CONTEXT — A NEW NORMAL
The global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps today launched a multi-country programme that will use mobile technologies to give farmers in the developing world a package of services to increase their harvests. As first of its kind, the Agri-Fin Mobile initiative - in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) - will identify and connect leading financial institutions, agriculture specialists and mobile network operators and provide mobile-enabled, bundled packages of financial, training and information services to more than 180,000 small-scale farmers.
Today almost a billion people worldwide are unable to buy or grow enough food to avoid malnutrition. That's 120 million more than were hungry in 2006.
What happened? Basically, the world saw dramatic spikes in food prices.