Monday, January 18, 2010
Haiti help: What would Borlaug do?
Norman Borlaug in Mexico
Much of the attention in Haiti has been on the devastation in the capital of Port-au-Prince. News reports indicate that rural Haiti, and its farmers, have been no less hard hit by the earthquakes.
One thought I have had in learning about the disaster and its aftermath is “What would Norman Borlaug do?”
Borlaug’s career, of course, was devoted to helping farmers in developing nations. He certainly would have found a way to become involved.
Borlaug was known for his commitment to being on the ground at farms and research sites. For 16 years, the Iowa farm boy worked in Mexico to improve wheat production and foster the Green Revolution.
Even after his death, a program in Borlaug’s name supports agriculture in Haiti and other countries.
The Borlaug Fellowship Program provides support for people working in agricultural research. Last year, the program gave assistance to 453 participants from 56 countries.
Most of us can’t be like Norman Borlaug, but we can join in the spirit of his career by contributing to assistance programs for farmers and other rural people in Haiti.
“I really admire the people who flock to help,” said an Illinois farmer in a forum posting here. "I don't have that option, but I hope I would hope I have the compassion. All I can do is give some dollars.”
USAID’s Web site outlines ways you can contribute, through volunteering, donating goods, and by making a financial contribution, including to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund:
The group InterAction has developed guidelines on the most appropriate ways to help those affected by the Haiti disaster. It includes a regularly updated list of agencies responding to the crisis and accepting donations:
Posted by John Walter at 8:33 AM