Global Food Security Symposium Keynoted by Vilsack

Global Food Security Symposium Keynoted by Vilsack

U.S. Ag Secretary says that food security efforts need to be focused at local and community level.

The U.S. Grains Council and USDA Foreign Agricultural Service sponsored Partners in Agriculture Global Food Security Symposium was held Wednesday in Tokyo.  Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered the keynote address. The Grains Council organized the event to provide a unique opportunity for government, academic, and civil society leaders from the United States and Japan to come together to discuss the challenge of ensuring food security in the face of a rapidly growing global population and climate change.

"We need a comprehensive approach focused on developing sustainable solutions to eliminate food insecurity," Vilsack told the gathering.  "Our goals should be to increase the availability of food by helping people and countries produce what they need, to make food accessible to those who need it, and to teach people to use it properly so that they make the most of it."

Vilsack emphasized that food security efforts must be country-led and country-driven and focused at the local and community level. That means engaging farmers in small villages so they can provide their ideas about developing the agriculture sector, so that we can help them with technologies, techniques and crops that fit their culture and lifestyle.  It means that focus must reflect an understanding of the role of women in farming, who account for between 60 and 80% of food production in most developing countries.

Also addressing the symposium in
Tokyo were other leaders from Japan and the United States, including U.S. Grains Council President and CEO Thomas Dorr.

Moderating a panel discussion focused on the topic Feeding a Growing World was USGC Chairman Rick Fruth, an
Ohio grain producer. Following the panel discussion, Fruth said that from the dual perspective as the Grains Council chairman and a crop producer, being a part of this discussion was a powerful experience. Crop producers are hungry for the technology that will allow them to help feed the world's growing population.

Organizers say the dialogue laid the foundation for achieving the goal of feeding the world through a combination of the right policy and the strategic application of technology.

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