Sustainability in Food

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2014 Global Food Security Index Shows Significant Improvements

Study Adds Obesity and Food Loss as Indicators in 109 Countries

DuPont and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) today released the 2014 Global Food Security Index that showed 70 percent of countries in the study increased their food security scores over the previous year. The 2014 Index measures 109 countries against 28 food security indicators that monitor the ongoing impact of agriculture investments, collaborations and policies around the world. The Index also examines how two new factors, obesity and food loss, affect access to safe, nutritious and affordable food.

“While obesity was once studied independently of food security, today many scholars and policymakers are considering the relationships between the two,” said Leo Abruzzese, director, The Economist Intelligence Unit Global Forecasting. “This will provide insights for individuals, policymakers, private sector leaders and others who are trying to understand how progress can be made on both fronts.”

The other new indicator, food loss, examines post-harvest and pre-consumer food loss that occurs in various stages of production, processing, transport and storage along the supply chain, such as when edible food products are left in the field or in silos, degraded through improper packaging or consumed by pests.

“The Index provides a common set of metrics that enable us to track progress in food security globally, and the outcomes thus far are promising,” said Craig F. Binetti, president of DuPont Nutrition & Health. “But we know it will take continued collaboration, innovation and investment in agriculture, food and nutrition to overcome the vast challenges to feeding the world’s growing population.”

For more information on the interactive Global Food Security Index, including definitions of the 28 global indicators, impact of changing food prices, multi-country comparisons and more, visit: http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/.

Read the full release online.

Local Solutions are Essential to Help Farmers Adapt to Changing Climates

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs “Food for Thought” blog features a post from Paul Schickler, DuPont Pioneer president. Schickler is participating in the Council’s 2014 Symposium, Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of Weather Volatility and Climate Change taking place in Washington, DC, today.

From the post:

Farmers understand better than most the impact of climate change on food security. To truly tackle this complex challenge, we must continue to provide innovation at the local level. The impact of bringing high-quality hybrids and no-till equipment to smallholder farmers will be incredible and immediate. Recently, I spoke with smallholders in Africa and China as well as top U.S. producers. While they have very different operations, each wants to increase productivity and resiliency of each hectare.

 

At DuPont, we believe science can unlock innovation to bring local solutions to a global challenge. That’s why we are investing in research at the local level, like our recent research hub and insectary in Delmas, South Africa, which will bring new tools to combat local pests and harsh weather. Comprised of a network of research facilities and testing locations around the continent, local researchers and agronomists will work to bring local innovation to farmers faster.

Global leaders have gathered at the Symposium to chart a course for how the US government—in partnership with business, civil society, and international organizations—can advance global food security in the face of weather volatility and climate change. 

Read the full post on the Chicago Council’s blog, Global Food for Thought.

Addressing the Critical Challenges of Food Security

Today, the DuPont Advisory Committee on Agricultural Innovation & Productivity issued an updated progress report on the global food and nutrition landscape, highlighting substantial gains in global food production rates, improvements in nutritional quality, and advances in eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, while also acknowledging that serious challenges remain.  

Despite significant progress toward eradicating extreme hunger and poverty, the committee stressed that critical challenges remain, with one in eight people remaining undernourished.  Continued challenges include:

  • Providing all available tools to farmers.
  • Building sustainable agricultural systems.
  • Empowering women farmers with resources, such as land and technical training.

The report (embedded below) stressed two themes as critical to food and nutrition security – the central role of farmers and giving them access to key technologies; and the need for a comprehensive and collaborative approach across multiple partners and sectors.

“The committee applauds the progress made to date, but a range of issues still need to be addressed, from ensuring farmers have access to all tools to improve productivity to building sustainable agricultural systems,” said former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, chairman of the Advisory Committee. “We’re already seeing public-private partnerships working to develop innovative, scalable food security solutions, and we must continue to foster these creative collaborations if we are to continue to build on this progress.”

The DuPont Advisory Committee on Agricultural Innovation and Productivity is a group of experts in global agriculture development, science, policy, and economics. Learn more about the committee by clicking the Agricultural Innovation Committee tab above. Read the complete release online.

 

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