she neared the precipice of her own personal cliff during the hunger season. She had no food in the house and no money, either. Many forces were pushing her to the edge. Her children were being sent home fr...
A Thanksgiving tale: The hungercloth

A Thanksgiving tale: The hungercloth

Photo credit: Morgana Wingard/ ONE Roger Thurow is a ONE agriculture fellow, journalist and author. He was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal for 30 years, 20 of them as a foreign correspondent. He is the author of “The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change”…...
Forward with Feed the Future

Forward with Feed the Future

Photo credit: Palm Beach Post Four more years, that’s what we got last night. Four more years to solidify American leadership in ending hunger through agricultural development. Four more years to make President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative a permanent part of American policy no matter the political makeup in Congres......
The Olympic feat of ending global hunger

The Olympic feat of ending global hunger

The London Summer Olympics have been chock full of wondrous achievements and inspiring moments: Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Sarah Attar, Oscar Pistorius, an impressive roster of African athletes rising from deep poverty to the medal platform. Just imagine the journey from Somalia or Sudan to a stadium filled with 80,000 peopl...
Where every day is World Food Day

Where every day is World Food Day

Today is World Food Day. But, I wonder, do the farmers of Africa know it? Actually, for them, every day is World Food Day. Food – growing it, scraping together enough money to buy it – is their daily preoccupation, a primal obsession. Africa’s smallholder farmers – the most common occupation on the continent –&h......
The nutrition dialogues

The nutrition dialogues

The most difficult conversations were about the malnourished children. “When you, as a parent, see your child not eating enough to be satisfied, you are hurt, but you are not in a position to control the situation,” Zipporah Biketi told me when we first met in western Kenya last year. Her two-year-old son David was&hellip......
An ode to orange

An ode to orange

How African communities are making sweet potatoes look good I arrived in the village of Nhazombe, Mozambique, in the middle of an orange mania. A troupe of women draped in bright orange cloth came dancing down the main road. They were singing an Ode to Orange: A farmer selling sweet potatoes in Tanzania “Always give…...