Harvest 2050 Blog

Archive for MAY, 2011

Global Harvest Initiative Calls for Streamlined and Strengthened Development Assistance Programs to Increase Agricultural Productivity, Address Food Security

MAY 31, 2011

On May 31, The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) published its latest issue brief outlining recommendations to optimize and leverage development assistance programs in order to address global hunger and food security by sustainably increasing the rate of global agricultural productivity.

The issue brief, “Strengthening and Streamlining Development Assistance Programs,” acknowledges the benefits of the more than $58 billion in foreign assistance delivered by the U.S. Government each year, but outlines the importance of increased collaboration and efficiency among these programs and the organizations that manage them to maximize benefits and help alleviate the growing challenges of hunger and food security.

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Gates, Shah, Vilsack Discuss Global Food Security

MAY 25, 2011

On May 24th, the Global Harvest Initiative attended the Global Agricultural Development Symposium, sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The event brought in several notable speakers and panelists including Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Rajiv Shah of USAID and Secretary Tom Vilsack of USDA to speak on the current state of global agriculture and food security as well as future strategies to improve global food security.

USAID administrator, Dr. Rajiv Shah, started the event off with a speech entitled, “The True Yields of Food Security,” in which he discussed the importance of partnerships in alleviating hunger through agricultural development. Shah also stressed that advocating for food security is as important as ever, indicating that “investments in food security will put the world in a better position to respond to hunger.”

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Former UN Secretary-General Annan: “Only Way to Reduce Hunger is to Increase Food Production”

MAY 23, 2011

In an April, 2011 interview with the Financial Times, Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Founder of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) discussed a number of topics including agriculture. In the interview, Annan stressed the importance of increasing food production in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of reducing hunger worldwide by 50 percent and noted the critical role of science in meeting future demand for food and agriculture.

Below are select remarks from Annan’s interview:

“Over the years I was following developments on the continent and when we came up with MDGs [Millennium Development Goals], one of their roles was reducing hunger and poverty by 50 percent. The only way this continent can reduce hunger is by increasing its food production. I also saw the work of welfare program organizations expanding constantly, bringing food aid to Africa when we should be focusing on getting agriculture right.”

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33% of the World’s Food Wasted

MAY 19, 2011

Approximately 33% of the world’s food is wasted according to a recent study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This equates to approximately 1.3 billion tons of food that is either lost or wasted because of deficient post-harvest management, inadequate food storage and inefficient transportation among other factors.

The FAO study indicates that small farmers and poor consumers in the developing world pay a heavy price for food losses, which if reduced, would have an instant impact on improving food security and the well-being of these farmers and consumers.

According to the FAO study, one viable solution to alleviating food waste and loss would be to assist in directly connecting small farmers to consumers by strengthening food supply chains, increasing investment in transportation and infrastructure as well as improving food storage, processing and packaging.

Read the full FAO report: “Global Food Losses and Food Waste”

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GHI Trade Issue Brief Sparks Interview with Voice of America

MAY 17, 2011
Voice of America

TransFarm Africa Director Katrin Kuhlman: “Trade Barriers Impede Food Security”

As a result of GHI’s May 9 issue brief release, “Removing Barriers to Global and Regional Trade in Agriculture,” Voice of America Reporter Joe De Capua held an interview with TransFarm Africa Director Katrin Kuhlman to discuss the issue brief and the importance of removing trade barriers for global food security. A GHI Consultative Partner, TransFarm Africa is based at The Aspen Institute and sits at the hub of a network of institutions and individuals working on food security, trade, and Africa’s agricultural development.

The article below appeared on Voice of America, May 16.

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Healthier Sorghum for Africa

MAY 12, 2011

A $4 million grant will soon bring healthier sorghum to underserved communities in Africa. The grant, a partnership between the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and GHI-founding member DuPont, will help launch the development of biofortified sorghum, a more nutritious and digestible sorghum.

“We are very pleased to facilitate the funding of this valuable project in order to advance its development,” said Paul Anderson, Executive Director, Office of International Programs, The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. “We have a strong interest in seeing sorghum make a greater contribution to the health and livelihood of African farmers.”

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Global Harvest Initiative Calls For The Removal of Trade Barriers in Policy Paper Addressing Global Hunger and Food Security

MAY 09, 2011

On May 9, the Global Harvest Initiative published the second of five issue briefs outlining policies to sustainably increase the rate of agricultural productivity and address hunger and food security in anticipation of a global population surge to over nine billion people by 2050.

The issue brief, “Removing Barriers to Global and Regional Trade in Agriculture,” highlights the critical importance of improving food and agricultural trade flows to counter the impact on agricultural supply resulting from changing weather patterns, urban population shifts, and limitations of water, land and inputs, among other factors.

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