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February 24, 2012 - Research into increasing priority crop production, improving soil use, ensuring safer and nutritious diets and reducing postharvest losses and wastes in developing countries are among 10 major strategies outlined in a report on achieving global food security, issued today by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (A۰P۰L۰U).
The report, Feeding 10 Billion: A Dialogue between Feed the Future and the International Research Community, is a set of recommendations to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding the federal government’s Feed the Future Initiative. Launched by President Obama as the federal government's global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future is focused on reducing poverty and under-nutrition while promoting broad-based economic growth through agricultural development.
“The world needs to double food production by 2050. This production needs to be sustainable in a world of ever greater energy and water demands as well as carbon footprint concerns,” said Peter McPherson, A۰P۰L۰U president and former USAID administrator. “APLU was pleased to provide a forum and consultative process for USAID and USDA on this important set of issues. We appreciate that USAID and USDA encouraged this extensive collaborative effort with the university community and other interested parties on international agriculture research.”
Many of the recommendations have already been implemented by Feed the Future through USAID and USDA, which developed the research plan last fall.
“The Research Forum provided USAID critical insight into the depth and breadth of expertise in the higher education research community,” said Julie Howard, chief scientist and senior advisor to the USAID Administrator on agricultural research, extension and education.
The report, written by Simon Nicholson, assistant professor of international relations, at American University’s School of International Service, with Montague Demment, associate vice president, International Programs at A۰P۰L۰U, integrates and condenses the input from a three-part discussion that culminated with the two-day Feed the Future Research Forum attended by more than 380 representatives of the higher education research community held in July 2011 in Washington, DC.
The consultative process began January 2011 when USAID and USDA leaders asked A۰P۰L۰U to organize a process for researchers to have input into the Feed the Future research agenda. A broad array of the researchers and international development community practitioners and key agency representatives met in January at Purdue University to outline an agenda. A global e-consultation followed with thousands of comments from international researchers. The process culminated with the Feed the Future Research Forum.
The consultative process developed 10 major research challenge statements, each refined by way of accompanying a set of more specific research themes. The research challenges include:
“The Feed the Future research consultation provided an unprecedented opportunity for members of the international research community to provide direct feedback and input on the research component of a major U.S. development initiative,” Demment said. “The researchers who were a part of the consultative process are overwhelmingly supportive of the general thrust of the Feed the Future initiative’s research strategy and of its ambitious overall program. This report aims to pave the way to further open collaboration, and to ongoing refinement of the research goals.”
About Feed the Future
Feed the Future is President Obama's global hunger and food security initiative. It is focused on reducing poverty and under nutrition while promoting broad-based economic growth through agricultural development. USAID leads the initiative in collaboration with other U.S. Government agencies, host-country governments, multilateral institutions, and public and private sector partners. More information is available at www.feedthefuture.gov.
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