Tag Archives: food

Mapping Food 4 the Future

This week in class, we began working on a digital mapping project in order to provide future info-graphic resources via GIS and OSM for development professionals located in the town of Chitwan, Nepal.

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Last year, when I was researching food security issues in Western Africa, I encountered an interesting initiative that has begun under President Obama, and is currently operated by a consortium of different US government departments. Known as Feed The Future, or FTF, the Department of State, USAID, USDA, the Department of Commerce, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US Peace Corps, the Department of the Treasury, the US Trade Representative, as well as the US African Development Foundation all collaborate to operate as the US Government’s global hunger and food security project. The overall goal of this mission is to work towards the global eradication of extreme poverty, undernutrition, and hunger, all by collaborating with international NGO’s, the private sector, civil society, as well as the research community.

As the obstacles encountered in order to successfully implement this program are quite steep, the FTF has identified what they consider “19 focus countries” throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. A central area of focus are the countries within Western Africa, including but not limited to Senegal, Sierra Leone, Mali, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, and Chad. In their fiscal year 2010, or FY 2010 Implementation Plan for this region, it is quite clear that in order to identify the surplus and deficit states, as well as the necessary transportation opportunities to facilitate the complex logistics of food production, highly reliable and detailed maps are required.

Through the USAID link that will take you to the Famine Early Warning System here, one can view and understand the various food production maps for essential crops central to West Africa, like cassava, sorghum, millet, wheat, rice, cowpea, and yams. The Production and Market Flow Maps were developed by USGS and FEWS NET, in collaboration with local government ministries, market information systems, UN agencies, NGOs and other partners. In fact, Tulane University and the Payson Center played a central role in the development of the Famine Early Warning System, and you can read more about it here.

To find out more, visit the Feed the Future website for Western Africa, the FEWS site, as well as the homepage for USAID to learn about the various other initiatives that they work towards.


Former ICT4D Student Blogs about Cell Phones in Africa

As part of her internship with Food Tank, former IDEV4100:ICT4D (Fall 2011 semester) student Suzannah Schneider authored this blog entitled “Five Ways Cell Phones are Changing Agriculture In Africa.” The post lists some familiar ideas, such as using mobile phones to access market prices and weather information, as well as receive useful information via SMS messages. However, it also mentions some more specific and innovative ideas such as iCow and micro-insurance. Based on your experiences in our class, what are your thoughts on these 5 applications of mobiles for agricultural development?

More information about Food Tank can be found in this video: “The Food Think Tank Trailer