Your NPR news source

Farm bill offers changes, but what about solutions to global hunger?

SHARE Farm bill offers changes, but what about solutions to global hunger?
Combines harvest a field during a corn harvesting demonstration in Grand Island, Neb. Debates began last week on a five-year farm and food aid bill that would save $9.3 billion by ending direct payments to farmers, replacing them with subsidized insurance programs in times of need.

Combines harvest a field during a corn harvesting demonstration in Grand Island, Neb. Debates began last week on a five-year farm and food aid bill that would save $9.3 billion by ending direct payments to farmers, replacing them with subsidized insurance programs in times of need.

AP/ Nati Harnik

Combines harvest a field during a corn harvesting demonstration in Grand Island, Neb in 2010. Debates began last week on a five-year farm and food aid bill that would save $9.3 billion by ending direct payments to farmers, replacing them with subsidized insurance programs in times of need. (AP/ Nati Harnik)

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2010, file photo, combines, costing several hundred thousand dollars each, harvest a field during a corn harvesting demonstration at the Husker Harvest Days fair, in Grand Island, Neb. A program that puts billions of dollars in the pockets of farmers whether or not they plant a crop may disappear with hardly a protest from farm groups and the politicians who look out for their interests. The Senate is expected to begin debate the week of June 4, 2012, on a five-year farm and food aid bill that would save $9.3 billion by ending direct payments to farmers and replacing them with subsidized insurance programs for when the weather turns bad or prices go south. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

Nati Harnik/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Last week the Senate passed a bill covering farm and food aid that would cut government spending by $23.6 billion during the next 10 years. The current bill expires in September and the House has yet to draft its own version. Oxfam, the international relief agency that works on poverty and hunger, says the Senate bill offers ways to cut waste and “modernize America’s international food aid programs.”

But the question of hunger remains unanswered as developing nations continue to grow. Oxfam America's president, Ray Offenheiser, spoke on the subject to the Agriculture Panel at the International Engagement Conference for South Sudan last year. In his speech, he addressed the issues of inadaquate infastructure, invesetment and sustainable agriculture in South Sudan, only six months into its indepenance. 

Wednesday on Worldview, Ray Offenheiser explains how the proposed changes in the farm bill could affect hunger and poverty around the globe. 

More From This Show