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    Food Security and the G8 Summit

    Image courtesy: Farming First

    The G8 Summit is being held in Canada from June 25-27th. Among the topics outlined by Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada are:

    • Economy - Due in large part to the Global Financial Crisis
    • Climate - Clean energy will be covered
    • Democracy - The goal is to help counter global terrorism by assisting poorer nations govern themselves
    • Development - This area will focus on global health issues like malaria and AIDS. This is also where the group with discuss global food security.

    I would like to bring added focus on the food security aspect of the conference. 

    We all remember well the Food Crisis of 2008. In response to this many initiatives have been launched; globally, regionally, and locally. These initiatives are still needed today; however, it is critical that effective policy gets enacted to allow for these initiatives to gain momentum and the support required to deliver on their goals. 

    In preparation for the upcoming Summit, Farming First developed this excellent interactive map on global food security that provides information on the current initiatives, organizations running the initiatives, and their deliverables/goals. I suggest you visit the site and take a long hard look at what initiatives are in place.

    As well as developing the interactive map, Farming First is also urging policy makers to: 

    1. promote a clear joint focus on a common goal for food security at the global level through policy and operational coherence
    2. encourage increased transparency on how much of pledged funding has been committed and to what types of programmes
    3. engage a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that efforts are coordinated, clear, collaborative and ultimately successful.
    Besides the 3 approaches mentioned above, Farming First also states that 
    "Returning farmers to the centre of policy decisions is fundamental to sustainable development. Governments, businesses, scientists and civil society groups must focus attention on the source of our food security."
    Focus on the source indeed. I concur with Farming First; policy makers would do well to remember that food policy should, first and foremost, provide an environment that allows farmers to remain farmers. No farmers, no food!

    Lastly, and most importantly we need to maintain a strong focus on women in agriculture. Increasingly, from a global perspective, women are the food producer and procurer. As Farming First states:
    "Women farmers should become specially targeted recipients because of their vital roles in the agricultural workforce, household food procurement and preparation, and family unit support." 
    A thriving agriculture industry based on sustainable practices is the backbone of successful societies. A focus on promoting agriculture benefits everyone.

    Ensuring everyone is "food secure" should be of interest to all of us. No one should have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. 

    So what do you think about the issue of Global Food "in"-Security? Let me know.

    This Week In Ag

    My friend John Blue of Truffle Media started this site and weekly discussion about agriculture. He graciously asked me to participate and I am really excited about it. Thanks again John!

    Take some time and listen to a few episodes (about 1 hour long segments) then let me know what you think. All feedback/constructive criticism welcomed and encouraged. We are also open to any topics you would like to see covered.

    You can find John on Twitter @TruffleMedia and me @natejtaylor.

    This Week In Ag

    What Topic Draws You into Agriculture?

    The below blog post on Science Blogs by Molly Webster hits home for me. I work every day to provide producers from around the globe the tools they need to grow the food we consume in a sustainable manner. Over the years the field of agriculture has progressed, mightily I might add. But we still have more work to do and lest anyone forget agriculture is a science. And with that comes all the complexities with any science endeavor. The single most difficult issue when discussing science is how to convey the information in such a manner that it not only makes sense to the consumer, but actually invokes a feeling of "this matters". As Molly stated:

    "How do I make agriculture relevant to YOU. Especially today when the hipper cousins "local" and "organic" are marketed as more wholesome and trust-worthy than agriculture. I see people shuddering at the very vision of giant plows mutilating hundreds of miles earth."

    So folks, how do we in the field of agriculture make the discussions relevant to the rest of the folks not involved in agriculture?

    Please share with this post with your non-ag friends to gather some feedback.

    Far Afield: The reach of agriculture : 2010 World Science Festival Blog: "Far Afield: The reach of agriculture"

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    Agriculture passionado! I lead GeoVantage's Sales, Marketing, and Business Development activities. If you haven't explored the benefit of remote sensing for production agriculture, now is the time! Not one to rest, I am also a part of the Memes Associates team where we focus on assisting large companies in the agriculture space to "re-discover their inner entrepreneur" through the introduction of market disrupting technology(s) and services.  

    Have questions about agriculture and technology in agriculture? Ask away! 

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