Today (Wednesday) we traveled with a group of students to Des Moines to kickoff the Borlaug Dialogue as part of the World Food Prize Events. The afternoon started with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn kicking off the 30th World Food Prize, many great sessions throughout the afternoon, and concluded with a program and reception recognizing the winner of the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.
Here is a picture at the Hall of Laureates with students and faculty from Hawkeye Community College.
Below we will give brief highlights of each session to spark discussion around the globe! Here is a recap of day one.
Conflict, Stability, and Achieving Global Food Security
- There are three big areas that are causing food insecurity:
- Climate change
- Poor/failed government
- Today we have more people displaced from their homes due to conflict than we have had since World War II.
- In regards to worldwide conflict and stability things are bad now, but they will be far worse three months from now. "It's not going to be pretty, it's not going to be easy, but we must do something."
Global Food Security and National Security
- We must look at more than food availability, but food governance and control.
- Food production is currently good. We must address distribution and price worldwide.
- More frequent extreme weather events will threaten agriculture production.
Food Security in Crisis
- Key to success in all agriculture development projects are strong partnerships.
- One problem is technology is on the shelves in developing countries, but it never reaches the farmer.
- More training and extension services are needed for farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and developing countries.
Availability of a Healthy Global Diet
- Obesity rates are increasing worldwide.
- We need improved dietary diversity around the world.
- We need safer storage and to find ways to extend life of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
This years award winner is Dr. Andrew Mude of Kenya. Mude was recognized for his work developing an "Index-Based Livestock Insurance" program. In an area where insurance had not existed before he created a system that uses technology from NASA and satellite imagery to identify areas experiencing weather disasters, such as floods and droughts that take animal life, that in turn identifies farmers in these areas and automatically sends insurance checks.
It was a great first day and we look to continue dialogue tomorrow as we face the challenges and opportunities before us in agriculture and feeding our growing world!