In a new article in Foreign Affairs, Catherine Bertini (formerly Executive Director of the UN’s World Food Programme) and Dan Glickman (former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) discuss how and why agriculture must be reprioritised in American foreign policy.
The authors discuss the systematic reasons why U.S. investment in agricultural development has fallen to only 15 per cent its 1980s levels, from $400 million to only $60 million.
They mention a lack of investment in systematic solutions, distorted trade and economic policies, and a lack of consensus on how to and where to supply development assistance. They laso warn of the last generation’s failure to invest in knowledge transfer, new technologies, and improved market access for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.
What Bertini and Glickman make clear is the both the moral and rational imperative for addressing the world’s food security issues through a farmer-centric approach to development.