Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of Weather Volatility and Climate Change

May 22, 2014. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs released a report (PDF) urging the US government to take action to curb the risks climate change poses to global food security. It explains how higher temperatures, changes in rainfall and natural disasters caused by climate change could undermine food production and put food supplies at risk. In total, climate change could reduce food production growth by 2 percent each decade for the rest of this century. The report was released at The Chicago Council’s Global Food Security Symposium 2014.

The report, Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of a Changing Climate, calls on the US government to integrate climate change adaptation into its global food security strategy. Recommendations include:
  • Passing legislation for a long-term global food and nutrition security strategy. 
  • Increasing funding for agricultural research on climate change adaptation. Research priorities should include improving crop and livestock tolerance to higher temperatures and volatile weather, combating pests and disease and reducing food waste.
  • Collecting better data and making information on weather more widely available to farmers. There are significant global data gaps right now on weather; water availability, quality, and future requirements; crop performance; land use; and consumer preferences.
  • Increasing funding for partnerships between US universities and universities and research institutions in low-income countries, to train the next generation of agricultural leaders.
  • Advancing international action through urging that food security be addressed through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
Scheduled for 22 May 2014
Global leaders convened to chart a course for how the US government - in partnership with business, civil society, and international organizations - can advance global food security in the face of weather volatility and climate change.

Speakers include:
* Susan E. Rice, U.S. National Security Advisor
* Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
* Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
* Pamela K. Anderson, Director, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
* Dan Glickman, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
* John F. Ginascol, Vice President, Supply Chain, Abbott Nutrition
* Many more

The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling was announced by United States Agency for International Development administrator Rajiv Shah on Thursday (May 22) at the Chicago Council's Global Food Security Symposium.

It is funded by Feed the Future, the U.S. government's Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative led by USAID. Purdue University researchers will lead a $5 million, five-year effort to improve drying and storage of cereal grains (corn, rice, sorghum and millet) and grain legumes (cowpea, soybean and peanut), specifically in Kenya and Senegal.

The researchers have expertise in drying technologies to decrease grain loss from mold and in processing grain to generate market-competitive products with enhanced nutrition. The project also aims to help develop markets for smallholder farmers, thereby providing more food while also improving their livelihoods, said James "Jess" Lowenberg-DeBoer, associate dean of Purdue's College of Agriculture and director of its International Programs in Agriculture.

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