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A new report pinpoints some solutions to the interconnected problems of world hunger and climate change. And of course, Heifer International is among those solutions.

The group of international experts who make up the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change released the report ahead of this month’s big climate change conference in South Africa. 

The report describes how food shortages and global warming exacerbate each other. Poorly-practiced or wasteful agriculture leaves many people unfed, and contributes to the greenhouse effect.  A warmer planet, in turn, makes it much harder to get good yields from certain agricultural lands.

Farming is key in climate change solutions, this panel says. If world leaders keep ignoring the importance of feeding the world’s population sustainably, millions may go hungry and climate change will continue to worsen.

The report has several suggestions, including bigger investments in sustainable agriculture, more efficient food delivery systems, empowering marginalized farmers like women, and better use of technology.  But it emphasizes that smallholder farmers, the ones Heifer works with, are critical to ensuring that all populations are fed without harming the Earth.

The report uses Heifer’s East Africa Dairy Development Project as an example of small farmers becoming more productive without damaging their natural environment. The project uses milk collection hubs to store and chill milk, increasing access to markets.

Here’s hoping the country leaders at the international climate change talks will also see how important it is to feed the world in a sustainable way.


Kelly MacNeil