The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is pleased to present the 2017 Next Generation Delegates blog series. This year’s Delegation was comprised of 20 outstanding students from universities across the United States and around the world studying agriculture, food, and related disciplines. We were thrilled to feature these emerging leaders at the Global Food Security Symposium 2017, and look forward to sharing the exciting work of this extraordinary group.
As an agriculturist, I have always believed it is my duty to contribute to building a food-secure world. To do this, I have to understand the cultural implications and mechanisms needed to design adequate agricultural interventions that can minimize food insecurity, build resilient communities, and most importantly, reduce poor households’ vulnerability to food insecurity—to ensure that all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life. For this reason, I was extremely honored to have been selected as a Next Generation Delegate to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ Global Food Security Symposium 2017. As a PhD student working on food security issues, it was both satisfying and reassuring to hear the perspectives presented by the experts at the event.
This year’s Symposium focused on Stability in the 21st Century, a necessary reminder for everyone working toward ending hunger that it is necessary for us to step back and see the overall picture: food security is not just about my research or my field of expertise. It involves a variety of sectors, a variety of viewpoints, and can have dramatic impacts on many elements of life. Throughout the event, the Council on Global Affairs did an excellent job showcasing how everyone has a role and can contribute to such a multifaceted problem set as food insecurity.
Instability, conflict, and migration around the world threaten to make food security even harder to achieve. At least four countries (South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, and Somalia) are threatened with famine due to violence and conflicts that threaten not only those nations’ food security, but the ability of food aid workers to deliver relief from hunger. These challenges demand the engagement of experts from a variety of experts—from the fields of agriculture, nutrition, national security, trade, and so on—if we are ever to solve them.
Throughout the Symposium, we explored multiple perspectives as well as emerging solutions to the challenges we face as a community united to end hunger. More than ever before, I am convinced that it is by working together that we can combine forces to address food insecurity, and create meaningful programs that help people become resilient to the shocks that threaten their lives and livelihoods.
Read previous posts by the 2017 Next Generation Delegates:
Unifying the Next Generation through Open Data
Food Security: Agriculture, Society, and Ecology