September 9, 2015

Building a Food-Secure World Helps America Prosper

Bimala Rai Colavito, USAID

This post originally appeared on Agri-Pulse.

Agri-Pulse and The Chicago Council on Global Affairs are teaming up to host a monthly column to explore how the US agriculture and food sector can maintain its competitive edge and advance food security in an increasingly integrated and dynamic world.

By Tjada McKenna, Assistant to the Administrator for USAID's Bureau for Food Security and Deputy Coordinator for Development, US Feed the Future initiative

Agriculture has been critical to America's growth as a nation. For many countries like ours, the path from poverty to prosperity has run through agriculture, but agriculture's promise has not yet been fully realized around the world.

This was no more apparent than in 2007 and 2008, when food price spikes pushed millions back to the brink of poverty and led to global instability. After a three-decade decline in global agricultural investment, in 2009 at the L'Aquila G8 Summit, the United States rallied world leaders to increase investments in agriculture that would boost global food security and nutrition. Feed the Future, President Obama's multi-agency global hunger and food security initiative, was born during this pivotal moment. At that time, President Obama pledged an initial $3.5 billion in investments in global agriculture, which leveraged more than $18 billion from other donor countries. Since then, Feed the Future and related US Government efforts have mobilized tremendous public and private support to unlock the transformative potential of agriculture to connect more people to the global economy and offer a path out of poverty. Our efforts focus on supporting the sustainable food security and nutrition priorities outlined by the host country governments and partners in the countries where we work.

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The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


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| By Janet Fierro

Guest Commentary - Rural Niger Women find Opportunity and Hope through Innovative Business Model

When researchers set out to find natural ways to manage a crop-destroying pest in sub-Saharan Africa cowpea fields they knew the results could have significant positive impact on smallholder farmers. What they may not have expected was the significance of the cottage industry it inspired and the entrepreneurial spirit of the rural women of Niger who led it.