U.S. gives $250 million to support Ukrainian agriculture

On the same day Russia aimed a "retribution" attack on the port of Odesa, USAID administrator Samantha Power announced an additional $250 million to support Ukraine's war-battered agricultural sector on Tuesday. The money, put into the U.S.-created Agriculture Resilience Initiative-Ukraine (AGRI-Ukraine), will help the nation's farmers produce, store, and export their agricultural products.

USAID: Famine projected in Somalia if food aid falters

After five seasons without meaningful rainfall in the Horn of Africa, famine is projected in parts of southern Somalia in the spring without reliable food aid, a top USAID official told senators on Wednesday. "Preventing famine and large-scale deaths across the region in the coming year will require sustained and robust humanitarian assistance from the international community," said Sarah Charles, head of USAID's Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.

Administration taps USDA emergency fund for food aid overseas

Six countries in Africa and the Middle East will receive $670 million in additional food aid to mitigate severe food insecurity, said the Biden administration on Wednesday. The assistance will mean the complete drawdown of a USDA emergency fund for the purchase of U.S. commodities for donation to hunger programs overseas.

War in Ukraine may trigger severe world food crisis — USAID

The Biden administration is preparing to tap an emergency food aid fund because of the ripple effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on hunger in Africa and the Middle East, a U.S. Agency for International Development official told lawmakers on Wednesday. Hunger and poverty could exceed the global food price crisis of 2007-08, said Sarah Charles of USAID.

Trump names Keenum to lead food security panel

The president of Mississippi State University, Mark Keenum, is President Trump's choice to become chairman of a USAID advisory group, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development, said the White House. Keenum was the No. 3 Agriculture Department official during the George W. Bush era, overseeing U.S. farm subsidies, ag exports and foreign food aid before becoming university president in his home state in 2009.

USAID mulls merger of food-aid and disaster-relief operations

Leaders of USAID's Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance are exploring a merger of the agency's food-aid and disaster-assistance programs, says Devex, which follows global development issues.

Obama to appoint Anderson, Ejeta to AID panel

President Obama tapped Pamela Anderson, of the Gates Foundation, and Gebisa Ejeta, the 2009 winner of the World Food Prize, to serve on the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development.

Taming the wild chickpea

Americans know chickpeas as garbanzos, the foundation for hummus, the protein- and fiber-rich spread made from pureed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Chickpea is one of the world's oldest cultivated crops and are a crucial source of income, food security and nutrition to poor farmers in the developing world.

House ag leaders claim central role in food-aid reform

Any revisions to U.S. food-aid programs must be discussed with the agricultural community, said House Agriculture Committee chairman Michael Conaway in a statement. The 2014 farm law allowed greater use of locally purchased food and cash assistance in hunger relief, but kept donation of U.S.-grown food as the major source of aid; many other nations donate cash rather than commodities.

Former USAID chief Shah joins Chicago think tank

Rajiv Shah, who headed the U.S. Agency for International Development for five years, will become a senior adviser to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on July 1.

Rajiv Shah says he will leave USAID in early 2015

The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development, Rajiv Shah, announced he will leave the agency early next year, said the New York Times. Shah served briefly as an agriculture undersecretary before becoming USAID administrator in 2010.

US project tries to raise corn yield and farm income in Africa

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), aided by a giant U.S. seed company, "are testing a new approach to improve the production of corn among the millions of poor, small-scale farmers who dominate African agriculture," says the...

Agriculture is a key for growth in Africa, Obama says

During a speech to the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, President Obama summarized $33 billion in new investment in the continent and said stable societies with forward-looking governments would be the foundation for economic growth.

USAID launches drive to reduce childhood hunger

USAID announced a first-of-its-kind strategy to save 2 million children from chronic malnutrition or stunting over the next five years and to hold acute malnutrition below 15 percent in areas with humanitarian crises. USAID chief Rajiv Shah and National Security Advisory Susan Rice unveiled the initiative at an annual food conference sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

“Feed the Future” aids 7 million farmers

The "Feed the Future" program, which combines private sector and U.S. funding with local leadership to spur agricultural development overseas, "reached nearly 7 million smallholder farmers and helped to save 12.5 million children from the threat of hunger, poverty, and malnutrition in just the last year alone," says USAID, the parent agency.