It's not because rich countries have come through with development cash that there's progress on the United Nations deadlines on world poverty.
This month marks the midpoint to the 2015 Millennium Development Goal of halving extreme poverty set in the feel-good days of 2000, and there's actually been a drop in destitution rates. But you can chalk that up to the economic boom in outsourcing of sweated and pollution-intensive production to China and India.
The better news comes from some surprising quarters. Organic food, which has seemed to cater to an exclusive and affluent group in the industrialized world since 1990, is now ranked by two just-released studies as critical to feeding the world's hungry.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, long the cheering section for increased foreign aid to industrialized food production in the developing world, released its rethink at a conference in May.
"Organic agriculture is essentially a civil society enterprise which has developed outside, often against, the domain of the public sector," is the discreet way the FAO paper refers to this grassroots success after 50 years of scorn from Big Ag corps, government departments and universities.
Since the 1950s, it's been an article of faith that only the fierce foursome of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, altered seeds and gargantuan irrigation projects could ever fill global bellies.
The problem with the "productionist" obsession is that there's little relationship between the amount of food available and the amount of hunger, as several FAO publications show. Up to one-fifth of people in Vietnam are undernourished, for example, despite the availability of 2,580 calories per person in that country.
In Bangladesh, where up to a third of the people suffer hunger, there's enough to feed everyone 2,200 calories. The same is true for Bolivia.
It's finally being understood that there's more to availability than full-frontal yield. Full-spectrum availability must also include access, which means farmers have to be able to afford new seeds and, in conventional ag, pesticides; consumers need to have enough money to buy food and be near markets where food is sold - all matters that go unexamined in standard bragging about big-is-better.
It's all of a piece with a study by Cornell University's David Pimental showing conclusively that organic comes in ahead because its soil fertility improves flexibility in harsh weather.
Organic shines in the remote corners of the developing world where three-quarters of the world's poorest and hungriest people live, because it's low-cost and low-risk. Failure to get that fundamental point until 2007 is testimony to the holding power of big-yield thinkers over access thinkers. The strongest feature of organic agriculture, FAO's Nadia El-Hage Scialabba says, is its ability to use local and natural assets - compost and animal manure, or traditional and well-adapted crops. Acting locally, it turns out, is no so different from thinking organically.
Then there's the University of Michigan study released this month by Ivette Perfecto. It's based on an evaluation of 293 case studies and concludes that in developing countries, organic systems produce over 80 per cent more than traditional or conventional farms.
Smart organic methods - like raising fish or ducks in rice paddies, where they eat insects that otherwise feed on plants and spread malaria to humans, while converting those insects into nutrient-rich fertilizer for the rice - is the kind of re-engineering of natural partnerships first observed by Jules Pretty in a 2001 study. These kinds of practices, says Perfecto, can triple overall production.
In her press release, Perfecto says delicately that her study shows that "corporate interest" from fertilizer, pesticide and chemical companies has "been playing an important role in convincing the public that you need to have these inputs to produce food."
But now we know. The agricultural science that can end global hunger and poverty is out in the open, with seven and a half years still to go.