What stories does the soil tell about poverty and inequality in Mindanao?

On the island of Mindanao in the Philippines, land degradation is a major problem affecting small-scale subsistence farmers and large-scale producers alike. Daniel Morchain looks at the obstacles to sustainable land management in Mindanao, and makes recommendations for a long-term soil conservation strategy that is fair and sustainable, and which will help to address the issue of poverty on the island.   The …

Digging deep in the year of soil

The health of soil has a significant impact on food security, climate change adaptation and livelihoods. As the UN has declared 2015 to be the year of soils, Daniel Morchain explains why it is vital that we raise awareness of the devastating impact soil degradation can have and the difficult questions we need to ask if we are to address …

Prolonged drought, rising temperatures and coffee rust – the growing crisis in Central America

Increasingly severe climate conditions are having a devastating impact on food security and livelihoods in Central America. Here, John Magrath looks at how prolonged droughts alone are serious concern, but with the added problem of rising temperatures leading to a spread in the coffee rust fungus and predictions for next year to be the hottest yet, families are increasingly vulnerable. …

Hidden hunger: South Africans speak out on World Food Day

On World Food Day John Magrath shares the findings of an Oxfam South Africa report which reveals that one in four citizens are going hungry. The causes of poverty, the cost of food, and related issues around malnutrition, stunting and obesity all need to be addressed. Oxfam is calling for a national conversation to bring the problem out into the open …

Food giants are listening to demands for sustainability

In February 2013 we launched the Behind the Brands campaign with an assessment of the social and environmental policies of the world’s ten largest food and beverage companies. The campaign has made real progress by leveraging consumer power to persuade big business to make their policies fairer and more sustainable, although further change is is still needed. Here Danielle Smith presents …

Could coffee rust and El Niño cause hunger for millions?

John Magrath explains how poor coffee harvests and drought are already threatening millions in Central America with hunger. Now, with meteorologists predicting an onset of El Niño later this year, the region could face a major food crisis. Millions of poor people who grow coffee or work on coffee farms face a relentless daily struggle to earn a decent living …

Taking stock of our Enterprise Development Programme

Our Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) is an innovative business based approach to tackling poverty. Last week Maria Michalopoulou explored how and why Oxfam invests in small businesses. This week programme manager Hugo Sintes reflects on the results of an external evaluation of the last 6 years EDP and explains what lies ahead.  I have been involved in Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Programme since …

How and why does Oxfam invest in small businesses?

At Oxfam we know that business has a major role to play in overcoming poverty, so we set up a programme to identify business opportunities in poor communities and support them to become successful enterprises. Maria Michalopoulou explains how the Enterprise Development Programme works and introduces the 2013 annual review.  “I was the first member of the co-op… I got fed …

Adapting to a hotter, hungrier world in Zimbabwe

As we launch our new briefing on the impact of climate change on hunger, John Magrath introduces Ipaishe, a Zimbabwean farmer who has experienced both the benefits and limitations of schemes that aim to adapt to a changing climate.   “Being a widow is hard enough to deal with, without the stigma that comes with the fact you’ve returned home”Ipaishe …