Task Force on Global Food Security
Task Force on Global Food Security
In July of 2008, the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) rapidly assembled a task force, co-chaired by Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), to assess the factors shaping the global food crisis. The Task Force issued a report, A Call for a Strategic U.S. Approach to the Global Food Crisis with recommendations for targeted, short-term policy actions to alleviate the rising humanitarian and security impacts of the crisis, calling for the United States to provide global leadership.
The CSIS report informed the policy discussion with regard to food security that produced legislative initiatives such as the Global Food Security Act, introduced September 22, 2008, by Senators Lugar and Casey.
The CSIS Task Force on Global Food Security began its second phase in 2009, examining long-term issues that can effectively enhance global food security, including productivity, agricultural research and development, and trade. Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA), and Representative Betty McCollum (D-MN) co-chaired the Task Force. In April 2010, CSIS released the report Cultivating Global Food Security with analysis and policy recommendations on each of these three areas.
Raising Agricultural Productivity:
The Task Force aims to provoke debate and offer recommendations for effectively increasing productivity, including technology, access to credit available, infrastructure, and educational partnerships. It identifies examples of success and innovation in the field and profile instances in which partner governments in the developing world are prioritizing agricultural productivity. It evaluates the status of current U.S. efforts aimed at boosting agricultural productivity. It also examines approaches to using soil and water more efficiently in a time of increasing water and land scarcity.
For additional information on agricultural productivity, please see Agricultural Productivity in Changing Rural Worlds, a report by Melinda Smale and Timothy Mahoney.
Agricultural Research & Development:
U.S. public investment in agricultural research and development has lagged behind investment in research for health and other sciences. Private entities are investing in agriculture, but a structured, enhanced public component is necessary to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population and to deal with the effects of climate change. Advances in agricultural science hold tremendous promise, but require vision, enthusiasm and a long-term, sustained public commitment. The Task Force assesses the current state of the U.S. agricultural research and development agenda and discusses emerging threats to agricultural productivity, including climate-related challenges, pests, and diseases. It also explores emerging opportunities available from research, including drought- and heat-resistant crops and micronutrient fortification.
For further analysis on the current state of agricultural research and development, please see U.S. Agricultural Research in a Global Food Security Setting, a report by Philip Pardey and Julian Alston.
Integrating Trade into Food Security:
CSIS’s initial Task Force agreed that trade negotiations are essential, and the United States needs to take a leadership role. The second phase of the project examines in greater detail how to integrate trade into food security. The Task Force focuses on five key areas that deserve greater attention: improving markets through trade capacity building and infrastructure development, reforming U.S. trade policy, enhancing regional integration, curtailing export bans on agricultural goods, and liberalizing trade. Our discussions were informed and guided by leading trade experts with experience in the negotiations and an understanding of U.S. political sensitivities.
Please see The Role of Trade and Markets in Global Food Security by Charlotte Hebebrand and Kristin Wedding for additional information on how trade can enhance food security.