Following is the text of a joint press release by the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Agency for International Development following the announcement ceremony for the 2010 World Food Prize.
Today at the announcement of the 2010 World Food Prize winners, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah outlined the Feed the Future research strategy, which includes a new partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The event honored the work of two individuals whose passion for ensuring that no one goes hungry has inspired action around the world: Jo Luck, President of Heifer International, and David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World.
“This year’s honorees have addressed hunger in innovative ways, engaging millions of people at home and abroad. Their contributions are critical. But much work remains,” Secretary Clinton said. “In a few decades, the world’s population will grow to 9 billion people. If we are to feed the future without leveling the forests, draining the aquifers, and depleting the soil of all its nutrients, we need science. Today we are announcing the Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Initiative, to leverage the work of our nation’s scientists to benefit farmers in developing countries worldwide.”
As part of Feed the Future, research investments will focus on priorities that advance the productivity frontier, transform production systems and enhance nutrition and food safety. Research in these areas will help solve problems and provide smallholder farmers with the opportunity to harness the latest scientific discoveries. More than ever before, research investments will be tied to national and regional development programs that work to disseminate scientific innovations to agricultural producers by providing critical investments in extension, the seed and fertilizer industries, markets, and trade. Feed the Future will leverage the expertise and resources of USAID and USDA to establish the Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Initiative.
The Borlaug Initiative will span the USDA’s research agencies, increasing its relevance and impact on problems and opportunities faced by both U.S. farmers and smallholder farm families in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This expanded relationship will add to USDA and USAID’s partnerships with U.S. universities, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the private sector, and research organizations in developing countries.
“We are excited to be a part of Feed the Future, see the progress it has made, and partner with USAID to build on existing research grants and other USDA research activities to enhance agricultural development and food security worldwide,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This is a fitting way to honor the memory of Dr. Borlaug, whose work demonstrated the incredible capacity of innovation and scientific research to combat hunger across the globe.”
Administrator Shah commented that “I just returned from a regional meeting in Senegal where we heard from many governments about their national agriculture investment plans. Countries asked us for continued investments in new agriculture tools and technologies through increased investments in research. We are responding to their requests by redoubling our efforts to fight poverty and hunger through research and innovation and significantly expanding our research partnership with USDA. Through these investments we can discover and deliver breakthrough technologies that will benefit millions of farmers and their families worldwide. USAID will be laser focused on results and our ability to help farmers increase their incomes, reduce their risk, and improve their yields.”
Feed the Future is the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.