“The transformational day begins,” proclaimed Dan Glickman, co-chair of the Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The Symposium, bringing together leaders from governments around the world and multinational corporations, is setting the tone for this weekend’s G8 summit at Camp David. Glickman said the G8’s deliberations on will be “critical in determining food and nutrition security of future generations.”
Michael Froman, assistant to President Obama and deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs, said a focus on nutrition security will be a central G8 theme.
Tom Arnold, chief executive of Concern Worldwide, hailed this focus on nutrition – on improving food quality in addition to increasing food production – as “unprecedented.”
At Camp David, the leaders of the top industrial nations will be joined by African presidents and private sector CEOs in advancing the G8 commitment to increased agricultural development investments made three years ago in L’Aquila, Italy.
Froman said President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative was beginning to produce results on the ground in some 20 countries. He noted that agricultural productivity in those countries was eight times higher than the global average.
He also said the administration was “fully committed to an assistance agenda” in a time when Congressional budget cutters have been targeting foreign. But, he added, “Government assistance alone is not sufficient. It takes commitment on the ground” from all those involved on the agricultural development front.
As the Camp David summit opens, he said, “it will take all of us represented here to achieve our goals. As you look to the G8, we look to you.”
“As I travel around the world talking about American agriculture, the one thing that has struck me is how jealous the rest of the world is about extension, how they would love to have the capacity that we have in this country and often, unfortunately, take for granted, of the ability to reach out and gain very useful information and insights to improve productivity.”
Exactly, I thought.
Digital Preview of The First 1,000 Days
In his new book, The First 1,000 Days, Council senior fellow Roger Thurow illuminates the 1,000 Days initiative to end early childhood malnutrition through the compelling stories of new mothers in Uganda, India, Guatemala, and Chicago. Get a first-look at photos and stories from the book in this new web interactive.
Roger Thurow’s book will tell the story of the vital importance of proper nutrition and health care in the 1,000 days window from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.
The 1,000 days period is the crucial period of development, when malnutrition can have severe life-long impacts on the individual, the family and society as a whole. Nutritional deficiencies that occur during this time are often overlooked, resulting in a hidden hunger. It is a problem of great human and economic dimensions, impacting rich and poor countries alike.
In The Last Hunger Season, the intimate dramas of the farmers' lives unfold amidst growing awareness that to feed the world's growing population, food production must double by 2050. How will the farmers, Africa, and a hungrier world deal with issues of water usage, land ownership, foreign investment, corruption, GMO's, the changing role of women, and the politics of foreign aid?
Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman, award-winning writers on Africa, development, and agriculture, see famine as the result of bad policies spanning the political spectrum. In this compelling investigative narrative, they explain through vivid human stories how the agricultural revolutions that transformed Asia and Latin America stopped short in Africa, and how our sometimes well-intentioned strategies—alternating with ignorance and neglect—have conspired to keep the world’s poorest people hungry and unable to feed themselves.