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Vilsack Addresses Food Security During Global Affairs Symposium

Today marks the release of the Feed the Future Initiative Guide during the Chicago Council of Global Affairs’ Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security. This guide lays out the implementation strategy for the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative. USDA has been actively engaged in the development of the Feed the Future strategy from its inception and created an inter-departmental food security council that has contributed to the Feed the Future strategy and provided reviews of country investment plans.

In Washington, DC today, Secretary Vilsack gave a speech on the importance of global food security during the symposium. During the symposium, Secretary Vilsack joined leaders of various U.S. Government agencies and world development groups to discuss U.S. food security and agricultural development policy in conjunction with this initiative. Secretary Vilsack touched on how many of USDA’s strengths would contribute immensely to this initiative, specifically the Department’s capacity to conduct and promote research, as well as contribute in the area of institutional capacity building.

Vilsack emphasized that USDA’s global food security strategy focuses on a number of interventions needed to increase global food production and increase the incomes of the poor. His speech focused on two of these areas: 1) research and extension, and 2) building capacity through assistance, sound public policies and institutions. 

USDA have been working with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop a global agricultural research agenda that addresses some of the fundamental constraints that contribute to food insecurity, such as pests, disease and weather in major food crops and livestock products. The strategy will also focus on increasing agricultural productivity and improving soil and water use efficiency.

Ensuring food security goes beyond just producing food—it also involves providing access to food, through trade, private investment in the agri-food sector, improving food safety and nutrition, and developing and deploying new technologies. USDA also offers fellowships to train scientists and faculty exchange programs to train agricultural faculty and develop adult education programs.

Creating a vibrant global food system, where all people have enough to eat, where farmers, wherever they are located, are profitable and are sustainable, is an important goal for USDA. USDA sees our engagement in Feed the Future as central to achieving that goal, and we believe that our unique capacities in research, extension, and institutional capacity building can make an important contribution to this initiative. 

Learn more about the Feed the Future Initiative at FeedtheFuture.gov.

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