WASHINGTON, D.C. (NOV. 3, 2023) – Farm Journal Foundation applauds the introduction of a bill by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chris Coons (D-DE), and John Boozman (R-AR) that would utilize a public-private partnership model to invest in international agricultural development, with the aim of alleviating global hunger and malnutrition.
The Foundation for International Food Security Act of 2023 would establish a new foundation to help drive private-sector investments in initiatives to increase agricultural productivity and resilience, and ultimately encourage economic growth and poverty reduction in developing countries. Investments supported by the foundation would include infrastructure projects such as irrigation, food storage, and processing; applied agricultural research; and technology deployment that reduces hunger and malnutrition. The foundation would also seek to support data-driven initiatives that increase productivity of crops and livestock, reduce post-harvest losses, and increase global market access for farmers.
“Millions of people worldwide are affected by hunger, malnutrition, and extreme poverty, and unfortunately these challenges are becoming more significant due to conflict, climate change, and continued disruptions stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic,” said Katie Lee, Vice President of Government Affairs at Farm Journal Foundation. “To solve these issues and create a new era of agriculture-led economic growth, we need investments in nutritious global food systems and international development. This is why we are supportive of the Foundation for International Food Security Act, which if enacted will complement the ongoing, impactful work of the U.S. government’s Feed the Future initiative and help ensure that the public and private sectors work together to advance global food and nutrition security.”
Part of the new foundation’s mission would be to close critical gaps in public funding for international food and nutrition security, in part by reducing barriers to private-sector investment and streamlining mechanisms for companies and donors to engage. Similar to the Foundation for Food and Agriculture (FFAR), established in the 2014 Farm Bill, the new Foundation for International Food Security would be required to match the development funding it receives with funding from non-federal government sources, including from private companies. The new foundation would be tasked with identifying ten eligible countries where investments in agricultural development would have the greatest impact.
It will be essential that appropriations are provided to the new foundation once authorized, alongside increased funding for the Feed the Future initiative, which has stagnated over the past decade or so despite increasing humanitarian needs, which have topped $14 billion in 2022. It will also be incumbent upon the foundation’s board and staff to ensure that the projects that are ultimately funded complement existing U.S. government and other donor- and country-led agricultural development efforts to maximize impact.
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Whitney McFerron, Farm Journal Foundation
About Farm Journal Foundation
Farm Journal Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to achieving global food security by sustaining modern agriculture’s leadership role and ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population. The organization works to advance this mission through key issue areas, including global food and nutrition security, agricultural research and innovation, rural development, and conservation and sustainability. To learn more, visit www.farmjournalfoundation.org.