Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Last Hunger Season- Roger Thurow

 On occasion there comes a book that you read and want to clap for the author and those involved in the book. This is one of those books that needs applause. I don't often become enthralled with a non fiction work, but this one captured my interest from the cover. 

Why aren't farmers in Africa being given the basic tools and education on how to work their land? That has always been a question of mine. Why are we giving them food rather than teaching them better ways of growing their own food?  One Acre fun addresses that very issue and helps make a difference! 

The hearts of those in the book are so pure and focused on God. I love the faith they have in knowing God will provide the rain. Even during their hungry season they are focused on God's goodness. What a testimony to true faith! 

This book was great not only in the wonderful project that is taking place in Kenya win these farmers, but also for the strong character of the people we meet and follow throughout the book. Farmers who struggle to put food on the table and pay the school fees to help their children break this cycle of poverty. I told my teen boys that this is going to be required reading for them, it was that inspirational!!

About the Book:

For African farmers, the “hunger season” marks the time of year after they’ve run out of food from their previous harvest and before the next harvest begins.  It can stretch from one month to as many as eight.  And while the term “hungry farmer” should be an oxymoron, the cruel reality is that the poor smallholder farmers who produce the majority of food in Africa often don’t grow enough to feed their families year round.
Africa’s smallholder farmers, most of whom are women, toil in a time warp, liv­ing and working essentially as they did a century ago. Without access to improved seeds, fertilizer, or mechanized equipment; reliant on primitive storage facilities, roads, and markets; lacking capital, cred­it, or insurance; they harvest one-quarter the yields as do farmers in the West, and often up to half of that spoils before getting to market. Their odds for success are very slim; hunger and malnutrition are their greatest miseries.
But in January 2011 one group of farmers in western Kenya decides to take a leap of faith and adopt new farming methods that promise to banish the hunger season. They join the One Acre Fund, an organization that gives them timely access to seeds, soil nutrients, planting advice and financing for the first time.  While drought spreads across Kenya and all of East Africa, these farmers aim to double, triple or quadruple their maize yields.  If they succeed, it will be a life-changing development, giving them the ability to feed their families for the entire year and to perhaps even sell some surplus food to pay school fees for their children.
In THE LAST HUNGER SEASON, award-winning journalist and hunger activist Roger Thurow, co-author of the critically acclaimed book ENOUGH, chronicles a year in the life of these farmers in an intimate narrative—as they go through their initial training meetings, as they pray and wait for rain, as they plant and then suffer through the hunger season, and anticipate the forthcoming harvest. Will they succeed?  Will this be their last hunger season?

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 


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