Sangamon County, Illinois Farm Bureau manager Jim Birge recently returned from a nearly three week trip to the African nation of Tanzania. The purpose of Birge’s visit was to observe cooperative farming practices in Tanzania and to offer advice to African farmers. Volunteering through the Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, Birge hoped that his visit would help establish international ties between American and African farmers and would help improve third world farming.
The Citizens Network for Foreign Affairs, CNFA, was established in the 1980s with the intention of improving U.S. relations with developing states. Primary in CFNA’s mission is improving agricultural production in developing states. CFNA does this largely through a system of international volunteers who commit to spend time in developing states and offer advice to struggling farmers. The overall goal of CFNA is to increase rural incomes in less developed countries and improve the quality of life in developing states.
The role of CFNA is crucial given recent global developments. The rising cost of food combined with unfavorable weather patterns and a general lack of capital in the developing world has led many to fear food shortages and global hunger in coming years if agricultural production cannot be improved. Food shortages and poverty could lead to global unrest and food riots.
Efforts to improve agricultural efficiency, both internationally and domestically, are more important than ever now, and Farm Plus is committed to this goal.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer