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Reflecting on Progress and What Matters Most

The holiday season is here, once again. Where did the time go? Soon it will be time for a new year and new year’s resolutions. This time of year is a natural one for reflection on the past 12 months—what we’ve achieved and where we’re headed.

Each December, we issue a special edition of our Feed the Future newsletter to highlight our top achievements toward global food security over the last year. As we pore through highlights, success stories, and major milestones to prepare our 2014 edition, one thing is clear: It’s been a banner year!

Together with our partners, we have deepened engagement, driven efforts to further integrate agriculture and nutrition, cultivated partnerships, advanced science and technology to help bring progress to scale, and helped millions of smallholder farmers—particularly women—achieve meaningful results by unlocking the potential of agriculture.

Read on for a sampling of some of our favorite stories from 2014 and stay tuned for our 2014 year-in-review later this month! 

Beating Vitamin A Deficiency One Sweet Potato at a Time

In Mozambique, vitamin A deficiency is alarmingly prevalent. But through a simple yet proven intervention—cultivation and consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato—Feed the Future has helped Mozambique decrease vitamin A deficiency 15 percent and increase vitamin A intake eightfold among children in participating communities.

Partnering with the Private Sector to Disseminate Cutting-Edge Technology to Dairy Farmers in Rwanda

Got milk? We may not in about 30 years if we don’t scale up key technologies to maintain—and even increase—global milk production. In Rwanda, Feed the Future is helping farmers increase their access to affordable technology, such as UdderCheck developed by New Jersey-based PortaScience, Inc., that can help dramatically boost milk production and, in doing so, boost incomes and food security too. 

In Senegal, Women Lead the Way in Rice Processing

Investing in women can be one of the most effective ways to combat hunger and poverty in agricultural communities around the world. Thanks to a Feed the Future grant from the U.S. African Development Foundation, a successful women’s rice production and processing group in Senegal’s River Valley now has the capital they need to expand their business and ensure there is enough rice to eat throughout the year.

Aquaculture Helps Women in Nepal Improve Household Nutrition

By empowering rural women to grow and consume fish from their own backyards, Feed the Future and partners from Oregon State University and the University of Michigan are giving them the means to combat the daunting threats of anemia and undernutrition in their households.

Market-Friendly Policies in Zambia Pave the Way for Smallholder Maize Farmers

Market-friendly policies, implemented by the Zambian government with Feed the Future’s support (including from Michigan State University), contributed to a record maize harvest in Zambia this past year. Though initially controversial, policy change has improved both maize prices and market conditions, creating a wide array of new efficiencies and opportunities along the agricultural value chain.

Mosquito Net Company Partners with Research Institutions to Tackle Crop Pests

Bed nets are nothing new in international development, but through an innovative Feed the Future project connecting U.S. universities such as Michigan State University and the University of California, Davis, the private sector and local institutions, researchers are helping farmers to mitigate damage from insect pests and improve vegetable production.

Teaching the Skills for Innovation in Agriculture

How do you teach innovation? A Feed the Future partnership with the University of California, Davis, is leveraging ideas developed at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology to empower university students in Honduras and beyond to solve real-world agricultural problems while learning the nuts and bolts of how to innovate. 

U.S. Universities Step Up to Fight Hunger

American universities have a rich history of working with the U.S. Government to forge innovative solutions to global hunger. Meet some of the talented degree students and researchers who are working with U.S. universities such as the University of Georgia, Colorado State University, Tufts University and others to sustainably build a more food-secure future.

Food Week Highlights U.S. Leadership in Food Security and Nutrition

In May we highlighted and celebrated the critical role U.S. leadership has played in pioneering a reinvestment in agricultural development and a renewed focus on fighting hunger, as well as a new model for development to achieve lasting results.

Snapshots: Advancing Global Food Security in a ChangingClimate

As climate-related threats grow more severe, decisions about where and how food is produced can either accelerate or help put the brake on climate change. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Peace Corps, U.S. Agency for International Development and other partners are working under the Feed the Future initiative to help farming communities around the world adapt to and mitigate climate’s effects.

Looking Forward

We’re proud that the momentum to achieve Feed the Future’s long-term vision—a world in which the scourge of hunger, extreme poverty, and undernutrition no longer threatens the peace and prosperity of millions—is strong. But we know there is still much to do; for while there are fewer hungry people today than a decade ago, more than 800 million people around the world go to bed hungry every night. That’s 800 million too many. 

U.S. leadership in ending hunger matters—we’ve seen the results we can achieve in a short time when we bring partners together to tackle a global issue like this in a strategic, focused and results-oriented manner.

As you reflect on your own year and look to 2015, consider the progress we’ve collectively made in the fight to end hunger. Why does feeding the future matter to you? What’s the most inspiring story you’ve seen? How will you help feed the future? Use the hashtag #FeedtheFutureMatters to let us know your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.

A man holds an ear of corn and stands in a corn field  A young girl smiles as she eats at a table  

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