Advancing Sustainable Agriculture Through the Committee on World Food Security

Posted by Ertharin Cousin
October 15, 2010
Harvest Aid Throws Strawberries in Germany

About the Author: Ertharin Cousin serves as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies in Rome.

Last year, the United States joined the global community in endorsing the Rome Principles for the eradication of hunger and global food insecurity. The principles recognize that no one country alone, no matter how generous, can win the fight to end hunger, and they embrace not only the coordinated action of the donors and our developing country partners, but also include a strong role for the multilateral organizations. The United States regularly participates in all global multilateral organizations related to hunger relief and food security. In fact, as the U.S. Representative, I serve along with my team as the leaders for our work in the various Rome-based forums.

This week, I, along with Ambassador Patricia Haslach, Deputy Coordinator for Diplomacy for the Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, and an interagency team from the U.S. State Department, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, am representing the United States at the 36th Committee on World Food Security (CFS). The CFS is a unique international body -- one where all stakeholders, including member states, civil society organizations, and the private sector, are represented.

Working together with our partners, we will create a CFS that serves as the global platform for sharing best practices, identifying gaps, and creating tools that will support the work of countries to develop and implement their own sustainable agriculture programs. These tools will include a mapping instrument that will help us all better understand the results realized from our agriculture and nutrition related investments and activities. We're also working to ensure that CFS supports locally owned and created country-led processes. The country-led process represents a key factor in our Feed the Future Initiative. This process recognizes the importance of empowering countries while providing the tools necessary to accelerate the growth of their agricultural sector, reduce food insecurity, and improve nutrition, particularly in young children.

Reducing global food insecurity and malnutrition is no easy task. But I am reasonably optimistic that we will reach our goal. This week, I witnessed the true value of the CFS (and the work of the United States) in this fight to end hunger and malnutrition when representatives from Rwanda, Bangladesh, and Haiti each made presentations. Their presentations included honest stories of the challenges they have faced in their countries and what they are doing to overcome those obstacles. By sharing their experiences and lessons learned, they, in turn, helped the international community (particularly other developing countries) understand how to better implement sustainable food security strategies and, ultimately, eliminate hunger and improve nutrition worldwide.



October 18, 2010

Randriamiarintsoa T. in Madagascar writes:

In 2008, Millenium Challenge Corporation, has a concrete projet for Madagascar, it was a programm to help farmers to increase income of poor family. Food security is a crucial challenge that Madagascar should overcome because at this special moment so as every year, September till april is a harsh periode for rural population. Not like every 2010 rainfed this year has knewn a delay so farmers relaying their production on Agriculture will probably victim of short rain season. Malagasy will know then water shortage, low amount of yeild.

United States
October 15, 2010

O.C. in the U.S.A. writes:

One overlooked aspect of food safety is storage. If USAID gave tupperware parties, they could use the gathering as an educational forum. As women everywhere enjoy gathering and celebrating and receiving, USAID could use this to their educational advantage. Storing grain and food supplies in hermetically sealed containers reduces pest infestations. The women could come away from the party with an armful of free tupperware products and they will tell their friends. These monthly forums could spread into other household topics where services and health education could continue.

Think Oprah and her gifts. She understands women. Tupperware changes the world one "Burp" at a time. (It's hermetically sealed when you hear a burp of air released after placing the lid, for those of you who never saw the commercial.)


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