Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  39 / 76 Next Page
Basic version Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 39 / 76 Next Page
Page Background

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

OCTOBER 2015

39

W

orld food security is

rightly a high priority for

the United States. While

the large U.S. commod-

ity sector and industrial

agriculture clearly reap the

benefits of our commod-

ity food aid, support of

global trade and export

promotion, such short-term “aid” does not help other countries

to develop their own food security. In fact, as it stands, our free

trade and commodity export agendas are in conflict with our

development agenda—and this conflict ultimately leads to food

dependency, not food security.

Instead of a focus on promoting commodity exports and

A Closer Look at

Advancing World

Food Security

In agriculture, our free trade and commodity export agendas conflict

with our development agenda, and the result is food insecurity.

Here is the case for a change in focus.

BY M I CHAE L MCCL E L LAN

Michael McClellan is a retired Senior Foreign Service

officer who most recently served as deputy chief of mis-

sion in Juba, South Sudan. Prior to that, he served for

28 years as a public diplomacy officer in Yemen, Egypt,

Russia, Serbia, Germany, Kosovo, Ireland, Iraq (twice)

and Ethiopia. He is now the diplomat-in-residence for Western Kentucky

University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he also has a small, or- ganic farm. A version of this article appeared in the Summer 2014 Sm

all

Farmer

s Journal

.

the adoption of biotech and industrial farming products and

techniques pitched by American agribusiness, our focus should

be on people, land and communities. Because it relies more on

development of local food sources than on a global trading sys-

tem that primarily benefits large corporations, such an approach

will build food security abroad.

Our objective should not be to “feed the world,” but rather

to “enable the world to feed itself.” In doing so, we will set an

example for other rich nations to follow in supporting sustain-

able farming globally.

Advancing Food Security

To truly advance our food security agenda, and improve

America’s image abroad in the bargain, we need to adopt a five-

part agenda that:

1.

promotes sustainable and environmentally responsible

stewardship of the land;

2.

minimizes cash inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, herbi-

cides and imported equipment;

3.

keeps people on the land through support for small-scale

farms and does not displace them into urban areas;

4.

fosters reliance on traditional, nonpatented seeds and local

“heritage” livestock breeds; and

5.

promotes a better environment through improvement of

soils, improved water usage and better carbon sequestration.

FEATURE