Video: Borlaug Institute reflects on international work with women

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International Women’s Day, March 8

Grown from the labor movements in the U.S and Europe at the turn of the twentieth century, International Women’s Day was officially recognized in December 1977 by the United Nations and its member states.

Each year on March 8, local events, such as conferences, rallies, parades, and government-sponsored activities, are held throughout the world to celebrate women’s achievements and inspire men and women to promote gender equity.

Although women’s contributions to agriculture often go unrecognized, in some countries, women perform upwards of 75% of agriculture work. For agricultural development or peace keeping efforts to be sustainable, organizations are now realizing that women must be engaged as active stakeholders. On this day, the faculty and staff of the Borlaug Institute pause to reflect on decades of effort from the Texas A&M University System to empower women in the U.S and around the world:

Afghanistan: The Borlaug Institute has been working in Afghanistan since 2006 to build capacity within the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and to rebuild livelihoods impacted by decades of conflict. With the Howard G. Buffet Foundation and U.S. Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations as partners, in 2011the Borlaug Institute established three Women’s Food Processing Centers in Herat Province. The goals of this initiative were to: 1) increase women’s incomes and reduce hunger at rural village level; 2) increase income of smallholder farmers by creating markets for local fruits and vegetables; 3) increase children’s health through improved nutrition; 4) improve working conditions and food sanitation standards; and 5) improve security and reduce rural to urban migration. With the new food processing centers, the women members’ increased their family income by 56% within the first year of operation.

USAID Tropical Plant Curriculum Project: As part of USAID’s Tropical Plant Curriculum Project (TPC), the Norman E. Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture led a collaborative effort with three Indonesian universities to improve utilization and quality of tropical plant products fostering economic development in home industries. The TPC project placed significant emphasis on supporting women’s cooperatives and community groups and noted amazing achievements. The Tunas Women’s Bamboo Cooperative in Bali Indonesia formed two years ago with support from TPC team members from Udayana University. The cooperative now has 23 members and has been recognized by the Ministry of Coopera­tives as one of the top three cooperatives in Bali. With improved processing and packaging, the cooperative has increased the value of its products by 75 percent and broadened its market to supermarket chains and hotels. Cooperative members have become recognized as leaders in their community.

The Rwanda Pyrethrum Program: In Rwanda, the Borlaug Institute has worked alongside SC Johnson to help women form cooperatives and sub-groups in which several have learned to pool earnings to buy their own land. Since 2014, one group was able to raise enough funds to lease its own plot for the growing season – a first for all of the women involved. Efforts by the pyrethrum program have helped women to be generally more business savvy in work that extends beyond just pyrethrum.

Just about every program of the Borlaug Institute includes a gender component. We look forward to new ventures in agricultural development that allow us to continue and expand our work in empowering the women of agriculture.

Huffington Post Discusses Food Policy

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Article reviews fighting hunger, poverty through food policy research

Original Article by Shenggen Fan | Director General | International Food Policy Research Institute

In the mid-1970s, the outlook for food supplies around the world was grim. There were talks of “food triage”– food-rich countries would decide which food-poor countries should get food, thereby dooming the rest to death. At that point, famines in Bangladesh and Ethiopia had killed hundreds of thousands of people, and countries such as India and Pakistan were teetering on the brink. Despite widespread agreement on food as a basic human right, there wasn’t enough food–or solutions–to go around.

Fast forward to today: Hunger and malnutrition still exist, but not nearly on the same scale. Bangladesh and Ethiopia have halved the prevalence of hunger in their countries in the past 15 years. Indeed, the drastic progress humanity has made in ensuring food security and nutrition makes the thought of a food triage something out of a dystopian movie. How did this happen? Click for full article

SEMINAR Career Opportunities in International Agriculture: Perspectives from a USAID Project Officer

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John Bowman

Live Stream

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. | Texas A&M University, Horticulture/Forest Sciences Building (HFSB) Room 104, West Campus

In the second seminar of a two-day sub-series, John Bowman of the United States Agency for
International Development (USAID) will discuss what it takes to enter a career in international
agriculture development.

Bowman will review the steps and work involved in breaking into a field whose demands are
greater now than at any other point in human history.

Refreshments will be served.
Visit borlaug.tamu.edu for information

Seminar: The Future of Worldwide Sustainable Livestock

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Tuesday | March 3, 2015, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. | Texas A&M University | Agriculture and Life Sciences Building (AGLS), Room 129 | West Campus

In the first lecture of a two-day sub-series, Dr. Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) will highlight the changes and challenges of transforming a globally interconnected livestock sector.

Smith will explore research opportunities to bolster livestock production in emerging and developing economies to be profitable, equitable, healthy and sustainable.

Refreshments will be served.

VIDEO: TAMU, CIAT and agricultural research for development

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Live Stream 

Ruben Echeverria, Director General of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, will explore opportunities for collaboration in agriculture research between CIAT and TAMU. The seminar comes as TAMU and CIAT each seek augment their global research and development agendas.

The Feb. 6 event is open to the public and will run from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. with an hour-long question and answer session following immediately after. The seminar will be held at Texas A&M University, West Campus, Agriculture and Life Sciences Building, room 129.

Refreshments will be served. Click the above image for information.

Borlaug Institute makes ‘Good Food Org Guide’

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The Borlaug Institute at Texas A&M University

The Borlaug Institute at Texas A&M University

COLLEGE STATION  – The Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture has been named in the James Beard Foundation and Food Tank’s annual Good Org Food Guide, which showcases U.S. nonprofit organizations working in: food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity, and food justice.

“We are thrilled to have been named among this esteemed collection of organizations,” said Dr. Elsa Murano, Director of the Borlaug Institute. “It’s an honor to be recognized in our effort to build on the legacy of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug and his fight for food security in the developing world.”

Only nonprofit, scholarly, and municipal initiatives have been selected in order to spotlight efforts that are focused on community building and engagement, advocacy, and service, according to Food Tank, a think tank for food.

The Good Org Food Guide, released Oct. 26, can be found here.

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Seminar: Value Chains: A Tool for Sustainable Development

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Tuesday Oct. 28, 2014 | 12 p.m. to 1 p.m | Texas A&M University, West Campus | Agriculture & Life Sciences Building (AGLS) Room 129

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A map showing location of the AGLS building at Texas A&M University

Dividends go well beyond economic benefit when small-holder farmers participate in agricultural value chains.

The Borlaug Institute welcomes a panel of development experts on product chains in Africa and Central America to explore how farmers, families, and communities participate in value chains to gain social, health, skill, improved natural resource, and many other benefits.

The final installment of the Institute’s fall 2014 Seminar Series presents: Jean Claude Kayisinga, the Borlaug Institute’s project chief of party in Rwanda; Nina Henning of SC Johnson: A Family Company and Roberta Lauretti-Bernhard, executive director of Earth’s Choice Women of Coffee Microfinance.

Seminar Video: Climate Change & Food Security

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Thursday Oct. 16, 2014 | 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. | Texas A&M University | West Campus, Agriculture & Life Sciences Building | Room 129

The Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture welcomes Dr. Bruce McCarl and Dr. Rabi Mohtar, professors of Texas A&M University, to disuss how the world’s changing climate affects global food supplies and the measures that must be taken to ensure food security for future generations.

The lecture is the latest installment inthe 2014 Borlaug Institute Seminar Series.

McCarl, a 2007 Nobel Prize Laureate of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics.

Mohtar is Professor of Environmental and Natural Resources and is Founding Director of the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute.

Dr. Elsa Murano named Borlaug Institute’s Permanent Director

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The Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture congratulates Dr. Elsa Murano, professor and President Emerita of Texas A&M University, on being named the Institute’s permanent director.

The Oct. 8 appointment closes Murano’s position as the Institute’s interim director, which began June 2012.

“It is a great honor to be named director of an organization whose mission is to help improve the lives of poor farmers and their families around the world,” she said. “I’m humbled and very grateful to be doing my part in furthering the legacy of such a great man and dedicated scientist as Dr. Norman Borlaug.”

The Borlaug Institute, an entity of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M AgriLife Research, and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, designs and implements science-based development projects and training programs that fight hunger and poverty specifically among small holder agricultural communities of the developing world.

Murano has managed a project portfolio of $55 million during her time with the Institute; current projects span the developing regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We are excited to have Dr. Murano continue to lead our international programs at the Borlaug Institute. She brings a wealth of experience and leadership skills to this position that will help our college and agencies fulfill their missions”, said Dr. Bill Dugas, Acting Vice Chancellor and Dean.  “The agency directors and I could not be happier to have Dr. Murano in this role.”

A professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University, Murano also served as the United States Department of Agriculture’s Undersecretary for Food Safety from 2001-2004.  She guided the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Agriculture agencies from 2005-2007 and served as president of Texas A&M University from 2008-2009.

 

Borlaug Institute Celebrates World Food Day

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In observance of World Food Day, the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture recognizes the contributions of those who have and are now contributing to the fight against global hunger and poverty. Please review the following links to learn more about World Food Day and about what you can do to get involved.

Click here for World Food Day’s Official Website and read below about the continuing need for boosting scientific capacity in the fight for food security.

World Food Day’s Scientific Call to Action

October 2012 | Catherine Woteki,Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics | USDA | USDA Blog via Feed the Future

On October 16, World Food Day, it is hard to not be struck by how lucky we are in the United States. We have abundant food that costs us less to produce, on a per unit basis, than almost any other country in the world. Our farmers and ranchers produce more than we need, allowing us to be a powerhouse in global exports. And our food supply is among the safest of all the world’s nations.

All that abundance and security has been underpinned by science and know-how. Between the 1940s and the 1970s, agriculture science blossomed in what has become known as the Green Revolution. Thanks to the research done by Norman Borlaug, the “Father of the Green Revolution,” working with researchers around the world, developed high-yielding varieties and modern production practices that helped save…

Read Original Story Here.