USAID’s Feed the Future initiative marks decade of fighting hunger

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Read full article By Olga Kuchmen @ The Eagle News Photo Credit: Texas A&M AgriLife Extension photo

Adiverse crowd gathered virtually Sept. 17 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Feed the Future, a U.S. Agency for International Development initiative to tackle global hunger and food insecurity.

Texas A&M AgriLife, home to the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation, hosted the anniversary event.

“This is a milestone year for Feed the Future as we turn 10,” said Jim Barnhart, deputy coordinator of Feed the Future and assistant to the administrator in the USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. “Research and innovation are one of Feed the Future’s hallmarks. They not only bring us together to end global hunger but also drive innovation back here at home.”

Feed the Future Innovation Labs at top U.S. universities have developed and deployed more than a thousand innovations around the globe. Working directly with partner countries, the initiative has lifted more than 23 million people from poverty. Feed the Future has also ensured that more than 5 million families are no longer suffering from hunger.

“As we commemorate these past 10 years, we know that the Innovation Labs have been able to address many global challenges because of the support of congressional members from across the country,” said Patrick J. Stover, vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of AgriLife Research.

“I would like to say thank you to Texas members who have supported these efforts through the years,” Stover said. “There are many to name, among them Congresswoman Kay Granger, Congressman Henry Cuellar and Congressman Michael McCaul. Their leadership and support, and that of many others, are greatly appreciated.”

At Texas A&M, the Innovation Lab for Small Scale Irrigation is part of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture. The lab has worked since 2013 to expand sustainable irrigation use, support inclusive agricultural growth and resilient food systems, and conduct training programs in several countries in Africa.

Texas A&M is also involved in the Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet. That lab is headquartered at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

Among the speakers was U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which oversees USAID. Now in his eighth term, McCaul represents nine counties stretching from Austin to Houston.

“The number of people facing severe food insecurity could double in 2020 to almost 265 million people around the world,” McCaul said in a recorded video. “And as the world grapples with the economic, political and societal impacts of COVID-19, I believe that the work of the Feed the Future Innovation Labs is even more crucial.”

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October 19, 2020

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