5 Questions for…Pierre Ferrari, CEO, Heifer International – PhilanTopic | PND | Foundation Center

21 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 5 Questions for…Pierre Ferrari, CEO, Heifer International – PhilanTopic | PND | Foundation Center

October 24, 2013

According to the and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the Nations, severe malnutrition one out of every four children the age of 5#0160;– 165 million children even as unsustainable farming climate change and environmental “Addressing malnutrition, therefore, integrated action and complementary in agriculture and the food system, in resource management, in public and education, and in broader policy the FAO argues in a report issued to this year#39;s celebration of Food Day .#0160;Last week, PND in with Pierre Ferrari, CEO of International. about the organization’s to support sustainable agriculture and end hunger in developing countries and in the U.S.

Philanthropy News #0160;Describe how the Heifer International works, and#0160;how it#0160;has#0160;evolved the years?

Pierre Ferrari: Our model begins at the community when members reach out to Heifer International offices. We training in topics ranging improved livestock management to equality and small business When participants have training and prepared their to receive livestock, we distribute living gifts. Every that receives an animal is bound to pass on the first offspring — or the equivalent in — as well as the accompanying to another family in need.

There are two billion people on the living on less than $2 per We at Heifer International recognize to make a meaningful dent in horrific situation, we must faster and at a greater scale ever before. To that we are currently evolving our approach project-based to program-based. We will, of continue working with but we are beginning to more strategically a wide range of carefully partners to connect our values-based development model to emerging and agricultural markets.

To that end, in the U.S. our Seeds of Change Initiative. we are farmers together in both and the Arkansas Delta together to programs that address poverty and a lack of sustainable systems in both regions. We are working to recruit and support farmers to help increase production so they can meet demand for locally grown And we are connecting small, low-income to larger regional economies and markets. In both Appalachia and the Delta, many farmers access to resources and capital. The provides technical support, loans, and direct investments for and food entrepreneurs.

PND: The for this year’s World Day was “Sustainable Food Systems for Security and Nutrition.” How does International’s work contribute to the of sustainable food systems?

PF: Our work is the very definition of sustainable food systems. We with small farmers by livestock and training in environmentally agriculture. Our aim is for small farmers to the ability to feed their own their communities and, the growing world population. In the extremely poor and malnourished, the of animal-based foods like milk, and meat is key to ending the cycle of micronutrient malnutrition. mothers give birth to babies, who can go on to become healthy and productive adults.

PND: Heifer International has always to empower smallholder farmers, it now to be something of a global trend. To do you attribute the growing interest in and for small-scale agriculture in the developing


PF: I am thrilled to see the growing support for farmers in the developing world. Our Dan West, knew all along farmers should be able to feed their own families. In the seventy years since International’s inception, both we and have come to see — not with our own eyes, but with findings such as those by DeSchutter, the United Nations Rapporteur on the Right to Food that sustainable, agroecological will be the answer to feeding the global population of nine people in 2050. The growing of the role of humans in global also has sparked interest in agriculture, as the methods used by farmers have the power to some of the negative effects of change.

PND: Many of the families that benefit Heifer International’s programs are by women. Are women the key to advancing food systems and improving security in the developing world?

PF: Absolutely. Nearly half of the six hundred million small are women, and they produce up to 80 of the developing world’s food. If we to invest in women farmers, we fail to feed the world’s population. Unfortunately, they significant disparities in the resources and they can access, including credit, and education. Studies shown that, if women had equal access to those there would be a hundred to a hundred and fifty million hungry people. By challenging barriers to gender equality and and empowering women farmers to their full potential, we succeed in ending hunger and in our lifetime.

PND: How has funding the Bill Melinda Gates the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and private foundations changed the development landscape?

PF: In several recent interviews, Buffett has discussed the importance of in philanthropy. Private foundations are situated to take bigger and invest in new and innovative solutions to development issues. Buffett’s for foundations to be entrepreneurial is something we because it’s what we ask of farmers every day. foundations are also pressing — and rightly so — to better evidence of impact and Rather than operating as actors, they are actively in the programs they fund and are about producing results. have an expectation of rigorous Constant learning through is what keeps our programs and effective. With their Heifer International and other can creatively enact potential to difficult problems.

–#0160; Uchida

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