Thursday, October 22, 2020

Empowering Women in Agriculture

 Women are essential to the success of agriculture, but yet face many boundaries and challenges in agriculture. At the Borlaug Dialogue as part of the World Food Prize last week H.E. Gilbert Houngbo (President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development) shared the following, "If women were to have the same productive resources, in agriculture, as men we would have 150 million less people suffering from malnutrition and hunger." Below is a video that was shared a couple days ago by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations celebrating International Rural Women's Day. We encourage you to watch the video linked below and utilize the discussion points to guide your conversations around the globe. 

Pakistan International Rural Women's Day

Discussion Points

  • What did you notice from the video? Could be visual footage or text.
  • What is your main takeaway from the video? What surprised you or did not surprise you?
  • What role do women play in agriculture in your local area? What are the attitudes towards women in agriculture in your local area? Compare and contrast women's roles in agriculture from different parts of the world.
  • It what ways can women in agriculture be empowered locally and globally? 
  • As the woman in the video asks, "What do you say?"

Thursday, October 15, 2020


 It is World Food Prize week! In past years leaders and experts in agriculture, food, and nutrition from around the globe gather in Des Moines, Iowa (USA) in mid-October. In our current times we are called to gather in a virtual community. This year, like past years, has provided an excellent opportunity to learn from one another and create positive change in the world around us at home and abroad. We encourage you to discuss some of the impactful quotes shared throughout the week, so far, and utilize the discussion points below to guide your conversations with others around the globe. 

Discussion Points

  • Of the quotes shared below, which quotes grab your attention and why?
  • Identify a quote (or a couple quotes) from below that apply to you currently (or you can relate to). How and why does this quote/quotes apply to you and/or your local community?
  • Are there any quotes that you disagree with or would like to challenge further? Explain.
  • Pick a quote to explore further. Let the quote lead you to further research. Share your findings with others. 
Translating Climate Science to Action
  • "The climate crisis is here right now. It is getting worse. We have the solutions. It is already drastically impacting farmers. You all, particularly the young people, give me hope, that we can and we will solve the climate crisis." Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States
  • "Humans are the mirror image of the land we live upon." Dr. Rattan Lal, Distinguished Professor at The Ohio State University
Carbon Sequestration, Sustainability in Agriculture, and the Rise of Carbon Markets
  • "When I harvest, I harvest the crop, I harvest information, and I harvest CO2 from the atmosphere. That is a win-win-win, not just a win-win." Gabriel Carballal, Farmer from Uruguay
  • "Farmers are the world's largest group of land stewards." Sally Rockey, Executive Director of Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research
Investment Innovations for Food Systems Transformation
  • "I believe that finance and investment has got to come from all sources." Ted McKinney, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign agricultural Affairs, US Department of Agriculture
  • "The people need the planet; the planet doesn't need people." Hillary Barry, Founder and Secretary General, LadyAgri Impact Investment Hub
The Role of Media in Shaping Public Engagement in Food Systems
  • "Disseminating science has never been more challenging than in the current landscape." Alex Lamm, Associate Professor at the University of Georgia
  • "We are all consumers of information and media and we must train ourselves to distinguish reliable sources from unreliable information and sources." Adam Roberts, Midwest Correspondent with The Economist
Safe, Affordable, Nutritious Food Year Round: Global Aspirations to Local Application for Nutrition
  • "In order to feed, in order to produce food, for 10 billion people by 2050...what the world needs is to add an additional 450 million hectares of planting nutrient dense foods and 630 million less hectares of nutrient deficient foods." Pedro Sanchez, 2002 World food Prize Laureate
  • "Poor diets are not simply a matter of personal choices. Many people cannot access or afford nutritious food." Renata Micha, Chair of the Independent Expert Group, Global Nutrition Report
Keynote: H.E. Gilbert Houngbo
  • "If the women were to have the same productive resources, in agriculture, as men we would have 150 million less people suffering from malnutrition and hunger." H.E. Gilbert Houngbo, President of International Fund for agricultural Development
  • "Economic and environmental development must go hand in hand." H.E. Gilbert Houngbo
Remarks from 2020 Laureate
  • "Science is useless if it does not serve humanity." Dr. Rattan Lal
  • "I believe that helping people, plants, animals, and ecosystems is one and indivisible." Dr. Rattan Lal
Do not let the conversations end here. Jump on social media using #FoodPrize20 to engage further!

    Thursday, October 8, 2020

    Brazil: Single Line Cotton Harvester

     This week we highlight innovation created in Brazil to assist small farmers in cotton production. We encourage you to watch the video linked below and utilize the discussion points provided to guide your conversations around the globe.

    Single Line Cotton Harvester

    Discussion Points

    • In what ways does this new technology help farmers in Brazil? 
    • Does innovation have to involve technology? Explain. Does this look differently around the world?
    • Think about agriculture in your home area/community. What innovations could be developed to help small farmers, large farmers, and/or the agricultural industry?
    • What other innovations could you see as beneficial around the globe and outside of your local community/home area? Explain the need and potential benefits?

    Thursday, October 1, 2020

    International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

    Earlier this week (September 29, 2020) the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the United Nations Environmental Programme, and their partners recognized the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. In the linked article below food loss and waste issues, facts, solutions, and more are shared. We encourage you to read the linked release and utilize the discussion points below to guide your conversations around the globe.

    Food Loss and Waste Must Be Reduced

    Discussion Points

    • Explain the difference between food loss and food waste. How does food loss and food waste look similar or different around the world?
    • What surprised you the most from the article and why?
    • Some solutions to reduce food loss and waste were shared in the article. Of these solutions which do you believe could have the greatest impact on reducing food loss and waste? Justify your reasoning.
    • What can you do, where you are at today, to reduce food loss and waste?

    Thursday, September 24, 2020

    Rooftop Farming in Asia

     The largest rooftop farm in Asia is highlighted in the link below. This rooftop farm can produce over 20 tons of food annually. We encourage you to explore the piece linked and be sure to click on the cluster of images that will take you to a slide show with further information. We have provided discussion questions below to spark conversation with others around the globe.

    Asia's Largest Organic Rooftop

    Discussion Points

    • What was most surprising and/or intriguing regarding the rooftop farm and why?
    • Describe the different environmental benefits of this featured rooftop farm?
    • Would a rooftop farm like this be accepted in your home country, state, or city? Why or why not?
    • How could you take various concepts from this rooftop farm and utilize in different settings around your local community and/or around the world? Get creative!

    Thursday, September 17, 2020

    Global Agricultural and Food Markets

    The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets report from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations launches September 23rd. In leading up to it's launch a couple personnel with the FAO highlight some key points and challenges facing us. We encourage you to watch the linked videos below and utilize the discussion points below to guide your conversations around the globe!

    Interview with Maximo Torero

    Interview with George Rapsomanikis

    Discussion Points

    • After watching the two videos what stuck with you? What was alarming? Why?
    • What were some of the food/hunger challenges mentioned in the videos?
    • Why is global trade so important to our food systems? What is the benefit of reducing trade barriers for the food system?
    • If we reduce trade barriers for the food system is there the possibility for unintended consequences? Does this look different depending which country you call home? Explain your thoughts?

    Thursday, September 10, 2020

    Feeding a Growing or Declining Population?

     Is our world population on a trend to increase or decrease? Many models show an increase, but some models show a decrease in the long run. Linked below is a story that includes text and a video from the U.S. Farm Report that highlights these discrepancies. We encourage you to explore the text and video linked and utilize the discussion points provided to engage with others in conversation around the globe.

    Is agriculture feeding a growing or declining population?

    Discussion Points

    • What are your initial reactions/thoughts?
    • What factors mentioned in the article could cause an increase or decrease in world population? What are other factors that were not mentioned in this piece? Share reasoning with your thoughts.
    • Do the different models potentially change the way we look at things in agriculture and food production? Explain your thoughts.
    • With data shared and additional research what do you predict our world population to look like in the near and distant future? Why?