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A Holiday Message from the Global Harvest Initiative
At this time each year, here in the U.S. and in many places across the globe, we set aside our regular responsibilities and submit to the merry distractions of dinners with family and friends, baked goods, and abundant treats. We also reflect on our global community and remember those who have been impacted by natural disaster, economic challenges, and poverty and who must often choose between providing sustenance for their families and other essentials like shelter, clean water, clothing and education.
For nearly one billion of the earth’s inhabitants who suffer from hunger, under nutrition, and malnutrition, there is little room for celebration as food and nutrition insecurity persists.
The United Nations World Food Programme releases an annual map categorizing countries by rate of undernourishment and climate vulnerability. While there may be victims of food insecurity in our own communities, the 2012 Hunger Map reveals a concentration of malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The problem is not expected to subside without serious investment in safety net programs, and initiatives to assist smallholder farmers and the rural poor. Current estimates predict the world’s population will increase by 50 percent by 2050, an outlook that presents great challenges for agricultural production and food distribution.
At the Global Harvest Initiative, we are committed to forging new solutions to help feed the world. We believe policies that promote private-sector involvement, agricultural research in crops and livestock systems that will benefit smallholders and rural poor, and removing barriers to regional and global trade, coupled with development assistance and science-based technologies offer a path to food security across the globe.
This holiday season, even as we partake in festivity, we are reminded of the importance of our responsibility to work in partnerships that can help farmers become successful as they feed a growing world.