It seems like we’ve talked a lot about drought on this blog lately. Last year at this time we were calling attention to the Horn of Africa. Since then we’ve talked about the Sahel region in West Africa and even more recently about the dry conditions that have been wreaking havoc for farmers right here in the United States.
But yesterday’s op-ed by Roger Thurow over at Farmers Feeding the World serves as a reminder that, no matter where farmers are struggling to coax their seedlings out of the ground, drought affects all of us everywhere.
Thurow begins with an anecdote about a Kenyan farmer praying for rain, knowing that if the rains did not come, he could not eat. That prayer, Thurow tells us, was offered in March of 2011. He then draws the parallel that that prayer could be uttered by a number of farmers—large-scale or small—in many parts of the world. The difference is, the United States has safety nets for farmers whose yields are lower than normal whereas farmers in the developing world typically do not.
And that’s the crux of Thurow’s piece. Just like the farmer in Kenya who says he’ll pray for rain for the farmers in Texas, so should all of us support the efforts of agencies, organizations, governments, and any other entity working to expand and improve agricultural development in the places where farmers aren’t guaranteed help if their crop fails.
Like Thurow says, “we’re all in this together.”