December 16, 2019 | By Ryan LeGrand

Featured Commentary - The Fortunes of US Farmers and their Global Customers are Inextricably Linked

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

When I left being a commodities trader to run the U.S. Grains Council's operations in Mexico, my role shifted from attracting new customers in a very dynamic marketplace to building programs to help those customers stabilize and grow their own operations. 

Since stepping into the role of the Council’s CEO last summer, I have seen every day how our staff is taking up this mantel around the world, from the most developed grain markets in North Asia to those rapidly growing in Latin America and infant markets in East Africa.

With regard to stakeholders in global agricultural development, our model is a hybrid. We are fundamentally interested in building markets for our members - U.S. farmers and agribusinesses - that will last. We are charged to identify and address constraints to demand growth, whatever that may mean. 

In practice, this often looks a lot like many of the activities undertaken by rural development or international aid programs, including offering educational opportunities about the basics of poultry management and fuel blending, helping our customers write contracts, clarifying infrastructure challenges and serving as a connecting mechanism between buyers and sellers who may otherwise find it hard to find and get to know one another. 

>>>Read the full article on Agri-Pulse

About

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.

Blogroll

1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

The Global Food Banking Network

Harvest 2050, Global Harvest Initiative

The Hunger and Undernutrition Blog, Humanitas Global Development

International Food Policy Research Institute News, IFPRI

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center Blog, CIMMYT

ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA

Archive


| By Roger Thurow

Our New Gordian Knot

Fifty years ago Dr. Norman Borlaug recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for cutting the "Goridan knot" of population and food production. Now the planet faces another seemingly intractable problem: how to nourish the planet while preserving the planet. 










| 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.