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Oct 19, 2009

Obama Administration Commits to Agricultural Aid

Voice of America reports that the Obama Administration has committed $3.5 billion over the next three years farmers in the developing world produce more food and get their products to market. These funds are part of the $20 billion dollar foreign aid pledge made by the Obama administration at G-8 meeting in July 2009.

Details of this new U.S. development aid priority were provided by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.

Investment in agricultural development aid programs have been falling steadily since the 1970s as funds have been diverted to emergency aid and food aid.  Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, head of the non-profit Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network notes that the "diminished resources and lack of funds for agriculture [have led to] declines in productivity, we saw people moving out of farming to rely more on commodities like minerals, and rely more on imports of food rather than produce their own."

Clinton had signaled the beginning of a change in this direction at the 26 September U.N. Summit on Food Security.  She noted, "we want to begin to try to alleviate the crises and the emergency by once again enabling people to feed themselves."

Clinton's new policy looks at: 1)investments in research and development; 2) access to improved seed and fertilizer; 3) insurance programs for small farmers; and 4) improved infrastructure such as roads and storage facilities to help farmers get their products to market.

Photo credit: Hillary Clinton at the United Nations courtesy of the government of Germany, UN Security Council Needs More Women, Alliance.
For more see: Baragona, Steve.  "Obama Administration Commits to Agricultural Aid." Voice of America News, 19 Oct. 2009 published on the web by Friends of World Food Program.
"Global food security takes centre stage at high-level UN event," UN News Centre, 26 September 2009.

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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