What we’re following 3/18/10

Mar 18th, 2010 | By | Category: Food for Thought

New York Times: Somalia Food Aid Bypasses Needy, U.N. Study Says
A new United Nations Security report recently found that as much as half of the food aid sent to Somalia is diverted from needy people to a group of contractors, radical Islamist militants and U.N. staff members. The report recommends that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon open an investigation into the World Food Program’s Somalia operations, suggesting that the program rebuild the food distribution system from scratch to break what it describes as a corrupt cartel of Somali distributors.

AP: Federal regulators launch probe of big agriculture
The Associated Press recently reported that the first joint workshops on agriculture by regulators at the U.S. Justice and Agriculture Departments was expected to give farmers, lobbyists, executives and academics a strong indication of where the Obama administration stands on consolidation in agriculture. The administration’s biggest concern has been the concentration of power in rural America. According to the story, farmers felt it was the most attention paid in years to their long-standing complaints that big corporations are choking out smaller players while industry officials and farming groups saw the move as a possible step toward legal action.

The New Vision: Fruit farmers to reap from Coca-Cola, Gates project
A new partnership between Coca-Cola, TechnoServe and the Gates Foundation hopes to enable farmers increase their productivity and double their incomes by 2014. The project is aimed at creating market opportunities for local farmers whose fruit will be used in Coca-Cola’s locally-produced fruit juices, a representative from the company told The New Vision, a Ugandan news Web site. Many multinational corporations import fruit juice concentrate into the country because of the perceived lack of local fruit supply, according to the article. But this partnership could create an attractive long-term opportunity for farmers since there is now a compelling market need for domestically produced mango and passion fruit.

Africa is a Country: Playground Politics
Kids have the unique ability to take the most complex ideas and break them down into the most simple terms. Take, for example, this Funny or Die clip posted on one of the blogs we follow, Africa is a Country, in which children bring satire to an interpretation of the reasons behind the food crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

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