Global Food Prices

Science and Policy for Food Security:
USAID’s Feed the Future Research
Programs and Partnerships
Rob Bertram, Bureau for Food Security
June 22, 2012
The Global Challenge
Global Food Prices
Source: FAO
Our Response
Feed the Future
 Staples-led growth
 Announced in 2009 at G-8
Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, with
$3.5 B investment
Photo: Borlaug Foundation
 Presidential initiative
 Addresses root causes of
hunger and undernutrition
 Whole of government
Defining FTF Research Priorities
Using poverty & nutrition lens: Identify
key production systems where hunger
and poverty are significant…
Sub-national poverty ca. 2005
Source: Stan Wood et al. (IFPRI) 2009.
Child stunting
Source: USAID and IFPRI, Harvest Choice maps
Research Strategy
Overarching Goal Emerged: Sustainable Intensification
Three research themes:
• Advancing the productivity frontier
• Transforming key production systems
• Improving nutrition and food safety
Anchored by key geographies:
• Indo-gangetic plains in South Asia
• Sudano-sahelien systems in West
• Maize-mixed systems in East and
Southern Africa
• Ethiopian highlands
Research at USAID
Longer-Term Investments
Longer-term Research - Major Themes
1. Heat and drought tolerant, climate adapted cereals
2. Advanced technology solutions for animal and plant diseases
3. Legume productivity for improved nutrition and incomes
Application of Advanced Research for Productivity and Resilience
- Policy, social science and nutrition research (e.g. utilization of food)
- Increased availability and access to high quality foods for improved diets
(animal sourced food, horticulture, aflatoxin control)
Near-Term Impact
Sustainable Intensification of Key Production Systems
Complement Mission investments in select value chains
Integrate component technologies, policies, social sciences, nutrition
South Asia IndoGangetic Plains
East & Southern
SudanoSahelian West
Cereal Staples Research
Challenge: Climate change (heat, drought) impacts cereal yields
Big Idea 1: Climate Resilient
Tropical maize yields to decline 7% with one degree C temperature rise
25 million ha of crop land are affected by drought annually
Recent heat waves caused losses of 30% in wheat and 70% in maize hybrids
Solution: Higher yielding, heat tolerant, climate resilient cereals
Climate resilient wheat: help boost food security for 900 M people
Improved rice: 9.6 M more tons of rice in S. Asia by 2020
Drought and HT maize: lift 4 M Africans from poverty by 2016
How ?
Partner with private sector to advance “big win technologies”
Focus resources on drought and heat tolerance in rice and wheat
Selectively leverage other investments (esp private sector) in maize
Maintain ongoing investments in rice, wheat, maize, sorghum & millet
Grain Legumes Research
Challenge: Lagging yield gains in legumes, key for nutrition and
income, are leading to increased prices and reduced consumption
From 1965 to 2009, bean yields in Africa have remained stagnant (0.6-0.7
tons/ha) while maize yields have doubled
Optimal dietary ratio of cereals to legumes is 2 to 1. In South Asia, the
current consumption ratio is skewed towards cereals at 9 to 1
Big Idea 3: Major gains in
grain legume productivity
Solution: Enhanced yield and biotic and abiotic stress tolerance
Improved biological nitrogen fixation
200 million Africans consume cowpea: Bt cowpea effective against Maruca
New varieties with improved heat and drought tolerance
Enhanced resistance to soil-borne pathogens
How: Address main constraints by strengthening collaborations
between USAID partners to achieve major gains in legume yield
Cowpea yields can increase by more than 0.5 ton/ha with greater heat,
drought and biotic stress tolerance in Sudano-Sahelian agro-ecosystem.
Chickpea yields in South Asia’s Rice-Wheat system can increase by ~0.4
tons/ha with greater biotic stress tolerance combined with heat and drought
Focus: Seed Systems & Technologies
• Research:
– New staple crop varieties and hybrids critical
• Conventional breeding and genetic engineering
– Policy research and engagement
• Biotech regulatory policy
• Seed systems, intellectual property, etc.
• Seed systems support
– Seed Trade Associations (AfSTA)
Recent Developments
DGP CRSP: Bean Technology Dissemination
• Shortage of high-quality bean seed in Haiti,
Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua
• Program facilitates multiplication of quality
seed and dissemination
• Involves Community Seed Banks and
promotes adoption of improved bean varieties
Recent Developments
Increased access to quality, improved seed
• USAID programs promote quality seed access
– PROFIT (Zambia)
• Input Dealer/Cooperatives—NASFAM/Malawi
• Pro-private sector targeted subsidies—no
seed “give-aways”
• Quality seed and genetic improvement
technologies – mutually interdependent, drives
demand for both
Medium-term Research
Agriculture enabling
Nutrition research –
the human
Availability and
access to high
quality, nutritious
regulations and
seed systems
Food utilization
livestock, fish,
dairy, legumes
Food security
research and
Behavioral change
& household
decision making
Aflatoxin control
and improved food
Financial systems,
insurance, market
Biofortified crops
for micronutrient
Challenges in Seed Markets
• Combination of public-sector support and
private-sector commercial activities
• Science-based policy
• Providing economies of scale
• Seed market features
– Hybrids vs open-pollinated varieties
– Partnerships, best practices for seed markets
Partnership roles: Public/Private Balance
1. Range of activity within the seed system
2. Type of crop – seed production complexity (the
more complex to produce the more farmers
depend on private suppliers)
3. Stage of development: transition from statedominated seed systems to private provision of key
4. State capacity to carry out critical regulatory
Facilitating technology transfer
• How/when our researchers engage private
– W. Africa herbicide resistant sorghum
(INTSORMIL) with NARS & Pioneer
– Direct support to private sector companies –
India/ Mahyco
G-8 Focus on Food Security
• Recognition of importance of access to
technologies, esp. seed, to advance agricultural
• Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership
– Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
– Broad stakeholder partnerships
– Targets smallholder producers
Summing up…3 principles
• Legal and regulatory framework provide
needed certainty and market conditions for
private sector seed growth
• Govt’s move from public control to
support for markets through sound PPP
• Achieve regional harmonization (economies
of scale) through coordination and support
of implementation

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