On October 16, more than 150 countries will observe World Food Day to raise awareness of poverty and hunger. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations established the occasion in 1979 and held the first one in 1981 with the theme "Food Comes First." The October 16 date commemorates the founding of the FAO, which was born after President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited representatives of Allied Nations to Hot Springs, Virginia, to discuss the founding of an international organization dedicated to food and agricultural development.
Although World Food Day is only 29 years old, malnutrition has plagued our planet's citizens since the dawn of mankind. Feeding billions of starving people poses a daunting challenge, and many argue that industrialization has only drained the world of its natural resources. Convinced that that's not always the case, we consulted our archives to find ways that science and technology actually worked to fight the hunger crisis.
MIT professor awarded for his innovative, human-powered irrigation pump
By Gregory MonePosted 04.24.2008 at 8:24 am 0 Comments
The Super MoneyMaker Pump—yes, that's the real name—sucks up water from sources as many as 30 feet below the ground, can spray it up to 40 feet high, and can even push it through 1,000 feet of hose to cover a larger section of land. In all, the pump can irrigate two acres of land, and costs only around $100.
MIT professor Martin Fisher and his team at KickStart, a nonprofit, invented the pump for small-scale farmers. Since it's human-powered and easy to use, it allows them to irrigate crops all year round, instead of just waiting for the rainy season.
A new start-up’s counterintuitive plan to end poverty by getting poor people to buy stuff
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 02.19.2008 at 6:41 pm 2 Comments
More than a billion people worldwide live in poverty—not a gadget hound's I-can't-afford-an-iPhone poverty, but devastating, living-on-a-dollar-a-day poverty. These folks have trouble paying for food, staying healthy, getting an education, and doing many of the other daily things you and I take for granted. In future postings of this column, we'll discuss new tech that tackles each of these specific problems. But to kick things off, lets look at a new program that aims at the most obvious problem of the poor: They need more money.