Expanding Our Toolkit in the Fight Against Global Hunger

October 7, 2010
Indonesian Seaweed Farmer Rinses the Day's Harvest

About the Author: Jose W. Fernandez serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs.

I am halfway around the world from Washington, and on October 6, I participated in the Indonesia Joint Agriculture and Investment Forum. I traveled to Malaysia and Indonesia this week to discuss trade, investment, entrepreneurship, energy, and of course, agriculture. I am proud to be part of President Obama and Secretary Clinton's renewed commitment to political, economic, and educational engagement with dynamic emerging economies like Indonesia. I am especially pleased to be back in Indonesia after my successful visit this past spring, during which we discussed the issues of post-harvest loss and agricultural biotechnology.

The Indonesia Joint Agriculture and Investment Forum builds on that work by including many distinguished participants to chart a course for the future. Dr. Bayu Krishnamurti, Indonesian Vice Minister of Agriculture, Ambassador Eric Bost of the Borlaug Institute, and many other luminaries in the field have come together to discuss new agricultural technologies, investment in post-harvest infrastructure, and expanded cooperation at research universities.

Ultimately, we are all here to reaffirm our commitment to fight global hunger. While there are no magic bullets in this battle, we must look to new technologies, including biotechnology, for the role that they can play in the "new green revolution." I believe that biotechnology, and the improved crops it can develop, will prove to be an important new element in our traditional package of tools to increase productivity and address head-on the challenges of hunger and climate change.

To that end, we are renewing several key partnerships in the area of biotechnology. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will work with the Indonesian government and the Program for Biosafety Systems to develop a new and fully functional biosafety framework in Indonesia.

We are also building on long-standing partnerships with international agriculture research centers. USAID will be supporting collaboration between the International Rice Research Institute and the Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development, and other partners to roll out Golden Rice, an important food-based approach to alleviating Vitamin A deficiency and associated serious health issues in Indonesia.

In the face of one child dying of malnutrition every six seconds, our greatest tool is increased cooperation and collaboration to develop and share the best solutions possible.

Comments

Comments

Jen
|
Virginia, USA
October 7, 2010

Jen in Virginia writes:

It's great to see this Administration's committment to the dynamic and promising economy of Indonesia. Beautiful photo!

pamela g.
|
West Virginia, USA
October 7, 2010

Pamela G. in West Virginia writes:

I agree wholeheartedly we need to help stop the worlds food and water shortage. In order to that we may need to use biotechnology but strict Us and or European guidelines should be used before testing these new products.

Sarah G.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
October 7, 2010

Sarah G. in Washington DC writes:

I'm happy to learn the State Dept. is continuing its commitment to feeding the future. This is one initiative that cannot be ignored. Thank you for your hard work, Assistant Secretary Fernandez. From the photo, Indonesia looks truly breathtaking.

lee
|
North Carolina, USA
October 7, 2010

Lee in North Carolina writes:

Dec.21,2012 find out what your government dont want you to know about this date.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 7, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Lee in NC,

Geeze... let me guess, Santa will be pre-emptivly arrested for DUI and unable to deliver toys to tots on Cristmas?

(while elves sing rum-in-nations in chorus, "hi ho, hi ho, it's off to jail we go...")

You know Lee, if you think it's the end of the world, don't be bumming me out for the next year and a half please. I have enough on my plate, thanks.

Rumors of humanity's demise have been severely exaggerated many times over now by fear mongers. Propheteering the joy out of living as it were.

I hope you don't tell your kids these fairy tales and bum them out about life and their future.

Think about it.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
October 8, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

(cont.)
Oh gee, I guess I'm a year ahead of my reality...make that 2 years and 2 months give or take a week....

Hey Lee, here's a Bhuddist Prophesy for you...folks will find enlightenment right here at home just sitting around on New Year's day 2013, of how silly they've been thinking the global party was over.

That's a pretty safe bet, and one I intend to collect on..

(chuckle)

.

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