Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Feeding the World - Agricultural Development BACK on the Agenda

Addressing the world's food problems should be the Obama administration's topmost aid priority, according to Catherine Bertini and Dan Glickman. Both are co-chairs of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs' Global Agricultural Development Project. Bertini was executive director of the World Food Program from 1992 to 2002, while Glickman was the U.S. agriculture secretary from 1995 to 2001.

This article puts agricultural aid firmly back on the high priority list in the US foreign policy agenda, previously dominated by defence - spending and military activity. They argue that in simple terms, people with full bellies do not want military activity nearby, and that the US could do a lot to redress the view of them that the rest of the world has, by forging a new agricultural revolution in the areas most desperate for agricultural productivity. Real agricultural productivity gains. Sadly, not a lot said about the agricultural trade issues though - maybe that might get back on the agenda too.

The media coverage has been extensive, but getting the full article is a bit tricky as Foreign Affairs magazine, where it appeared in the May / June 2009 edition, pp93-105, restricts access.

However, some excerpts have been published in various formats. It was a full article in The Australian Financial Review last Friday, July 17, 2009 and excerpts are available if you search around on line.

This link takes you to the extensive executive summary [23 pp] of the main report that formed the basis of the article in Foreign Affairs Magazine.

The activity in this area has big implications for the foreign aid operations of not only the USA but Australia too. Like them, 20 -25 years ago Australia and Australians were very active and prominent in agricultural research and development world wide, in major R and D organisations and in real, on the ground rural development activities. Much of that has been degraded.......but it might be about to get a new lease of life.

A strongly commended article to read for all those interested in real agricultural development. It links well with a previous post on using GM technology in rural development areas too. There is technology around, useful technology [ salt tolerance in cereals too] but it needs harnessing for those really needing a boost in food production.

1 comment:

Border Fence said...

Many thanks for this sharing. I like this informative posting. Landscaping Information