In December, Jim Collins, DuPont Executive Vice President, sent the last newsletter of 2016 to subscribers of the DuPont Food Security email list. That re-cap note follows. Subscribe to the e-list here.
Congratulations to Laureates, Dr. Maria Andrade, Dr. Robert Mwanga, Dr. Jan Low and Dr. Howarth Bouis for their biofortification work that has enhanced the nutrition and well-being of more than 10 million people. I was honored to participate in the 2016 World Food Prize celebration that recognized their great work.
Biofortification is a timely topic because it highlights the important duality of the food security challenge: how do we make healthy foods available and affordable for everyone? The focus should be on calories and on improving the nutrient density of food. Biofortification is an especially effective strategy in many developing countries that rely on one or two staple crops for nutrition.
At DuPont, we are thrilled to be part of the Africa Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) Project that is working to improve the nutritional value of sorghum to benefit millions across Africa. The fact that this initiative can virtually eliminate vitamin A, iron and zinc deficiencies among children who consume sorghum as their staple diet is a stunning outcome. It would not have happened without the close collaboration and support of dedicated people in Africa who established relationships with local governments, regulators and research organizations. To learn more about this project, watch the video here .
Progress on Food Security Goals
In the spirit of “what gets measured gets done,” DuPont reported the progress of its Food Security Goals at the World Food Prize event. The good news is that we have already surpassed our pledge to educate and engage 2 million young people, helping transfer the knowledge of sustainable food and agriculture to the next generation. By the end of 2015, we reached nearly half of our commitment to invest $10 billion in research and development and introduce 4,000 new products to produce more food, enhance nutrition, improve food safety, and reduce food waste. Lastly, DuPont has pledged to improve the lives and livelihoods of at least 3 million farmers and the communities in which they live. Through 2015, we engaged with more than 1.2 million farmers to help strengthen agricultural systems and improve productivity – close to half of our 3 million goal. For more information, visit the DuPont food security website.
One of the reasons I am so passionate about working in food and agriculture is that we can both learn and teach every single day. We have employees, including researchers and agronomists, working in 90 countries around the world, studying how products are performing, trying new management practices, and sharing what they learned with local farmers. Food is life, and only by sharing what we’ve learned will we ensure that everyone has access to what they need for a healthy, productive life.