Farmers face different challenges around the world. This year at the World Food Prize, representatives had an opportunity to talk about those issues as part of the Global Farmer Network.
The last farmer on this series is Patience Koku from Nigeria. She farms about 1,200 acres of leased land and produces two crops under center pivot irrigation, seed corn and corn for grain for major food processing companies in Nigeria.
Koku advocates for accessing more agriculture technologies in her country and wants to be able to grow genetically modified (GM) crops. She says because of a narrative backlash in modern countries, agriculture technologies are banned or not accepted without scientific evidence.
Koku says there is not enough food in Africa so they need technology that guarantees higher yields. There are also issues of malnutrition and new GM crops can boost protein or nutrients in food.
Koku says, “In the U.S. or in South America, you don’t have a food shortage problem. So people can choose. I want to eat organic or inorganic. I want to grow GM or no GM. But they have a choice, right? So don’t take the choice away from people who need the technology to survive.”
Koku serves on the board of One Hectare, One Family Nigeria, which is a company working towards cropping 200,000 hectares of land in the next five years improving the livelihood of small holder farmers by granting them access to new technologies.