A Year of Progress Under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition

One year ago, on the eve of the 2012 G8 Summit, President Obama announced the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, ushering in a new phase of global investment in food security and nutrition.

A joint initiative launched under the United States’ G8 Presidency, the New Alliance builds on progress and commitments – both to agriculture and a modern approach to development –made in 2009 at the L’Aquila G8 Summit. It calls on African leaders, the private sector and development partners to accelerate responsible investment in African agriculture and lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2022. MORE

Working Together To Feed the World and Protect the Planet

A man picks a tangerine on his farm, part of the Guandu Water Fund project in Rio Claro, Brazil, June 14, 2012. The farmer is part of a pilot project that aims to reverse the economics of environmental destruction by paying farmers to preserve the forests that protect a crucial watershed. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security and Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future.

Today, nearly one in eight people in the world do not have enough food to eat.

And studies predict that as diets change and the world’s population grows to 9 billion people by 2050, we will need to increase food production by at least 60 percent to meet the global demand for food, all in the face of increasing pressures on natural resources.

Forty-three years ago, the first Earth Day celebration began a movement to create awareness about the need to protect the world’s natural resources so they can be enjoyed by generations to come. Since then, governments and civil society have worked together to address environmental challenges and improve our understanding of how we can help protect the world’s natural resources.

Today’s celebration of Earth Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves and our partners of the connection between our environment,… more »

Call to Innovators: Apply To Present at G-8 Conference on Open Data for Agriculture

Women pluck rice grass from a nursery to plant on plots in Ahero, Kenya on Nov. 13, 2009. [AP File Photo]

About the Authors: Catherine Woteki serves as Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Nick Sinai serves as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer.

In an exciting opportunity, the G-8 is inviting innovators to apply to present ideas that demonstrate how open data can be unleashed to increase food security at the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture on April 29-30, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Open data is being used by innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to accelerate development, whether it be tracking election transparency in Kenya or providing essential information to rural farmers in Uganda. The G-8 conference will convene policy makers, thought leaders, food security stakeholders, and data experts to discuss the role of public, agriculturally-relevant… more »

Meeting the President’s Challenge To End Extreme Poverty

Kenyan boys harvest maize in Bomet, Kenya, Oct. 9, 2008. [AP File Photo]

About the Authors: Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative forGlobal Food Security and Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for Feed the Future, and Lona Stoll serves as Acting Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a challenge for our generation to eradicate the scourge of extreme poverty. We are advancing this critical agenda through Feed the Future, the President’s signature global hunger… more »

Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss

Soybeans are harvested on a farm near Pergamino, Argentina, July 14, 2012. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Jose W. Fernandez serves as Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

On February 19, the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs along with the Office of Global Food Security and the Foreign Service Institute will host the conference “Food Security and Minimizing Postharvest Loss.” Government officials, representatives from the private sector, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and foreign diplomatic corps will discuss the issue of postharvest loss, focusing on Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia.

Postharvest loss is collective food loss along the production chain, from harvest and handling to storage and processing to packing and transportation.… more »

In Malawi, the Future Belongs to the Organized

Women farmers welcome U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome David Lane to Tidi Village, Malawi, on January 14, 2013. [State Department photo by Sharon Ketchum/ Public Domain]

About the Author: David Lane serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.

After an early morning departure from Tanzania, we arrived in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe in a steady rain. The rain is not always favorable for travel, but it was very welcome in Malawi after a drought during the 2012 rainy season impacted the maize crop and food security, particularly in the south. 

As I continued my first media tour as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations food and agriculture agencies in Rome I was excited to have two reporters from Malawi join the group of seven talented reporters traveling with me, five African and two European, to witness programs on the ground and help tell the Malawian story of increasing food security in Africa.

Despite the difficult situation in the south, it is an exciting time to visit Malawi because… more »

Smallholder Farmers Go Commercial in Tanzania

Ambassador David Lane meets with farmers in Hoyohoyo Village, south of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, January 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: David Lane serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies in Rome.

With the seven journalists accompanying me on our media tour, we said goodbye to Augustino, Fortunata, and the other farmers we had met around Arusha, and flew south to the humid, coastal climate of Dar es Salaam. We were eager to hear how the projects we had seen, along with many others across the country, are adding up to something bigger.

We spent a morning visiting a cassava multiplication project that the Government of Tanzania has undertaken in collaboration with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Cassava, a starchy root similar to the sweet potato, is a staple food in many parts of Tanzania.

On the way to Hoyohoyo Village, south of Dar… more »

A Conservationist, Woman Leader, and Peacemaker

Members of the Turkana tribe near Shaba in Kenya, 2012 [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Wenchi Yu serves in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

Since 2008, the drought-induced food crisis that affected many countries in the Horn of Africa not only cost the regional economy billions of dollars, but also exacerbated regional instability, insecurity in distressed communities, and tribal competition for scarce resources.

Josephine Ekiru, a 26-year-old conservationist from the Turkana tribe near Shaba in Kenya, was determined to do something for her community after witnessing the devastating impact of frequent conflict on both the region’s people and wildlife. She started by talking to the women in her community, hearing about their common concern of losing husbands and sons in the conflicts. She also reached out to women of the other major tribe, the Borana, with which the Turkanas were in conflict. After years of work, she gained trust from both groups. In May 2010, Josephine’s work helped unite the two tribes… more »

Photo of the Week: Observing World Food Day


A Kenyan man shows millet he has grown at his farm in Siranga in western Kenya, July 18, 2012. [USAID/Kenya photo/ Public Domain]

About the Author: Sarah Goldfarb serves as DipNote’s Associate Editor.

Every year on October 16, the international community unites around World Food Day to increase awareness about global hunger. Today, nearly one billion people suffer from chronic hunger, and more than 3.5 million children die from undernutrition each year. As President Barack Obama said in his message recognizing World Food Day, “The United States has a moral obligation to lead the fight against global hunger, and we have put food security at the forefront of global development efforts. Through initiatives like Feed the Future, we are helping partner countries transform their agriculture sectors by investing in smallholder farmers — particularly women — who… more »

World Food Day: A Call To Action To End Global Hunger

A farmer sows wheat at Chunnikhel, Katmandu, Nepal, Nov. 15, 2011. [AP File Photo]

About the Author: Jonathan Shrier serves as Acting Special Representative for Global Food Security.

World Food Day is a reminder and call to action for the international community to strengthen efforts to end world hunger and malnutrition.

Today, nearly one billion people suffer from chronic hunger, which means that they do not get enough food to satisfy their body’s basic nutritional needs.

Feed the Future is the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative and works with partner countries to support their own agriculture development objectives to increase agricultural productivity and improve nutrition, which can help reduce poverty and hunger. Seventy-five percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas in developing countries, where most people’s livelihoods rely directly on agriculture, and women in the developing world make up to forty-three percent of the agriculture…more »