The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), an agency of the United Nations, approached MediaStorm to create a compelling story that would accompany their Rural Poverty Report 2011. The Rural Poverty Report 2011 is a thorough, 167-page research document that includes personal testimonials, policy recommendations, and extensive research on how life is changing for smallholder farms and other rural people in the developing world.
According to the report:
- Close to one billion people suffer from hunger worldwide.
- The planet's population will reach more than 9 billion by 2050, requiring 70% more food.
- Currently in the developing world more than half the population lives in rural areas, but in 10-15 years the majority of people will live in cities. Which means, soon, less people will be farming while the overall population is growing.
Simply put: we need to produce more food and massive migration from rural areas needs to end. To produce more food, farmers need need improved skills to practice efficient and sustainable growing techniques and they need to be empowered and organized to take advantage of existing food markets. To make rural places more attractive places to live, governments need to invest in rural education and the rural non-farm economy.
The challenge was to find a single individual who represented the findings of the report including the successes and shortcomings of governments around the world. An additional challenge was to place the character within a global context and not simply portray the individual as a product of the country in which s/he lived.