WEF: Rethinking Global Food Security

There is an estimated 850 million people classified as “hungry” and millions are termed “hidden hungry”. These two numbers will they increase or decrease as the world head towards 9 billion people in 2050? Food system and food security is a key toward keeping these two values down and in the session, ‘rethinking global food security’ 6 excellent panel discussed about their point of view on food and security.

The panel opened with Akinwumi Avodeji Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria where he said that Africa has a lot of opportunities. That the number of unused arable land in Africa is key to the global food security. The local governments are playing a key role in this process. For example Nigeria introduced multiple policies to help local farmers including supply chain and streamlining transactions.

Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director-General, International Food Policy Research Institute, USA. Where he talks of how he is not afraid that the world will have 9 billion people by 2050. There is an economic opportunity and the perspective of food needs to be changed. In an example, Dr. Shenggen Fan talks of Africa and how it is believed that for every dollar invested in hunger, there is a 30 dollar generation. This type of numbers can bring about dramatic changes as companies seeks to find other means of investments.

Ellen Kullman, Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of DuPont bring to the panel a data driven view on food security. The Economist Intelligence Unit was created to help tackle the global problem by focusing on local problems that may be specific to one region and not another. The key is to increase yields and minimize any risk through data.

Ajay Vir Jakhar, the Chairman of Farmer’s Forum India talked of developed nation’s help on the developing nations and others where the arable lands are at. Small farmers are unable to purchase any expensive equipment that may help increase their yields. And in developing countries and underdeveloped countries, these small farmers are the ones feeding the people. Example solutions can be a collective ownership program or the involvement of the private sector.

Michel M. Lies, Group Chief Executive Officer of Swiss Re, stated that risk management is vital in global food security and like many other industries, the agriculture sector needs to be insured. Preventive loss in economic can help farmers survive through harsh periods by using methods similar to that of a car insurance or house insurance. Overall it is important to see that unlike many other industries,

Agriculture needs a different economic approach. The only way agriculture industry can win is if it is profitable while feeding everyone. A statement that may feel oxymoron. But the panel and the audience believe that there is a way and that the future in global food security is making a big step forward toward one day feeding everyone and eliminating the world hunger in the food/agriculture industry.

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About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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