Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Analysis: Socialism is Dead in Farming. #foodprize #globalag

Borlaug World Food Prize Day 1 and Keynote

"Poor farmers are not a problem to be solved. They are the solution." -Bill Gates

The data shows(from almost everyone who spoke) that small holder farmers do as well if not better then large farms or collective farms.  The risk with collectives is that the small farmer is ultimately forced out by automation and efficiency of scale leading to an underclass with no hope of getting out of poverty.Examples from all regions were given of going in both directions and how forming collective was disastrous and helping or developing small holders improved both the yield and the level of food security and economics of the small farmers.  The critical thing is not to give someone a fish but teach him to fish.  This includes several aspects
  1. Access to markets (Howard Buffet's $13M donation)  Roads, develop markets.
  2. Ensure the farmer gets most of the market value and it is not lost to middlemen or to the known 1/3 loss of produce between production and consumption.
  3. have to  ensure that there is no land grabbing.  This is biggest risk to future development.
  4. R&D the best research to help produce the maximum yield.  Increased yield is better for environment.  It leads to less water need, It allows diversity of crops.
  5. Fertilizer subsidies are good as long as they are not robbing from other aspects that will make the farmer self sufficient rather then dependant upon government subsidies.
  6. Education.  You have to efficiently teach the small stake holder farmers to grow properly. Extension services critical. 
  7. Make the farmer the stakeholder in a small farm(even as small as a tenth of a hectare)
  8. Get production up to 3 tons per hectare.
  9. Stable government, in multiple examples going from stable govt to unstable led to drastic drop in production and the reverse going from unstable to stable led to amazing increases in production.
  10. need commodity markets to avoid price volatility

Five step(of Dr. Vo-Tong Xuanon how to do this in developing area
  1. Field survey
  2. Verify tech to be adopted
  3. Design water management system
  4. investment projects  essential infrastructure
  5. production of rice

Ambassador Quinn does welcome:


Howard Buffet:

Pradhu Pingali:

Conversation: Smallholder successes around the world

Pedro Sanchez – Director of Tropical Agriculture, the Earth Institute at Columbia University
     When you go from 1 ton per hectare to 3 tons you cut water loss and help climate.  Growth stunting of kids reversed. 

Shenggen Fan – Director-General, International Food Policy Research Institute   Grew up on small farm. He was child labor(LOL) policy is very important. Investment in rural roads.  Decentralize collectives to small holders.

Ruth Oniang'o – Editor, African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Development

Ajay Vashee – President, International Federation of Agricultural Producers

Vo Tong Xuan – President, An Giang University Viet Nam second largest rice exporter in the world all on the backs of small stake holders but could not have been done without scientific help. Closed university for 2 months and 2000 students were trained how to make good seedling and how to grow rice.  they went out and trained every farmer how to do this on 1/10 of hectare. With this experience he feels that they could do this in Africa.

3:00 pm
Conversation: Smallholders as entrepreneurs and innovators

Louise Fresco – Professor, University of Amsterdam
She talked about the importance of teaching that there are markets and there is a chance to be an entrepreneur. It does not come natural and there is resistance but once they see it they quickly do well.

Marco Ferroni – Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation
He works on extension and linking farmers to markets.  For farmers to become entropenaurs need

  1. knowledge
  2. Technology

Eleni Gabre-Madhin – Director, Ethiopian Commodity Exchange
increased tonnage 1.5 to 2.5 per hectare however overwhelming market concern.  50% price volatility year to year.  highest in world.  2002 prices collapsed because of good harvest.  crop prices collapsed so much the farmers couldn't afford fertilizer so next crop fell to point that Ethiopia had to import massive amounts of food.  Contract failure also significant problem.  this now gets fair price for farmers and also the farmers know what they have to do produce higher grade of coffee. Farmers aggressively try to improve the grade of their crop to get paid higher.  This is free enterprise and not handout.

Rajesh Kumar:  had 2 acre farm in small village.  Did small kiosk to sell sweet corn both fresh, steamed and roated.  Now they have 200 kiosks and also sell kernals.  now has 200 Hectares.  They have 350 contract farmers that get the produce sold at a fixed price.  The kiosks are managed by college students who can study while they man the kiosks. 

Kamal El Kheshen – Vice President, African Development Bank
Largest development financial institution in africa $ 100B  They got completely out of HIV-aids since there are so many other NGO's involved.  But they are getting into HIV vaccine since there are not many investing in this.Doing irrigation scemes in large way.Tripple F crisis Food-Fuel-Financial.  Small Holder 80% of work done by women.  Micro crdit. Market development.

Shivaji Pandey – Director, Plant Production Division, UN Food & Agriculture Organization
Invest in local community so they can take care of themselves.  Walk the talk, don't just criticise.  
I will be posting videos and photos as they get processed so check back.

Gap Report:Is there enough to feed world: #FoodPrize

World Pop will hit 9.4 billion by 2050.

WE need to double global agri output in 40 years. we are now growing at 1.4% per year and will be short by 30% we need to increase to 1.&% to reach these goals.  Population growth is heavily front loaded.  By the time we get to 2050 pop growth will plateua.  Any investment take time to pay off.

Keith Fugile: Rising Global Agri Prod,:
in last 4 years we have only grown productivity by 0.8 percent.  way below what we need to be.  We can get more output will increased acrage or increased yeild. TFP growth: increase productivity at all levels.
TFP total factorproductivity.  this is mostly due to new technology.this is 1.8%per year .  no other eresources have increasedin USA.  China and brizil have 3% per year.  SSA have <1% TFP growth.  Countries need both research and extension/edu capacity to maintain high TFP. 

Bill Lesher:Concluding remarks.
Water will be one of the main battles.:
Watch his closing remarks.

I will be updating this over next two days as I proccess video.  Check back. 

Five areas of e
international trade
private investment
streamline international development
Science development

1st quest:  Is it not inadequate to only focas on TFP:

I will be updating this with video  and questions.  So check back over next twodays.

Borlaug CAST Communication Award

Wed. October 13th, 2010

Jay Vroom President of Croplife America Foundation: 
Dr John Bonner, Exec VP CAST- Council for Agriculture Science and Technology.  Dr Borlaug was for the last three years of his life was a communicator first and foremost.  He received an award from Cast in 1973.  He told cast they had to expand their borders beyond Iowa and the USA.  He commanded that CAST needs to not just research and develop but needs to communicate their work.  Dr. Borlaug was critical in increasing support for CAST.  He wrote the 1st paper published on CAST and 26 years later his last paper was published through CAST.

Dr. Pedro Sanchez presented the award to Dr. Akin Adesina.  He is an agronomist with chlorophyll. At Purdue he is the VP of AGRA- Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa.  He developed idea of small crop shops run by families.  He came up with idea for micro lending in Africa.

Dr, Akin Adesina:  I am honored to win this first renamed award after my hero Dr. Borlaug.  Sci and tech critical to improve agriculture. His father told him  'If god even enables you to influence the world make sure it is in agriculture.' Africans are not benefiting enough from the science and technology available.  Support for Ag has plummeted.  the Gains of the Green Revolution have eroded.  World Food Crisis was a wake-up call.  The world needs to double efforts for food production.  We must lead the power of Sci and Tech to the most powerful force that of communication.  Agriculture has been managed as development program but it is not a development program it is a business.  You can not eat potential.  Need to improve access.  Increase Agri dealers across Africa, He took plan to African Union and he organized a summit to accomplish this.  The African Fertilizer Summit occured.  Dr. Borlaug strong armed the attendees to implement the plan. Wehave long pursued policies of abandoment of the farmers of Africa. We have to subsidize the farmers.  It is cheaper then importing food. Plans to take African agriculture from development to a real Business.  Need to improve acessto markets so farmers can make profit or this will never work.  We must put in mechanisms to ensure adaptability to envirnmental change.  There is no such thing as half freedom we will march to freedom when our stomachs are full, our kids are fed and our farmers are self supporting.  Then we can say Free at last, free at last.