Today, the 16th October, is World Food Day. In today’s context of rising food insecurity, the timing could not be more fitting. This week global agricultural leaders will gather in Des Moines, Iowa for the World Food Prize & The Borlaug Dialogue. The World Food Prize will be awarded on Thursday 18th October to Dr. Daniel Hillel, whose work developing micro-irrigation techniques has helped feed millions around the world. Ban-Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General,will be speaking at the award ceremony.
At the Borlaug Dialogue, the three-day conference surrounding the awarding of the prize, various leaders from the public, private and third sector will debate and discuss the ways forward for food security. This gathering of senior individuals – all looking to face up to one of today’s most pressing challenges – provides an unprecedented opportunity to discuss innovative and achievable methods to support food security. Methods which can capture the attention of those at the highest levels. Methods which can make a real difference. With various panel debates and workshop groups featuring leading individuals in various fields, the potential for some substantive discussion is huge.
CABI has brought together five key individuals for one such debate. Chaired by Dennis Rangi, CABI’s Director of International Development, “Access to Knowledge: the challenge of supporting smallholder farmers” will focus on how to provide farmers with the necessary knowledge, and how the right knowledge can make a massive difference – to individual lives and to the wider food security context.
The panel will feature former World Food Prize winner MS Swaminathan, World Economic Forum Advisory Council on Water chairperson, Margaret Catley-Carlson and Coca-Cola Sustainability Manager, Ernesto Brovelli. The range of backgrounds will ensure a variety of perspectives on the best methods of supporting smallholder farmers.
Adding to this range will be Rose Kamau. As a CABI-trained Plant Doctor, Rose is crucial to the Plantwise programme, and has the on-the-ground experience of providing knowledge to smallholder farmers. This experience will ensure she brings a lively and interesting perspective to the debate.
CABI will be reporting live from the debate, and the entire Borlaug Dialogue, via social media. To get the latest updates on the event, watch interviews with panellists, and get involved in the discussion, follow CABI on twitter and Facebook.
Daniel O’Hara is attending the World Food Prize & Borlaug Dialogue in Des Moines this week.