A Year in an African Farm Community

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Roger Thurow tells the story of a group of smallholder farmers in western Kenya who took an enormous risk to try to change their lives against the backdrop of our looming global challenge to feed the world’s growing population. The Last Hunger Season: A Year in an African Farm Community on the Brink of Change is about how this community deals with the wanjala—the hunger season that can last up to eight or nine months at a time.


Roger Thurow
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Comments [3]

clark from nj

I noticed at the American Indian Musuem in DC, they had corn & bean plants growing together. The corn acted as the support for the beans. I believe bean plants are also beneficial to the soil for the corn. Can practises from other agrarian communities assist in crop yields?

Jun. 12 2012 02:00 PM
Amy from Manhattan

There used to be a rhyme among US corn farmers, about how many kernels to plant in each mound: "One for the mouse, one for the crow, one for the worm, & one to grow." Is the practice of planting just one instead of 4 a result of pesticide use, or are the pests less of a problem even without pesticides?

Jun. 12 2012 01:56 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Mr. Thurow has said a few times that a one or another situation is the case "in Africa." How much variation is there in agricultural conditions & practices in this huge continent w/climates ranging from desert to rainforest to savannah & more, as well as highly diverse cultures?

I'm glad you're covering this.

Jun. 12 2012 01:47 PM

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