Thursday, September 4, 2008


Bad news still coming from Ethiopia.

"“I did not have any other option but to eat the 25kg of haricot bean seed that I had saved from last year,” she said. “I readied my land to plant when the rain came again [but] I knew I would not be able to get any seeds.”

It was the first time in her life that she had eaten her seeds without planting them. Martne is, however, not alone. According to aid workers, many Ethiopian farmers resorted to eating their seeds after unprecedented heavy rains followed by drought last season."

When farmers start eating their seeds, this means that they are engaged in a spiral that is very difficult to exit.

Bad news from Zimbabwe too:

"During the nearly three months that nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) in Zimbabwe were banned from operating by President Robert Mugabe's government, people desperate for food foraged for wild fruits to survive, in some cases with tragic consequences.

Janet Chagwiza, 70, who lives in Nharira village, about 40km south of the Mashonaland East town of Chivu, told IRIN that two of her grandchildren were thought to have died from eating too much of a wild fruit that grows abundantly during the dry season.

"This fruit has become our staple food. We don't have mealie-meal [maize-meal] and our vegetable gardens have been overwhelmed by the daily demand, leaving whole villages in this area to depend on wild fruits," Chagwiza told IRIN shortly after burying her grandchildren in a single pit "because people here no longer have the energy to dig graves." "

and from Niger ...

"An on-going desert conflict continues to ground agricultural activities in the mountainous desert, where more than 10,000 people have been displaced by sporadic fighting and landmine explosions.

Surrounded by dying gardens, residents in the Air Mountains must sometimes travel more than 100 kilometres to market towns to buy food, but when they do, many face mine explosions, military patrols and fighting. " (Thanks Marcy)

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