DuPont Invests in Food Security

February 3, 2012 By Jane Kaminski

As the global population hits 7 billion people and food security becomes a growing concern, innovative approaches to agricultural development become increasingly important.  Just yesterday, DuPont  announced a 3-part pledge to improve global food security by 2020.  Initiatives from across the public and private sectors like this are demonstrating the renewed efforts to improve food security in the developing world, preventing famine and improving billions of lives.

DuPont pledged to 1) invest $10 billion in research and development, 2) recognizing the link between education and nutrition, educate 2 million children by 2020 and 3) to improve the lives of farmers in rural communities.  These communities are often underserved and these three goals could have a huge impact.  Research and development has helped conquer famine by strengthening crops or drawn farmers closer to their markets, education has had a proven effect on improving livelihoods and public health, and these farmers are vitally important to maintaining or progressing the agricultural sector in the developing world.  DuPont emphasizes that improved food security improves economies and markets for American goods and services.

Senator Tom Daschle, who spoke on the DuPont Food Security Panel, said, “Public-private partnerships will be a critical component to achieve global food security.”  The announcement by DuPont joins initiatives by groups like the G-8 Sherpa-Sous Delegation on Food Security, which aims to draw together food security programs around the world.

The impact of food insecurity in the developing world has been well-documented.  In developing countries, 1 in 3 people are suffering from malnutrition, which has a devastating effect economic progress and the health of their communities.  With such a vast public health issue impeding progress in these developing countries, and private industry and donor countries alike have been combining their development efforts to increase effectiveness.

USAID’s Feed the Future initiative is taking a modern approach to agricultural and economic development by emphasizing sustainability, innovation, and public-private engagement.  By engaging with eager companies like DuPont to harness their private sector innovation across projects in the developing world, Feed the Future aims to lead agricultural development that will help communities in the developing world help themselves while strengthening their marketplaces.