Friday, October 16, 2015

Borlaug Dialogue Day 3: Let's Get to Work

Today was the third and final day of the Borlaug Dialogue. There was plenty to think about and we were definitely left with a charge to get out and take action. Enough talk, it is time to take action and make a difference. Every little bit helps. As the previous days, below you will find a recap of our final day in Des Moines to keep the dialogue going.

Breakfast Keynote Address: Mehmood Khan

  • Fastest growing markets are outside the United States.
  • Do not be put off by challenge.
  • Diversity is key to success. Diversity of thought, not the way someone looks.
  • If you want to move things forward have a diverse team with diverse backgrounds with diverse education.
  • Do things that are right, because it is what should be done. Do not do the right things for just accolades.
The Case For Conservation Agriculture: Sir Gordon Conway, Howard Buffett, Kofi Boa, Alejandro Lopez Moriena
  • The greatest asset a farmer has is soil.
  • You can do a lot of things right, but if you don't with soil the other things don't count.
  • We need to utilize crop rotations and cover crops to try and emulate what nature did years ago on that ground.
  • No-till, rotations, and cover are the key principles to soil conservation.
  • The disk is the greatest compaction tool ever.
  • There is not a magic formula when it comes to crop rotations. There are different rotations for different locations and climates around the globe.
  • In developing countries the first step in conservation is cover in some way, shape, or form.
  • We must educate and show others the benefits of conservation practices. We must change the culture and way that people think.
The Orange Revolution: A Novel Approach to Traditional Challenges: Pamela Anderson, Maria Andrade, Jan Low, Robert O.M. Mwanga
  • We need to focus on all crops and livestock in order to combat hunger.
  • Sweet potatoes provide Vitamin A and energy to many children in developing countries.
  • Sweet potatoes survive better in drought conditions than corn or soybeans.
  • Farmers are selling 15% of their sweet potato crop in Africa as a cash crop.
  • Can have a sweet potato crop in three months.
  • One sweet potato vine cutting could give you 10-15 more cuttings to plant your next field.
  • We need a nutrition education component to accompany implementation of growing sweet potatoes.
Borlaug 2.0: Louise Fresco, Monty Jones, M.S. Swaminathan, Ronnie Coffman
  • Today our debate is about diversity, not only for minds but for crops and diets.
  • We should not shy away from more modernized agriculture, even in developing countries.
  • Had Norman Borlaug been here today he would have liked to see the Green Revolution get to Africa.
  • Key Points from the Borlaug Dialogue
    • Maintain interest in agriculture
    • Work together
    • Invest more in agriculture
Laureate Luncheon Address: Sir Fazle Hasan Abed
  • There are two things that plague the poor:
    • Lack of resources
    • Lack of solidarity among themselves
  • In Bangladesh hunger is considered a season like American autumn.
  • The poorest of poor can, if given the right assistant, get out of poverty.
  • The government didn't want to learn from us, so I had to set up a university.
  • We urged people to diversify starting with small vegetable gardens beside their homes.
It was a great three days that will keep us discussing these issues and more importantly push us to action to end global hunger!

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