A coalition of farm and international development organizations and agriculture-related foundations sent a letter on June 26 to congressional committees calling for a coordinated approach from the federal government to meeting global food security needs.
In their letter, the groups stated that international agricultural development is essential to meeting the urgent goal of feeding the world's growing population, expected to rise from 7.2 to 9.1 billion by 2050. Global demand for food will increase by 60 percent during the same period.
"The American Soybean Association has a long history of improving access to food and building markets through the work of the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health. ASA is eager to continue that legacy by being a part of the solution to address global food security issues through agricultural development," said Wade Cowan, the association's president and a soybean farmer from Brownfield, Texas. "Training and engaging in technology transfers with people in least-developed countries helps to alleviate hunger and increase economic opportunities for local people, and provides long-term market growth for U.S. agricultural products abroad."
"AGree commends Congress for its efforts to elevate food and agriculture development as a priority. We believe that the authorizing legislation should institutionalize a whole of government approach that truly acknowledges and leverages the contributions of USDA, research institutions, and the private sector to achieve a hunger free world," said AGree Executive Director Deborah Atwood.
The letter also emphasized that the Department of Agriculture, the U.S. land grant university system, farm organizations and agribusiness should be leveraged more prominently in international agricultural development efforts, working in coordination with other development and humanitarian programs administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The letter was sent to the Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and Foreign Relations, and the House Committees on Agriculture and Foreign Affairs.
"U.S. agriculture has a long legacy of hard work, ingenuity, and service," said Tricia Beal, CEO of the Farm Journal Foundation. "Farm Journal Foundation is proud to support this effort to ensure that the U.S. global food security strategy continues to prioritize agricultural development, sharing the best our dynamic community has to offer to empower smallholder farmers to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. This goal is consistent with our industry's values and its long term interests."
For a copy of the letter, please click here.