It doesn't always seem that 'green' agriculture and the productivity improvements necessary to feed developing countries go hand-in-hand, but a group of speakers including Dr. Pedro Sanchez, director of tropical agriculture and senior research scholar at The Earth Institute of Columbia University and Jeffrey Sachs, author of The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time and director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development and professor of health policy and management at Columbia University say it's not only possible, but happening right now.
Sanchez will open the symposium with his talk, “The African Green Revolution Moves Forward,” focusing on agricultural successes there and how “smart subsidies” enable the poor to gain access to vital agricultural inputs. He will discuss how Millennium Villages—communities that are voluntarily striving toward a sustainable end to extreme poverty—are drastically improving food production and agribusiness. These accomplishments raise questions about U.S. food aid policy as shipping food is more expensive than raising crops locally.
In his talk, “The Economics of the African Green Revolution,” Sachs will draw on his work to end world poverty and hunger in discussing effective strategies for progress in Africa. Currently, he is special advisor to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. From 2002 to 2006, he was director of the UN Millennium Project, charged with creating an action plan to end poverty, hunger and disease worldwide.
Also speaking at the symposium will be Patrick Kabambe of the Malawian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Amadou Niang of the Millennium Development Goals Center, Philip Thornton of the International Livestock Research Institute, and Akin Adesina of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and Rockefeller Foundation.
The ASA-CSSA-SSSA annual meetings will be Nov. 4-8 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. For more information, go to http://www.acsmeetings.org.