Imagine my surprise this morning when I made my daily visit to Poverty Matters, the development blog of the British newspaper The Guardian, and there at the top of the page was a photo of Heifer International President Jo Luck.
Carlos Ser, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute, wrote a post about the importance of smallholder farmers, calling them “the backbone of global food production.” Ser goes on to call out Heifer International and Jo Luck by name, as co-winner of this year’s World Food Prize:
“As food riots continue in Mozambique and food crises persist in Niger and elsewhere, leaders in global agriculture, food and development are gathering in Des Moines, Iowa this week to highlight the significant role the world’s smallholder farmers could play in alleviating poverty and hunger. …“The award of the World Food Prize this week to Heifer International, a livestock oriented non-governmental organisation, should help promote smallholder livestock production, in particular, as a vital pathway out of poverty and hunger.“Farm animals kept on the world’s small farms serve as the building blocks of prosperity. With global human population rising (it is expected to increase by 2 to 3 billion people over the next four decades, after which it should begin to decline), livestock are becoming agriculture’s most economically important sub sector, with demand in developing countries for milk, meat and eggs projected to double over the next 20 years alone.”