GFM Network News


Myrna Ronald, a volunteer for Focus Africa, with their display at Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference.

Focus Africa — helping women in need

Winnipeg group partners with African-led resource centre

Focus Africa is a small group of Winnipeggers, half Canadian born and half African born, who partner with Beacon of Hope (BOH), an African-led resource centre in a slum near Nairobi, Kenya. Myrna Ronald is one of numerous volunteers raising money to help Beacon of Hope. She has accompanied her husband (an Infectious Disease physician)

Ousman Sonko presents to Global 4-H Summit attendees. The summit ran July 11-14, 2017, 
in Ottawa.

4-H fuels Gambian youth quest for change

Gambia’s 4-H program may not have been directly involved in the recent shifting political sands, but 4-H members were in the fray, Global 4-H presenter says

A recently roused youth demographic, including 4-H members, has set its sights on social engagement in Gambia as the country takes its first steps away from the 22-year reign of former leader Yahya Jammeh. That’s according to Ousman Sonko, vice-principal of the Rural Development Institute’s Department of Community Development and a presenter at the Global


Part of the delegation from Kenya stops for a photo during sustainable agriculture and food security day at the Global 4-H Summit.

4-H finds fertile ground to tackle food security

Vertical gardens and composting are among the 4-H projects to help African families produce their own food

North American 4-H may have branched into everything from babysitting to robotics, but elsewhere it’s still back to the basics — producing enough food for the family. Shannon Benner, CEO of 4-H Canada and chair of the Global 4-H Network, estimates that about 60 per cent of programs worldwide are focused on agriculture or food

Farmer Ayuba Rasong stands outside of his destroyed home in Kaduna, Nigeria.

Farmers and herders clash in Nigeria

The often-overlooked religious and ethnic conflict has already killed 200

When 60-year-old Ladi Habila heard gunshots ring around her village in Nigeria’s Kaduna state on Christmas Eve, she cast aside the meal she had been preparing, and ran for her life. Habila returned the next day to find her house razed to the ground, and the burnt body of her husband. “My children lost their

A woman at work pounding millet in Ndiael, Senegal, December 9, 2016.

Women lead battle to save Senegal’s shrinking farmland

Female-led work is vital to rural communities in Senegal — now women are organizing 
to lead the fight against multinational agribusiness

The women of Thiamene, a tiny straw hut village in northern Senegal, used to scrape together a living by collecting wild baobab fruit and selling milk from their cows. But their earnings have plummeted since an Italian-Senegalese agribusiness, Senhuile, took over the surrounding land five years ago, blocking their paths to the local market and


Malawian subsistence farmer Simon Sikazwe stands beside communal maize fields in Dowa near the capital Lilongwe, February 3, 2016. Late rains in Malawi threaten the staple maize crop and have pushed prices to record highs. About 14 million people face hunger in Southern Africa because of a drought exacerbated by an El Niño weather pattern, according to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

Smarter farming could cut hunger in drought-hit Southern Africa — researchers

Too few resources are available to educate the continent’s farmers 
about potential solutions to their problems

Southern African farmers facing hunger as a result of worsening drought know a lot about climate change but lack the resources to put solutions that work into place, agriculture and development researchers say. That is in part because government agricultural extension services, which offer training and advice to farmers, have too few agents, according to

Villagers collect their monthly food ration provided by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) near Masvingo, in drought-hit Zimbabwe January 25, 2016. Malnutrition and hunger could be quickly curtailed if more countries signed on to a plan to boost yields, says the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa.

Agriculture investment yields growth and nutrition gains for Africa

Agricultural productivity gains of 5.9 to 6.7 per cent a year offer a bright ray of hope for the continent

African countries that took early action in the past decade to invest in agriculture have reaped the rewards, enjoying higher economic growth and a bigger drop in malnutrition, a major farming development organization said Sept. 6. In a report, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) said: “After decades of stagnation, much of

The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) rescues children, who were the victims of child trafficking, from cocoa fields in Cote d’Ivoire in June.

The dark taste of chocolate

There are an estimated 1.5 million child labourers in Cote d’Ivoire

Arouna stands shirtless in a cocoa field in Côte d’Ivoire. The 12-year-old holds a hoe and his ribs are clearly visible under his skin. He says, “I have to get up very early each day to be the first in the field with my younger brother to start clearing (the land). I’m so tired.” Arouna


Promoting conservation agriculture in Africa

Canadian Foodgrains Bank will receive federal funds to scale 
up smallholder adoption 


Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) has received $14 million from the federal government to scale up conservation agriculture programs in three African countries. The funding provided on a three-to-one matching basis, will enable the organization to assist 50,000 farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, up from 5,000 farmers it is currently assisting, it says in a

Jessica McKague is assistant curator at Steinbach’s Mennonite Heritage Village Museum where the exhibit, Mennonite Food: Tastes in Transition, is on display until early 2016.

Steinbach museum reveals a global recipe swap

A new exhibit at Steinbach’s Mennonite Heritage Village Museum explores the impact of migration and other influences on Mennonite food

Why do Mennonites eat watermelon and roll’kuaka? Where’d their recipe for varenikje come from? And what’s up with all that farmers’ sausage, anyways? A new food history exhibit at the Mennonite Heritage Village Museum in Steinbach answers those questions and more. Typical Mennonite foods like kielke (egg noodles, schmauntfat (white cream gravy) and/or pereschtje (meat-filled