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Tyson Foods Inc. and World Vision announced a new partnership to bring vital assistance to small family farmers in northern Tanzania through a new initiative called the Tyson Foods Fellows program. The collaboration will integrate Tyson Foods’ technical knowledge about chicken production with World Vision's Secure the Future Tanzania initiative to help small-holder farmers build more resilient livelihoods.
As part of their participation in the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, Tyson Foods and World Vision outlined their plans to educate thousands of farmers in the Babati region of the country about best agricultural practices. According to the latest World Food Programme research, more than 40 percent of the Tanzanian population lives with chronic food deficits and many are children.
"I've been to Tanzania and know it’s a beautiful country with hard-working people, but I’ve also seen the devastating hunger there and need for agricultural improvements," says Donnie Smith, president and CEO of Tyson Foods. "Our initiative isn’t about just giving the people of Tanzania money or food, it’s about sharing our knowledge and helping them create for themselves a sustainable source of food so they can lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty. We believe it’s the best way to help give them a hunger-free world and to provide well for their children."
Tyson Foods will send selected employees to Tanzania to teach local farmers how to raise chickens sustainably for food and income. Teachings will include such basics as best breed selection, keeping water clean, best feed choices, housing and disease management as well as processing, transportation, and marketing. World Vision estimates that the project will help educate 2,700 farmers about sustainable chicken production and directly benefit the lives of more than 10,000 Tanzanians. By continuing to share best practices with other Secure the Future participants, World Vision will extend this education to 6,000 additional households, indirectly impacting over 24,000 individuals.
"Nearly 40 percent of the people in Tanzania don't have enough to eat and face food shortages and malnutrition. Yet, the country is full of hardworking small-holder farmers who simply need information and expertise to turn their fields into a rich harvest," says Richard Stearns, president of World Vision US. "That's why we are excited to partner with Tyson. By sharing the knowledge of one of the great food producers in the world, farmers in Tanzania will be able to build the foundation for a sustainable source of food. That's what makes the Secure the Future initiative more than a handout. It is about developing the capacity of local farmers to feed their country and grow their economy."
This is not Tyson Foods’ first relief project in Africa. More than four years ago, the company provided technical support to people in northern Rwanda to build and operate an egg farm. The farm began operations in 2010 and is producing eggs for local markets as well as providing a protein source for school children.
"This new project with World Vision will expand our hunger-relief efforts in Africa and empower people living with limited resources, as well as engaging Tyson Team Members to give back in this very meaningful way,” says Dave Juenger of Tyson Foods’ subsidiary, Cobb-Vantress Inc. and adviser for the Tyson Foods Fellows initiative. "And that's what it's all about–making a real difference around the world."