By Rachel Levenson
“[….]Professors Gunther Fink, Kelsey Jack and Felix Masiye have worked on numerous nutrition, health, and environmental projects in Eastern Zambia. As they spent time talking to the rural poor during these projects, they heard one story over and over again. The farmers were struggling to make their harvest last the full year: they were running out of food months before the next maize crop (the staple food in Zambia) ripened. These months leading up to the harvest are known in Zambia and elsewhere in the developing world as the “hungry season.” Farmers in Zambia explained that they made ends meet during the hungry season by doing casual labor on other farms to get food. The time spent doing casual labor made it impossible to invest the time and energy needed on their own plots and their harvest suffered, creating a vicious cycle.