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More Farmer Exchanges Planned to Ease Hunger

November 22, 2010

MIAMI, Fla. - When it comes to feeding the world's hungry, hooking up farmers in Florida with producers in developing countries is a great place to begin. That's the plan from Oxfam America, which brought a farmer from Haiti to speak in Florida earlier this year, and plans to continue the program with more farmer-to-farmer meetings next year.

Eric Munoz, senior policy advisor for Oxfam America, is an organizer of the effort, and he says the exchange of information is valuable in working towards the goal of boosting food production.

"This involves problems that they face, and the kinds of opportunities that are available, and the kinds of programs that we're supporting already, that can be scaled up to help more farmers."

Munoz says one goal is to increase investments in small farming operations to help bring people out of poverty and create lasting economic development. He says at least two exchanges will be held next year.

Munoz says these farmer-to-farmer meetings cover a lot of issues, such as climate change, that affect farmers everywhere.

"There's a lot of commonality among farmers in terms of the struggles that they face and the challenges that they have to overcome to have productive farms."

Munoz says the meetings feature a diverse set of food producers, local leaders, and agricultural officials, discussing critical steps that can help reduce the number of people, now the nearly one billion, who go to bed hungry every night.

The meetings with Haitian farmer Mme. Jacqueline Morette included a stop at the University of Miami in October to speak with students and community members about the central role of agriculture in Haiti.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - FL