U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green's Remarks at the Signing of an MOU with Corteva Agriscience

For Immediate Release

Friday, November 9, 2018
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: press@usaid.gov

 
November 9, 2018
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, DC

ADMINISTRATOR GREEN: Thank you Beth for that introduction.

It is especially fitting that we're signing this MOU in what's known as the Point IV Room. We trace our agency's roots back to the Marshall Plan and its placement in President Truman's 1949 Inaugural Address, the fourth point in his vision for American leadership. That fourth point called for, and I'm quoting, a "bold new program for making the benefits of our scientific advances and industrial progress available for the improvement and growth of underdeveloped nations."

That sounds like a pretty good description of the new partnership that we're launching today between USAID - global leader in food security - and Corteva - one of America's great agribusinesses and most innovative businesses overall. Together, we'll help both tackle global hunger and create new markets for American businesses. Our collaboration will help ensure that developing countries will have better access to America's greatest agricultural innovations and technologies. Innovations like advanced seeds and better harvest storage. American businesses will have more predictable, profitable access to new and growing markets for their products and services.

Now this new partnership will focus first on Africa, but as we make progress, we hope to move into other markets as well. In fact, I have to apologize for Jim and I being late but we were talking about all the opportunities and got carried away a little bit. Now I personally have seen firsthand the results of our previous work with DuPont Pioneer. In under three years, we helped 250,000 Ethiopian farmers triple their corn yields, and that's despite terrible drought. We enabled them to produce enough food to help the World Food Program's emergency efforts following El Nino in 2016.

When I visited on my first overseas trip as Administrator, going to the Somali region of Ethiopia, the evidence of the increased productivity and the increased resilience were everywhere. USAID's new private sector engagement strategy intends to move us beyond mere contracting and grant-making into true collaboration, co-design, co-creation, co-financing.

We want to join with leaders like Corteva to help mobilize the unique capacities that each has and apply them toward goals that neither could achieve alone. USAID brings to the table our ability to mobilize and catalyze private capital and de-risk investment. Corteva brings unparalleled technical expertise and innovative approaches that help smallholder farmers become more productive and, yes, more self-reliant.

I began by talking about the Point IV. I think today George C. Marshall would be very pleased with what he would see. Farmers in Africa, I know, will be thrilled. My personal thanks to the Bureau for Food Security at USAID and, of course, to the Corteva Agriscience team for their collaborations, and the exciting leadership that Jim Collins will bring to both.

We are delighted to have his vision in our partnership, and we believe together we will make a difference. Thanks very much.

Last updated: November 15, 2018

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