USAID Administrator Talks About "The True Yields of Food Security"

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
USAID Press Office
202-712-4320

WASHINGTON, DC - Today USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah charted the course forward to address the global food security challenge. As a keynote speaker at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs Symposium, Administrator Shah highlighted progress made over the past year through Feed the Future, the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

At the symposium, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs released its 2011 Progress Report on U.S. Leadership in Global Agricultural Development, which addresses the United States Government's policy actions, successes, and areas for future improvement in implementing international agriculture activities. The report states that "the U.S. is indeed exerting stronger leadership in global agricultural development….and U.S. government institutions have been significantly reoriented and restructured to deliver more effective agricultural development programming."

Highlights from the speech include:

FY2011 Resource Commitment

"Thanks to strong bipartisan support from Congress, I'm proud to announce today, that in fiscal year 2011 our Administration intends to devote over $1.15 B on food security. The majority of that money-$950 M will be spent across all Feed the Future countries. An additional $90 M will be spent on strengthening our nutrition programming.

And $100 M has been allocated to Treasury to commit to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, a multilateral trust fund we established in partnership with the World Bank. That fund has already attracted nearly $1 B in commitments from new donors, and already allocated $337 M to eight countries, including Haiti."

"These commitments are of course subject to congressional consultation, but they represent yet another demonstration of the remarkable reset we're driving in the world's approach to improving food security."

Optimizing Food Aid and Nutrition Programs

"We're increasing the flexibility of our emergency response by increasing our procurement of locally grown food, expanding the use of community development funds and creating new cash voucher programs."

"And we're primarily targeting all of our nutrition programming-including our food aid-toward pregnant mothers and infants, focusing on the critical 1,000 days that mark conception to a child's second birthday that are crucial to their development and potential."

Partnerships

"Agriculture depends on the strength of public and private institutions working and investing together, building new markets and supply chains, sustainably taking new initiatives to scale and improving global economic potential."

"When it comes to research, we're tripling our level of investment compared to 2008, to $120 M. One of the most exciting projects we're supporting is a Virtual Fertilizer Research Facility, designed to bring universities, research labs and agribusiness together with the International Fertilizer Development Center to deliver the next generation of fertilizers."

"Strengthening our commitment to research means strengthening our commitment to universities. American universities are critical partners of Feed the Future. To leverage their deep expertise around capacity building, agricultural research and extension services, we boosted Title XII assistance to $72.2 M, an increase of two-thirds compared to 2008."

"We believe it's critical to have multilateral, transparent mechanisms to support countries committed to good governance and increasing their own agricultural investment."

Monitoring and Evaluation

"The broader story is that our targets are tied to a results framework that defines a whole-of-government vision of success in food security. By using a common set of indicators, we can report our performance consistently from country to country."

Conclusion

"Yes, the world must increase its productive yields over the next decades; that much is clear. But let us remember the true yields of food security. Let us remember the fundamental American value that says everyone should be given the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential to live a healthy, productive life."


Feed the Future is working to improve agricultural productivity, promote market development, facilitate trade expansion, invest in global innovation and research, promote equitable rural economic growth, and address child undernutrition in 20 target countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. For more information, visit www.feedthefuture.gov.

Last updated: May 21, 2012

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