June 29, 2017

Guest Commentary – Working Together in Times of Food Insecurity

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.

By Sarahi Morales, PhD candidate, Agriculture Communication and Education, Texas Tech University, and 2017 Next Generation Delegate

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: 


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.


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


| 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.