National Geographic : 2014 Jul
#futureoffood 71 as tall as she is, just as her mother and grand- mother and great-grandmother did before her. My guide, who has worked in agricultural de- velopment for 20 years, says the children and parents appear to be stunted from malnutrition. I ask Ernesto if he has grown enough corn to eat that year. “Yes,” he says proudly. After some prodding, Cecilia adds: “When we keep ahead of weeding, we produce enough for the whole year.” Two other men walk up during the conversa- tion, and I ask if they would give up their small farms for a job on a big farm. Given their ragged clothing, their swollen bellies, their sod houses, their obvious poverty, the question seems al- most unfair. Yes, they say, without the slightest hesitation. “I have been praying that something like this would happen,” the oldest of the three men re- plies. “Because I really need a job.” Whether Mozambique’s future farmers will look more like industrial farmers in Iowa or the small but productive rice farmers of Vietnam remains to be seen. But all sides agree on one thing: The status quo is unacceptable. j Rwanda Marie Mukarukaka “Before, I grew only food for my family, and it would last two weeks,” says Mukarukaka. After receiving a seed and fertilizer loan from the One Acre Fund, she has boosted her yields and is now raising livestock too.