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Life | Sowing Seeds of Hunger

Barnabas and Mary Chalaba were once among the more prosperous farmers of their village in northern Zambia. Today, they’re destitute – too sick to farm their own land, and dependent on their children and neighbours for food to survive. Like 30 million others in sub-Saharan Africa, Barnabas and Mary are infected with the HIV virus that causes AIDS. The highest rates of HIV infection in southern Africa are among young adults – the same 15-49 year old age group who, as agricultural workers and small farmers, are responsible for feeding families, villages, and so effectively entire countries. Since 1985, more than seven million farmers have died from AIDS in the worst hit regions, striking at the heart of agricultural production. But as Sowing Seeds of Hunger shows, the fallout from the pandemic isn’t limited to agriculture and food security. It’s endangering the lives of rapidly growing numbers of widows and AIDS orphans, and so undermining development across the entire region.

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