Feed the Future Forum Gathers Public and Private Sector, Calls for Greater Collaboration

Posted by on February 28th, 2012 | 0 Comments »

The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) recently had the opportunity to participate in Feed the Future’s First Public-Private Partnership Technical Forum, where former GHI Executive Director, Dr. William G. Lesher, was a featured speaker.

The forum was a joint effort between Feed the Future, USDA, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of State, and included approximately 70 private sector representatives who came together to discuss potential partnerships and the need for greater collaboration in order to increase agricultural productivity worldwide.

Key themes of the forum included the importance of engaging the private sector, as well as the need to increase collaboration and better leverage resources to advance long-term agricultural and economic growth.

In his keynote remarks, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah commented, “Feed the Future has made commitments to increase investments, work with partners around the world and do things differently.” Shah concluded that “success will only happen if public-private partnerships are executed.”

Writing about the forum in a subsequent blog post, Dr. Catherine Woteki, the USDA’s Chief Scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, made reference to GHI’s March 2011 study, “Global Food and Agriculture Productivity Review: The Investment Challenge,” by highlighting the $89 billion gap in annual agricultural investment that exists in developing countries. Dr. Woteki attested, “Agricultural research and development are necessary to raise productivity to meet this expected demand. Bridging the productivity gap will require robust investment from the public and private sectors.”

In closing remarks, Dr. Lesher acknowledged the many challenges facing global food security today, but encouraged the group to continue their focus on solutions and opportunities for collaboration to establish more public-private partnerships that will advance agricultural productivity and help address the challenges of global food security.

Read Dr. Woteki’s blog post on the forum, here.

Read the March 2011 study commissioned by the Global Harvest Initiative and prepared by Agricultural Economist Dr. William C. Motes, “Global Food and Agriculture Productivity Review: The Investment Challenge.”

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