Global Harvest Initiative Newsletter June 2016

june 2016

Photo by Ann Steensland
advancing research - engaging policymakers - mobilizing action

From the Executive Director
Over the past month of June, we’ve had a lot On Our Plate!

GHI welcomed Zoe Womack, our summer intern covering communications, policy and research. Zoe hails from Pepperdine University, and has already begun covering events, writing blogs, and assisting with research for our 2016 GAP Report. 

Ann Steensland, our deputy director, continues her strategic analysis of nutrition, global agriculture partnerships for value chain growth and food security, and to support and prepare for partnership events such as the Engineering and Technology Innovation Global Food Security Conference (see Next Course below).

I’ve had the privilege of participating in the Global Food Security Index Report launch event on Capitol Hill with GHI member company, DuPont and the Alliance to End Hunger, as well as present GHI’s research and GAP Report findings to a visiting delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture.

And at the end of the month, we celebrated the announcement of the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates with many friends and partners at the U.S. State Department—to learn more, please read the rest of On Our Plate!

Best regards,
Dr. Margaret M. Zeigler
GHI's Margaret Zeigler (left) and Ambassader Tony Hall from the Alliance to End Hunger (right)
Photo: The Alliance to End Hunger, Nathan Magrath
In This Issue

2016 World Food Prize Laureate Announced  Global Food Security Index Released  SoAR: Retaking the Field • GHI Welcomes Visitors from China  2016 GAP Report Update  Second Helpings & Next Course
Ambassador Kenneth Quinn announcing the 2016 World Food Prize Laureates
2016 World Food Prize Laureate Announced

The old truism of Hippocrates "Let food be thy medicine,” was the theme behind this year's World Food Prize Announcement Ceremony at the U.S State Department. Here, Ambassador Ken Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation, announced the 2016 World Food Prize Laureate.

To our surprise, this year’s Prize will be given in October to not one, but four Laureates who have worked together and dedicated their lives to fighting malnutrition through their research on the biofortification of crops.

Dr. Maria Andrade from Cape Verde, Dr. Robert Mwanga from Uganda, and Dr. Jan Low and Dr. Howarth Bouis from the United States have all been named Laureates of the 2016 World Food Prize. The scientists are being honored for their development and implementation of biofortification, a term coined for breeding staple crops with critical micronutrients and vitamins.

All four Laureates are enabling the intersection of nutrition with agriculture, producing food that improves health and ends hunger. For this, we at GHI, say thank you and congratulations.

For more about the Laureates, the Announcement Ceremony, and the World Food Prize, check out our blog.
Panel discussion (left to right): Beth Dunford, USAID; Ron De Weerd, Foods Resource Bank; Magaret Zeigler, Global Harvest Initiative; Roger Thurow, The Chicago Council
Photo: The Alliance to End Hunger, Nathan Magrath
Global Food Security Index Released
On June 9th, DuPont and the Alliance to End Hunger co-hosted a congressional briefing to release the findings of the Global Food Security Index (GFSI). The Index is constructed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and is exclusively sponsored by DuPont in order to focus on the factors of food affordability, accessibility, quality and safety. The report tracked the systems of 109 countries and notes the key drivers and trends in food security.

DuPont's Vice President, Jim Collins, remarked that food security "[represents] one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century," and that this report evaluates those key factors that strengthen food security. The discussion panel that followed was composed of experts who discussed the importance of continued government programs and policies as well as pubic-private partnerships that invest in these developing nations.

GHI's Margaret Zeigler participated on the panel and discussed the necessity of investing in agricultural research and development. She commented that "the rubber meets the road at the country level, and at the local level we can use the findings from the Index to engage directly with governments." 
Dr. Carrie Harmon from the Univ. of Florida explains plant disease detection and diagnosis
SoAR: Retaking the Field
GHI partners with 14 organizations from the university, conservation, nutrition, and international development sectors, including the SoAR Foundation (Supporters of Agricultural Research Foundation).

On June 23, SoAR hosted two Capitol Hill briefings for House and Senate staff that showcased the work of agriculture and food scientists and called for a surge in federal funding for AG R&D. 

SoAR’s latest report, Retaking the Field, shares success stories of past investment, and calls for ensuring the U.S. commitment stays strong in coming years.  As part of the presentations, four scientists from universities across the USA shared how federal research funding was fighting plant and animal diseases, enhancing environmental management, and promoting soil health and improved fodder for livestock.

To read more about the SoAR Foundation and to access the report, see the link below in Second Helpings.
GHI Welcomes Visitors from China

During the last week of June, GHI member company, John Deere, hosted a senior delegation of officials from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture. The delegation visited Washington, DC and the Midwest to survey developments in agricultural mechanization and to learn about U.S. agriculture policy. 

Margaret Zeigler had the opportunity to share GHI’s Global Agricultural Productivity Report® with them and engaged in a wide-ranging conversation about soil and water conservation, precision agriculture, and how to ensure consumer understanding of modern food production and its benefits.

Photo: L.Vidyasagar, ICRISAT

2016 GAP Report® Update

Each year GHI consults with our member companies, experts and partners to write about issues facing the agriculture and food sectors, and to highlight the policies that promote productivity in agriculture.  The result is our annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report®), presented at the World Food Prize and Borlaug Dialogue before an audience of global thought leaders, humanitarian organizations, and private sector food and agriculture participants.

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the World Food Prize; since the start of the Borlaug Dialogue, the business and practice of agriculture have changed dramatically.  Agriculture is impacted by regular business cycles created by a number of issues, including global security challenges, and environmental and economic headwinds. 

The 2016 GAP Report® will assess these challenges and advocate five key policy areas to help manage the storms while promoting competitiveness today and sustainable growth tomorrow.

Join us by registering for the 2016 GAP Report® release at the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa or by watching online.

Second Helpings
Next Course
2016 Global Agricultural Productivity Report Release at World Food Prize

October 12, 2016, Des Moines, Iowa
Register to Attend or Watch Online
The 13th International Conference on Precision Agriculture
July 31-August 3, 2016 Union Station, St. Louis, Missouri
Engineering and Technology Innovation for Global Food Security Conference
October 24-27, 2016, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Copyright © 2016 Global Harvest Initiative, All rights reserved.

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