Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security

On Friday, May 18th, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs hosted the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington, DC. Farmer to Farmer Program Director Peggy Carlson had the opportunity to attend and hear speakers and panels that included everyone from an African farmer to President Barack Obama. Although the conference was primarily focused on Africa, agriculture development and food security world-wide were on the agenda. President Obama stressed his commitment to fighting hunger by investing in economic growth and agriculture. He was optimistic that progress could be made:

 "We can unleash the change that reduces hunger and malnutrition. We can spark the kind of economic growth that lifts people and nations out of poverty. This is the new commitment that we’re making. And I pledge to you today that this will remain a priority as long as I am United States President."

Panel topics included: Healthy Agriculture-improving nutrition works for economies and communities; Farm Futures-increasing trade to drive economic growth; and Agricultural Innovation-Getting to scale. Presidents and Prime Ministers from various countries spoke, as well as corporate representatives and other stakeholders. One of the speakers who garnered the most attention was, of course, Bono. Representing his organization, ONE, Bono covered a variety of topics, ranging from global agriculture to foreign aid to transparency in the mining industry. He issued a call to action, urging everyone to work together to help lift 50 million people out of poverty. 

It is encouraging to see that world leaders and key stakeholders are keeping agricultural development and food security in the spotlight. To read more about the Symposium, see speaker bios, and watch video of some of the sessions, you can visit the website.

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