Successes in Agriculture and How We Can Succeed Again

Farmer managed agroforestry in the Sahel is one example of a story of success in agriculture. (Photo credit: Chris Reij)

Last month panelists participating in Feed the Future Guidea discussion of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) new global hunger and food security initiative— at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington DC agreed on the importance of identifying, and building upon, already existing successes in agriculture. Rosa DeLauro, member of the U.S. House of Representatives, mentioned the International Food Policy Institute’s (IFPRI) Millions Fed Project report, written by Nourishing the Planet Advisory Group member, David Spielman. Millions Fed Highlights a collection of success stories in agriculture from throughout sub-Saharan Africa, including agroforestry in the Sahel and  zero-tillage rice-wheat cultivation in the Indo-Gangetic Plains.  “There are success stories and all of these programs are critically important for this to succeed,” said DeLauro. Rajiv Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, echoed her sentiment, “we are seeing agriculture programs apply what we’ve learned from the past and succeed.”

Other panelists in the discussion included Doug Bereuter, President of the Asia Foundation and Cheryl Mills, Chief of Staff for the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of State. Stay tuned to the Nourishing the Planet blog and for the forthcoming Worldwatch Institute’s State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet for more on successes in agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa.

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