” CARE’s Cecily Bryant argues that it would be much more efficient if U.S. assistance came directly in the form of cash. The money could be used to train farmers and to buy grain locally, cutting delivery cost and time, while developing markets for African farmers. ” — NewsHour reporter Fred de Sam Lazaro
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” You go into some of these small economies with a check, buy a bunch of commodity for food aid, you’ve just drove prices out of sight and you hurt everybody else.” - Representative Earl Pomeroy, Democrat, North Dakota
This fascinating 9 minute
video report, using the compelling example of food aid programs in Malawi, explores the intersection of the current food crisis, domestic agricultural economies, and U.S.
What is the debate between providing cash or crops to recipient nations? Who takes which side and why? Would developing countries benefit more if U.S. aid focused on developing local agricultural economies? Does the adage “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” apply here?
Why has CARE, one of the largest private food aid charities, announced plans to stop accepting U.S. food donations in 2009? What exactly are farm subsidies and why do they exist? Why is our “farm policy” so complicated and controversial? Why was Food for Peace started in 1952? Is sending food to other countries with the American flag stamped prominently on the boxes good for our image? Why or why not?
Below are some web resources related to this story
Transcript & Video: Growing Hunger in Malawi Stirs Food Aid Debate
Transcript & Video: Congress Passes New Farm Bill
NewsHour Extra Story, Activities: Farm Bill Plays Pivotal Role in U.S. Food Production
Wall Street Journal: Farm Lobby Beats Back Assault On Subsidies
Bill Moyers Journal: The Farm Bill Debate
Bill Moyers Journal Washington Post Video: Cash Cows & Cowboy Starter Kits
USDA America’s Farm Bill
United Nations World Food Programme