Last week, representatives from the private sector joined U.S. Government colleagues—from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and State, the Agency for International Development, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation—to discuss potential areas of partnership in support of Feed the Future, the Administration’s global hunger and food security initiative.
The Feed the Future Public Private Partnership Technical Forum was one of many Feed the Future outreach efforts, which have included ongoing consultations with host nations; monthly consultations with civil society; and continuing engagement with the academic community, which was particularly important in the creation of the Feed the Future Research Strategy. The forum is part of an all-hands-on deck approach to doubling agricultural productivity to meet projected demand for food in 2050, which is a daunting goal—particularly in light of global challenges such as water availability, climate change, and energy.
The President’s Global Development Policy includes an emphasis on broad-based economic growth, to which agricultural productivity and improved nutrition are important contributors. Increasing agricultural productivity and nutrition will depend significantly on using the technical and market know-how of the private sector. Whether through extension, deployment or improvement of technologies and approaches in irrigation, seeds, or insurance, or the creation of truly game-changing technologies to produce nutrients with dramatically reduced need for arable land and fresh water, the private sector is a critical partner.
When focusing on agriculture and nutrition it’s easy to think only of food and seed companies as potential private sector partners. But global hunger and food security reach a wide range of private partners that have expertise in areas such as information technology, marketing, transportation, and insurance. Engaging these companies can be a win-win proposition, simultaneously improving lives in developing countries and fostering private-sector-led growth in new and emerging markets. Last week’s forum was a great step and we look forward to continuing to work with private-sector partners to improve agricultural productivity and nutrition.
For additional information on the forum, please visit:
Hillary Chen isSenior Advisor to the Deputy Director at OSTP