G8 food security initiative – at the right time

15 July, 2009 by (comments)

The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has welcomed the G8’s decision to boost agricultural development spending by US$20 billion over the next few years.

The G8 group concluded their week-long summit in Rome with details of the initiative, which will seek to boost food production in some of the poorest countries in the world. The money will be used to help countries develop their agricultural sectors in order to move from food aid to food security. Speaking on behalf of the G8, US president Barack Obama said: “We believe that the purpose of aid must be to create the conditions where it’s no longer needed, to help people become self-sufficient, provide for their families and lift their standards of living.”

Ruben

CIAT’s Ruben Echeverría said it was a very positive move that comes at the right time, before food prices start rising again. However, he warned that the additional resources should be handled with care: “For this initiative to be effective, the money must be invested in the right priorities. It should be used to support rural infrastructure, institutional strengthening and long-lasting investments in agricultural research. These efforts must also be complemented with improvements in agricultural policy in the more developed countries.”

He continued: “CIAT can play a central role. We believe that eco-efficiency will define the future of agriculture science for development and through our work, our partnerships and our research we have seen a glimpse of what is possible. With the right kind of investment, there is good reason to be optimistic.”

More details on the G8 initiative are expected in due course.

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Filed Under: Inside CIAT