August 23, 2018 | By A.G. Kawamura

Featured Commentary - Senate Farm Bill Supports Agricultural Research

This piece was originally posted on Agri-Pulse. 

By A.G. Kawamura

Editor's Note: 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.

In California, farmers are again faced with drought.  On the east coast farmers have been struggling with incessant rain and flooding, hurting yields.  For many commodities, market prices have been dismal and with years of declining farm income, many older farmers are calling it quits and walking away.  As they leave, they take with them years of valuable knowledge and experience, and in many cases there is no new generation to carry on the risky endeavor.  The statistics now say that less than one percent of the US population makes a living from farming or ranching. How will farmers survive today and in the years ahead?

In the 2014 Farm Bill, farm income was almost double what it is today.  How many hard working citizens take a fifty percent cut in income and continue on hoping that things will get better?  Most of the challenges for farmers are not new, but they are compounded, straining the viability of farming as a business for farmers of all sizes and in all parts of the world. How to consistently feed a nation and a growing global population is something we need to address now.

The Farm Bill continues to be that critically important investment that our Federal government makes in its desire to maintain a predictable and affordable food supply for this nation.  This month, the House and the Senate will once again work to reconcile the House and Senate versions, with the goal of having a new Farm Bill in place when the Agricultural Act of 2014 expires on October 1. While some 99 percent of Americans might understand and appreciate why farmers would strongly support vital risk management tools like crop insurance and other safety net programs, the majority of citizens who enjoy unprecedented choices for what they eat everyday may want to pay close attention to the long-term investments in Agricultural Research that help to ensure that same predictable cornucopia of food in the future.

Continue reading 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 Colin Christensen, Eva Koehler

Guest Commentary - The Plague You’ve Never Heard About Could be as Destructive as COVID-19: How the Threat from Desert Locusts Shows the Need for Innovations in how Organizations Scale

The international community needs to mobilize to combat the plague of locusts devouring East Africa. At the same time however, we should also consider the long-term investments we must make to build lasting resilience to climate change among smallholder populations.




| By Sarah Bingaman Schwartz, Maria Jones

Guest Commentary - Reducing Food Loss and Waste by Improving Smallholder Storage

Reducing postharvest losses by half would result in enough food to feed a billion people, increase smallholder income levels and minimize pressure on natural resources. The ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss works with smallholders in Bihar to improve storage and reduce loss. 








| By Mark Titterington

Guest Commentary - A European perspective on the journey to a regenerative agriculture system…

Regenerative farming practices can lead to improved soil health and farm productivity and profitability, boosting crop quality and yields, improving the resilience of farms to extreme weather events and reducing the propensity for soil degradation and run-off, but most excitingly, creates the opportunity to actually draw down and store carbon from the atmosphere in agriculture soils.


| By Peter Carberry

Field Notes - Brokering Research Crucial for Climate-Proofing Drylands

9 out of 12 interventions identified for agriculture by the Global Commission on Adaptation involve research and development. For smallholder farmers in drylands, some of the most vulnerable to climate change, the role of innovation brokers may prove just as important as doing the science itself. 




| By Julius A. Nukpezah, Joseph T. Steensma, Nhuong Tran, Kelvin M. Shikuku

Field Notes - Reducing Post-Harvest Losses in Nigeria's Aquaculture Sector Contributes to Sustainable Development

While increasing fish production and productivity in the long term are practical strategies for addressing malnutrition in Nigeria, reducing post-harvest losses of fish is an economic and a rational strategy of increasing value of aquaculture businesses that lead to sustainable economic development.