Mitchell Reports | March 07, 2012
>> and tomorrow marks international women 's day and relief agency is highlighting women farmers in the developing world . they took their cause to the white house today. joining us now is kristin davis , and the president of the organization. thanchs to you both. kristin we met before on the issue. bring me up to date on the challenges that you face, i know haiti and in africa in trying to help women and lift them from this poverty.
>> obviously there are a lot of chica challenges and one of the things we are trying to bring awareness too, is the huge number of people that are farmer are women now. in african, 75% of the farmers are weapon -- are women , they are trying raise the children and do a lot of work as well and they are the unsung heroes and it seems to us that if we can lift them up, give them rights and a voice, help them to educate their children that we can give them food stablity, which is so important when you see the things like the drought we experienced in the horn of africa , the more stable it is, the less these outside influences will effect the people approximathere.
>> i know you met with valerie jarrett, she gave the speech about the importance about the change in the farm bill , when you go to the hill this week and push for change, what needs to be done with our legislation so that these farmers can survive and feed their families and their communities?
>> well, to put it simply, that's a lot of red tape , that the elements of the farm bill are from the 1930s , it makes it inefficie inefficient, there's red tape involving where the products come from and we end up having to give aid down the road. it may seem it's good for us, but actually we are having to help more when a devastating event happens. ray can help me out with this.
>> i was going to bring ray in to get the specific challenges that you face with the legislation itself. he well, we are facing a big farm bill fight and there are a variety of issues that are important to us, one is the reform of the food aid system that the united states participates in along with other country cans around the world. the united states provides 50% of food aid that goes around the world. we do it in an old fashioned way, where we have requirements that all the food that we publish is bought from u.s. farms and shipped on u.s. ships before it's delivered overseas, the last two administrations the bush administration and this one have argued that the system needs to be reformed and we need to be purchasing food locally as a way of getting food there faster. stimulating the local economy and saving lives and saving taxpayer money. what we are doing is not smart from a taxpayer point of view. the taxpayers are losing $.42 on dollars that has been argued by both parties and both administrations, it's overdue and we need to change it. the other thing is we saw it in 2008 that there was a global food price crisis and countries around the world suffered 200% to 300% in increases in food prices, they have not come down yet to 2008 levels, and the president and congress responded by trying to put money into the global economy to stimulate investment in agriculture, the president's initiative called feed the future would focus on those investments, and women 's roles in agriculture and in research, a whole package of issues that are going to mean a lot for developing countries and improving agriculture and women 's role in agriculture.
>> thank you so much both of you, i know kristin, that you are using your, what fame you are in such a good way, you keep it up and travel, it's a commitment. we appreciate it.
>> it's an honor for me. thank you.