Recently I was in Des Moines, Iowa, to participate in events leading up to World Food Day. This day is observed each October 16th in recognition of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. The first World Food Day was held in 1981. Its purpose is to increase worldwide awareness and year-round action to alleviate hunger.
On October 10, I had the honor of speaking to a large group of people at Iowa State University about the importance of the world producing enough food to feed its growing population. This is not just a moral issue, or an economic issue, or an agricultural issue. It is an issue of national security.
When you consider the challenges we face today—925 million people around the world were undernourished last year—and those we foresee in 30 to 40 years—a world population growing by one-third to more than 9 billion that will require a 70-percent increase in food production—you understand why the United States and the international community must tackle this serious, long-term threat. Read more »
Clemence, a teacher from Ogondougou School, displays the peanuts grown in the school garden to be used as a condiment in the meal provided by USDA (CRS/Carmen Matty-Cervantes).
A group of schoolchildren wait patiently in line to get their lunch. This ritual takes place in schools all over the world. But for the children in Mali, a country ranked 160 out of 169 of the poorest countries in the world, this may be their one nutritious meal for the day. With the number of chronically hungry people surpassing one billion, a sustainable approach is necessary to answer the call of those in need. USDA’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program answers that call and works to not only feed the world’s hungry, but also improve the nutrition and education of children around the world. Read more »
The United States has a long history of helping those in need and USDA has played a large role in these efforts over the years. The U.S. government’s food assistance programs were born in a time of conflict. Food aid played a crucial role in the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Acting Under Secretary Michael Scuse reflected on America’s food aid legacy and renewed efforts to combat world hunger during a speech today at the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Nutrition and Development Conference. Read more »
In the sub-Saharan nation of Mali, Dr. Boubacar M. Seck is a leader in helping to prevent highly contagious and transmissible animal diseases. As a researcher, Dr. Seck is working with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and local partners to help manage disease risk on farms and to prevent the spread of animal diseases to local and international markets. Dr. Seck’s main accomplishment has been his leadership in developing the West and Central Africa Veterinary Laboratory Network, which studies highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and other transboundary animal diseases. For his work, USDA recently awarded a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Seck. Read more »
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack makes remarks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico on Thursday, December 9, 2010.
Earlier today it was my privilege to address those attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico. Climate change is one of the greatest threats facing our planet, and the United States is taking significant action to meet this challenge. Under President Obama’s leadership, the U.S. is advancing policies that address climate change by promoting energy efficiency in our homes, cars and businesses, increasing the domestic production of clean energy – including biofuels – and by investing in renewable energy technology. The United States is also vigorously engaged in international climate negotiations while continuing to work with Congress on domestic climate legislation. Read more »