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Business Engagement in Fighting Rural Hunger and Poverty
Government assistance is simply not enough to tackle rural poverty. The U.S. food security program, Feed the Future, is a relatively new effort to target key countries and communities to promote food security. It is vitally important and has been carefully-designed and implemented. Feed the Future is focused on 19 countries; but food security and agricultural development is an important part of the agenda for most every developing country. Like all efforts related to global hunger, Feed the Future has limits in scope and scale. The challenge for the next twenty years is to promote food security and agricultural development efforts that will help all hungry and malnourished people. This will take a lot of participants, a lot of work and a large toolkit. Facilitating investments and productivity growth, whether for a Feed the Future country or not, should be a major priority for U.S. development efforts, and can be done more effectively with creative and flexible engagement with the business community.
To decrease rural poverty, incomes must rise through increases in productivity combined with well-functioning markets to sell goods. Engagement with companies, ag businesses and research organizations can improve prospects for food security, within and beyond Feed the Future countries. Following are five approaches to advance food security priorities through business-related activities.
Daniel F. Runde holds the Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis and is the co-director of the Project on U.S. Leadership in Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.
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