Gaining Momentum: Food Systems Transformation in the Decade of Action – The Borlaug Dialogue 2021

Commencing on 20-22 October, in Des Moines, Iowa, the 2021 Norman E. Borlaug International Symposium, known as the Borlaug Dialogue, is set to add to this year’s momentum around transforming global food systems.  

The official theme for this year’s event is ‘Gaining Momentum: Food Systems Transformation in the Decade of Action’. Following on from the UN Food Systems Summit and the upcoming CFS 49, COP26, and the Nutrition for Growth Summit, the Borlaug Dialogue comes at a pivotal moment in a year of international collaboration on food systems transformation.

The virtual conference will hear from international leaders, farmers, policymakers, agribusiness executives, NGOs, and academic, scientific and development experts. All have a common goal: to unite in finding solutions and taking action to address world hunger and malnutrition.

The Dialogue will spotlight several critical areas in food systems transformation, including: 

Research & Innovation

This session will look at the role of research and innovation in providing affordable and safe nutritious diets, and improving agricultural production. Speakers include:

  • Claudia Sadoff, Managing Director, Research Delivery and Impact, Executive Management Team Convener, CGIAR System Organization
  • Sam Eathington, SVP / CTO, Corteva Agriscience
  • Mike Graham, Head of Plant Breeding, Bayer Crop Sciences 

Gender Equity & Equitable Livelihoods

This session will focus on what is needed to accelerate action towards achieving gender equity and advancing equitable livelihoods for women and all households. Speakers include: 

  • Jemimah Njuki, Director for Africa, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Beth Dunford, VP of Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank

Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems

This session will explore how different actors can work together to improve access to and affordability of healthier foods, including locally produced fruits and vegetables, and blue foods and aquatic food systems. Speakers include:

  • Lawrence Haddad, 2018 World Food Prize Laureate; Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, 2021 Laureate, World Food Prize, Global Lead for Nutrition and Public Health, WorldFish

International Cooperation

Speakers at this session will explore the governance systems needed to drive transformation and implementation. Speakers include:

  • Kundhavi Kadiresan, Managing Director, Global Engagement and Innovation, Executive Management Team Convener, CGIAR System Organization
  • Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Special Envoy for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

This year’s conference will take on a mostly virtual format to allow speakers and participants to join online and retain diverse, experienced, and balanced participation. 

You can register for the Borlaug Dialogue here.

Farming First will be live-tweeting and conducting interviews from the Borlaug Dialogue so be sure to follow along and join the conversation using the hashtag #FoodPrize21.