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The Borlaug Blog

2022 Borlaug Dialogue Recap: Dynamic Cooperation & Unusual Partners

By Elizabeth Wilhelm

Three experts shared their experiences and commitment to the advancement to agriculture during a fireside chat titled “Dynamic Cooperation and Unique Partners” on the first day of the 2022 International Borlaug Dialogue. 

Speakers included:

  • Godfrey Bahiigwa, Director of Agriculture and Rural Development at African Union Commission,
  • Manuel Otero, Director General of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, and
  • Jyotsna Puri, Associate Vice President at the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

The conversation was moderated by World Food Prize Foundation President Barbara Stinson.

Puri kicked off the session by highlighting the importance of private-sector incentive programs that support rural communities, emphasizing that to achieve progress on a greater scale the global community must first act on the farmer level. Industry-wide attention to smallholder farmers will empower communities and aid in improved nutrition overall.

According to Otero, long-term policies are key in achieving sustainable advancements. The Latin America and Caribbean region must take advantage of this unique juncture to make progress in agriculture development, he said.

Bahiigwa discussed four priorities in the battle for improved nutrition and food access: reducing food waste, reevaluating trade, taking advantage of science, and looking towards sustainable food production. He also urged the private-sector to consider investment in Africa and explore unique partnerships on the continent.

Purvi emphasized the need to “leverage and capitalize on opportunities we are witnessing in front of us.

Together, the global community must encourage the building, creating and sustaining of markets. But it needs to go beyond encouragement, Purvi said. 

“It is time to stop making commitments, and it is time to start taking accountability,” she said. 

Acknowledging the current issues and taking ownership will be pivotal in resolving pressing problems.

A common theme throughout the conversation was the urgency of cooperation. Stakeholders at every level should have a seat at the table, including smallholder farmers, whose voices must be amplified in these conversations so they are left behind. 

Panelists noted that building unique partnerships across sectors and looking at each group as equals is the only way to move forward.

In a global moment where 1 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet, striving for dynamic cooperation among diverse groups is a necessary innovation to achieve our collective goal of food security for all.

Elizabeth Wilhelm is a senior at Iowa State University studying agricultural communications. She was a George Washington Carver intern at the World Food Prize Foundation in the spring of 2022.

10/18/2022 9:56 PM
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