About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Climate Change and Our Food: Global Perspective Featured Article

For most of us, climate change is hard to wrap our heads around.  We don’t see it in the daily weather report, even though the weather is more unpredictable these days.  It’s not apparent when we draw a glass of water or check items off our lists at the grocery store, even though it might be impacting availability of both fresh water and food.

Climate change is happening, though, and it’s posing new challenges that can impact our food supply and our quality of life.  Diplomats from around the world are discussing and debating potential solutions this week at the … Full Article »

Transferring Knowledge to the Developing World Featured Article

Our experience with innovation from working on our core crops of corn, cotton, canola and soy have applications that can be transferred to address critical food sources in other parts of the world, especially Africa. Our people have shared technology across multiple crops and countries along with expert technical advice. We have also partnered with public research centers to help improve yields and pest resistance of staple crops that are critical for certain areas of Africa.

Virus Resistant Cassava

Cassava is one of the most important staple food crops for more than 200 million sub-Saharan Africans. In the East African … Full Article »

Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) Featured Article

What if we could stop using Africa as an example of food scarcity and a non-existent agriculture infrastructure? This question is at the heart of our commitment to Africa.  That’s why Monsanto has been working to develop new technologies and seed that will help African farmers manage risk and ensure a more secure food supply.

The current food supply crisis in Africa has been well documented. But forecasters see something even more troubling on the horizon. As the population increases and climate change becomes a greater factor in food security, risk of hunger could increase up to 20 percent by … Full Article »

Kenya’s Gold Finger Women Featured Article

Monsanto’s outreach to communities worldwide is more than just a company value. It goes beyond the company’s partnerships and industry efforts. In fact, sometimes it comes from just one person. Zellipah Githui is that person.

During the past two years, Githui has returned to her village in Ngorano, Kenya, from her job at Monsanto to help improve the lives of farmers and their families. She spent her own money, along with contributions from Monsanto employees, and provided hybrid corn seeds, fertilizers and the services of an agronomist to 16 female farmers in Ngorano.

On the Southern slopes of Mt. Kenya, … Full Article »

Monsanto Fund: Dateline Kenya Featured Article

Planting the Seeds of Better Nutrition

Getting enough food for a healthy and active life is a distant dream for many school-going children in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya. The Integrated Community Organization for Sustainable Empowerment and Education for Development (ICOSEED), through its Vegetable Gardening Project, is working with schools in these areas to brighten the outlook for these children. The gardening project supplements the government’s school feeding program by adding vegetables and fruits grown by the students to the menu.

In 2010, the Monsanto Fund supported ICOSEED and its partners, and support continued in 2011 through a … Full Article »

Agriculture in the News Featured Article

It’s rare these days when agriculture isn’t in the news – underscoring the importance of what happens in this most fundamental of global businesses. 

Here are a few of the stories that caught our attention in the past week, including a couple of our own. 

Biotech Cotton – Kenya 

According to The East African in Nairobi, Kenyan farmers will be able to grow biotech cotton by 2014, subject to approval by the Kenyan National Biosafety Authority. The Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) has been carrying our confined field trials using Bollgard II cotton. 

Root Comparison Study – Drought-Tolerant Full Article »

From Scotland – and Learning about Kenya Featured Article

By Linda Newman
Edinburgh University

Staring my first day at Monsanto in St. Louis, I had no idea what to expect. Was it going to be anything like having a job back home in Scotland? Would I be in totally over my head in my first ‘real job’ ever? Had I dressed right?

My name is Linda Newman and I am an intern with the Saltire Foundation, a Scottish foundation that gives final year Scottish university students the chance to intern abroad for the summer. I was fortunate enough to be accepted into this program and placed in St … Full Article »

Talking with a Beachell-Borlaug Scholar

Applications are currently open for Monsanto’s 2012 Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program (MBBISP). One of the 2009 scholars was Godwin Macharia, a citizen of Kenya who is working on his PhD at the University of Minnesota. We caught up with Godwin recently and asked him his experiences with MBBISP.

Monsanto: Godwin, what area of research have you been working in since your acceptance in the Scholars program?

Godwin: With the emergence of Ug99, the new highly virulent race of wheat stem rust, there has been an increased urgency to discover genes that can be readily deployed in wheat programs to develop … Full Article »

The Horn of Africa: The Work by the World Food Program

The World Food Program USA (WFP USA) has a simple, descriptive mission statement – fighting hunger worldwide. The statement is simple, but the programs to accomplish it are complex, and they are global. They range from short-term immediate relief like providing food to the hungry to longer-term projects like irrigation systems aimed at reducing and eliminating the causes of hunger.

The WFP USA is a nonprofit organization that “builds support in the United States to end global hunger.” To that end, it “engages individuals and organizations, shapes public policy and generates resources for the United Nations World Food Program and … Full Article »

Horn of Africa: I Know the Challenges

I cannot remember exactly when I started farming. But I know that by first or second grade I knew how to plant corn and potatoes and milk cows. I was also taking care of my brother—who is three years younger than me—and working with my mother on our farm in Central Kenya, 141 kilometers north of Nairobi. It was hard work. It was important work. It was how my mother fed the family.

I am very familiar with the challenges of farming in Kenya; I have experienced these challenges for way too long.

Every year, I return to Kenya and … Full Article »