Carter Center Update:
Jan. 28 program looks
at world hunger
A "silent emergency" with enormous global implications is how
Carol Bellamy, executive director of UNICEF, summarizes the problem of world
hunger. Virtually half the children in South Asia and a third in sub-Saharan
Africa are malnourished, with projections that one in four children worldwide
will be so by 2020. Undernourishment is a critical factor in more than half
of an estimated 12 million preventable deaths each year in children under
To explore the correlation between population growth and the world's
food supply, The Carter Center will hold a discussion on the topic Jan.
28 as part of its yearly series, "Conversations at The Carter Center."
"The Next Green Revolution" will bring together Nobel Peace Prize
winner Norman Borlaug; Ralph Cummings, senior economist for the U.S. Agency
for International Development (USAID); Edward Schuh, chair of USAID's Board
of International Food and Agriculture Development and an agricultural economist
at the University of Minnesota; and Andrew Agle, director of operations
for The Carter Center's Global 2000 program. John Hardman, the center's
executive director, will serve as moderator.
Borlaug, known as the "Father of the Green Revolution" for
having reversed widespread famine in India and Pakistan, believes sub-Saharan
countries have great potential to dramatically increase food production
but stated, "You can't eat potential. We need to take advantage of
new, better technology."
Borlaug and Agle work together to further the mission of The Carter Center's
Sasakawa Global 2000 program (SG 2000)-to end world hunger in developing
countries by teaching farmers self-reliance through modern agricultural
methods. Through SG 2000, local agricultural agents work side by side with
farmers, primarily in Africa, teaching them to use high-yielding seeds and
fertilizers, improve farming methods, store harvests and develop viable
commercial markets for crops.
"Seeing is believing" summarizes the premise behind SG 2000.
As Borlaug explained, "Results are right there to be seen by local
farmers. A demonstration plot-an area that's a little bigger than an acre-is
cleared. Extension workers help the participating farmer plant a typical
crop of corn or wheat. They then meet three or four times during the crop
cycle on what they call 'field days.' At least 10 neighbors are invited
over to observe the methods used. And what they see is that, without exception,
they can double, triple and occasionally even quadruple yields. The word
spreads, and soon more and more farmers are using the new technology."
But Africa is still of special concern despite the program's success,
Agle warned. "[Africa] produces nearly a third less food per person
than it did 30 years ago," he said. "It is estimated that Africa
will need to increase food production by 300 percent over the next 50 years.
On the other hand, its population growth must be curbed; it has the world's
highest birth rate. We must do more with less.
"Even though global population has doubled in the past 40 years,"
Agle continued, "food production overall has tripled. But will this
trend continue? Even if it does, because of myriad factors such as poverty
and lack of education, certain areas of the world, such as regions in Africa
and Asia, will still go hungry without intervention."
"The Next Green Revolution," held 7:30 to 9 p.m., Jan. 28,
is open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session. Tickets
are $6, but University students, faculty and staff with Emory ID will be
Ann Carney is communications associate at The Carter Center.
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