CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – DuPont has demonstrated its commitment to global food security recently through its opening of an innovation center in Iowa. This is DuPont’s second center in the U.S. and twelfth in the world. The innovation center enables DuPont scientists to connect and collaborate with colleagues across the world. Through these connections DuPont scientists and executives aim to address global food security.
DuPont sponsors the Global Food Security Index developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The Index provides measurements on three areas that affect or are related to food security: affordability, availability, and quality and safety of food.
DuPont has been very active in the discussion surrounding food security. Early in 2013 DuPont signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with USAID and Ethiopia, thereby creating a partnership intended to boost maize produce in that country. DuPont assists 32,000 smallholder farmers in Ethiopia as part of its involvement with the New Alliance of the G-8. The public-private partnership epitomizes collaboration between the business sector and governments in the fight for global food security. DuPont will invest over $3 million over three years as part of their involvement in Ethiopia. In the Global Food Security Index released July 2nd Ethiopia, with Bostwana, rose the most in ranking in 2013. However, Ethiopia is still only ranked 90th.
In April of this year DuPont participated in an IFPRI Roundtable focusing on the private industry’s role in agricultural value chains. During the discussion the participants discussed the various points along the agrivalue chain that private industry could affect. Involving the private sector could help reduce waste, make food more affordable, and bring innovative techniques to smallholder farmers. Roundtable participants also discussed the private sector’s potential to support nutritious and affordable food.
DuPont’s $2 billion a year investment in research and development leads to innovations that can provide global food security solutions. These innovations range from high-yield seeds to irrigation techniques and land improvement. However, DuPont’s Lystra Antoine emphasized the need for a working partnership among private industry and public organizations in order achieve global food security.
In an address to International Food and Agribusiness Management Association June 19th DuPont Executive Vice President Jim Borel stated, “We need a new generation of food visionaries…” Through its innovation centers the company hopes to provide the resources necessary for these food visionaries to address global food security and collaborate with other participants in the fight for global food security. Mr. Borel went on to discuss local solutions for food security and the possibilities technology presents.
Partnerships between private industry and governments, similar to DuPont’s collaboration with Ethiopia and USAID, demonstrate the possibilities for both sectors. In order to feed 9 billion people by 2050 all sectors must work together.
– Callie D. Coleman
Sources: Food Navigator, Agwired, USAID, IFPRI, Food Security Index, Business Record