Opinion: Want to Make a Dent in World Hunger? Build Better Roads
Roads help farmers get their crops to market and their children to school, says Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn.
When I was a 26-year-old, brand-new American foreign service officer, my vision of a diplomatic career was of chandeliered ballrooms in London or Paris.
Instead, I was assigned as a district development adviser to eight villages in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. There I learned the professional lesson of my life, one that would be reinforced time after time over the next five decades: Rural roads improve lives.
It was 1968, and the Green Revolution—sparked by World Food Prize founder Norman Borlaug's "miracle wheat"—was spreading to Southeast Asia in the form of IR8, a "miracle rice" with a shortened growing cycle.
While agricultural extension agents urged farmers in my district to plant the new IR8 rice, engineers were upgrading the