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2012 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development

RESEARCH Report by Catherine Bertini and Dan Glickman
A woman picking tea leaves at the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka
Asantha Abeysooriya

This report examines how policy changes have contributed to U.S. leadership in improving global food security.

The 2012 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development, released on April 26, 2012, says the U.S. government has made major strides toward putting agricultural development back at the top of its foreign assistance agenda, reversing a downward trend in U.S. global food security activities. The non-partisan assessment, issued by The Chicago Council’s Global Agricultural Development Initiative, examines how these changes have contributed to U.S. leadership in improving global food security.

The report finds that under the direction of Secretary Clinton and Administrator Shah, both the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development are showing “outstanding” leadership in advancing these issues. The Millennium Challenge Corporation, via its activities to bolster agricultural infrastructure in developing countries, is also making “outstanding” contributions to renewing U.S. leadership. Congress receives a “good” evaluation for making policy changes and appropriating substantial resources for food security in a difficult budget environment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture receives a “good” evaluation and the Peace Corps a “satisfactory” evaluation for their respective contributions. The study also examines how the changes in Washington have led to higher levels of U.S. agricultural development activity in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Bangladesh.

The report concludes that while this recent progress should be celebrated, the hard work is just beginning. This is the second in a series of annual reports tracking changes to the U.S. government’s global agricultural development policy.

About the Cochairs
Distinguished Fellow, Global Food and Agriculture
Council expert Catherine Bertini
Catherine Bertini served as executive director of the UN World Food Program, the world’s largest international humanitarian agency, from 1992 to 2002 prior to joining the Council. She was named the World Food Prize laureate in 2003 for her groundbreaking leadership there.
Council expert Catherine Bertini
Distinguished Fellow, Center on Global Food and Agriculture
Council expert Dan Glickman
Dan Glickman is a distinguished fellow of global food and agriculture at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. For nine years, he co-chaired the Council's Center on Global Food and Agriculture. Currently, he’s the vice president of The Aspen Institute and executive director of The Aspen Institute Congressional Program, which was established in 1983.
Council expert Dan Glickman