“We’ve neglected a lot of agriculture in a lot of parts of the world”, Howard G. Buffett told Farming First TV, at the 2015 Borlaug Dialogue in Iowa. Rural farmers, he believes, can be the solution to food security. Using the example of the United States, and how it invested heavily in its rural areas to become the powerful economy it is today, Mr. Buffett pointed out that the barriers to successful development in many regions lie in poor rural infrastructure.
“If you look at Africa, you look at Latin America, what is lacking? There are no roads, no storage, no electrification, no market development… until those are addressed, you cannot have success,” he comments.
But the key, Mr. Buffett says, is to remember there is no “one size fits all solution” to agricultural development. “You can’t treat all this like its all in one bucket – its a hundred buckets…. The answers will be very different in different places.”
Mr. Buffett went on to tell Farming First about his own experience on rural farms that he has visited to conduct work for the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, that promotes food security as one of its key pillars. Listening to these farmers, he comments, is critical. “You can’t show up and say, this is the way you’ve got to do it, you have to listen to them, and understand their context.”
How does Mr. Buffett measure the success of his Foundation’s work? Through real results. “What means something to me is when I go back to Congo and people aren’t at war, they are eating well..no goal you set on a piece of paper can achieve that.”
Watch both exclusive interviews on Farming First’s You Tube Channel now.
Featured photo credit: Laura Parker