snacks and glints

Should the MDGs be amended to address early childhood development? that would mean shifting from under fives to under twos, with a special focus on maternal care, and education. The new Lancet series suggest so. Nice summary in the Guardian. MDGs are almost over – it would be difficult to amend them at this point. Let us just get through these next three years and start scaling in a more focused way.

Solar powered lights, fuel efficient cookstoves, rolling water drums. Great ideas and hopefully, they can make a difference for women in poor countries, but also wealthy countries. The developed world needs to start thinking about these alternative energy sources in cooking and lighting their homes.

US government committed another $55 million for clean cookstoves. The interesting thing is, Peace Corp volunteers will be setting them up in 11 countries in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Cool.

Agriculture has a role to play in improving nutrition and preventing non-communicable diseases. Whew. I was worried for a second there. Being that the main purpose of agriculture is to produce food…

Governments are often left out of development plans and programs that are happening in their own country. Ironic and unfair. A great example where government is full engaged in India.

I call maternal mortality the lost MDG. Globally, there is an estimate of 210 million pregnancies, 80 million unwanted pregnancies, 50 million induced abortions, 20 million unsafe abortions, 68,000 deaths from unsafe abortion, and 20 million infections and disabilities following childbirth. Stunning statistics.

Two interesting news pieces on the impact of landgrabbing and access to agricultural inputs such as improved seeds, better technology and better equipment for women. I attended a UN side event during the UN general assembly hosted by Hilary Clinton, on “women and agriculture.” Good to see the gender perspective in agriculture getting some attention. Let’s hope things change for all the women farmers in the developing world, and it ain’t just all talk…

Derek Yach of PepsiCo’s HuffPo on non-communicable diseases and a special focus on nutrition and agriculture: “We must realign agricultural policies to better incentivize the production, distribution and consumption of healthier foods. Reorienting a range of public sector financial and related policy incentives (including support for agricultural and nutrition science and trade policy) toward “healthier” crops would have a tremendous impact on not only the quality of food produced, but the availability and cost of raw materials to produce it.”

Obese outnumber hungry. What does that mean in percentages? 15% of the world’s population is hungry and 20% are overly full…

Harvestplus has just finished the primary research on their GMO rice that has high levels of iron and zinc. But, it will be another 10 years before it can be consumed.

Two great ladies have passed. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Kenyan who started the Green Belt movement. Lois Englberger, nutritionist and dedicated advocate of agrobiodiversity in the Pacific.


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