Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State, this week (16 June 2010) announced that this year’s World Food Prize would be bestowed on leaders of two leading non-governmental humanitarian organizations focusing on reducing hunger and poverty — Jo Luck, President of Heifer International, and David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World.
In her speech, Clinton highlighted the US Government’s commitment to agricultural research, citing work by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), including a program to fast-track the careers of African women in science (AWARD) and livestock science conducted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), as examples of American aid she is proud of.
‘We want to fund research to protect livestock, which are often the most valuable asset that a family has. We want to do more to develop a vaccine for East Coast Fever, which kills 1 million cattle every year in Africa. Some of this is not expensive, like no-till farming, which has been adopted by thousands of farmers in Asia with help from the United States. And there is so much that we can do in conveying information about what works as well as investing in new answers.
‘So with research like this, we hope to have a triple impact. As farmers grow more food, people will have more to eat. The cost of food will decrease, so people can spend more of their income on education, health care, and other critical needs. And as farmers sell more, their incomes then contribute to broader-based economic growth.
‘So there’s a lot that we are committed to, and to that end, I am delighted to announce a new research initiative that combines the knowledge, resources, and commitment of USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As you will hear from Secretary Vilsack, there isn’t any institution in the world that has done more to help people eat better than USDA. And that research which we do in our own country can really be helpful. And USAID under Dr. Shah is going to be a leader in helping to translate technology and innovation into real-life answers.
‘We are calling this new venture the Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Institute (Applause.) And we hope it continues to honor Dr. Borlaug’s life’s work.
‘And then we also want to train more scientists in our partner countries. We’re doubling our funding to a wonderful program called AWARD—African Women in Agricultural Research and Development. Last year, Administrator Shah and I met with AWARD fellows at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, and not only the results of their research, but their pride and excitement about what they were doing.
‘So there’s so much that we are excited about in this Feed the Future Initiative, and it is truly an all-government effort that really calls on the best minds and the greatest passion that we can possibly marshal.’
More . . . (US Department of State, 16 June 2010)