Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Global Food Security Strategy

I am referring to your “September theme: Research for agricultural productivity by looking at the various ways researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders are working together to drive productivity gains – a critical food security goal” and I don’t understand why you still believe that productivity is the only goal to achieve global food security.

Food security can only be achieved and sustained in the production of food is profitable. There is no other way! I have spent my whole career on this important subject on the theoretical and practical side of the agricultural industry.

I cannot believe that you don’t have agricultural economic researchers and practitioners to tell you that the optimum and maximum profit level of production is the single most important principle in agricultural and which is driven, together with higher productivity, by the input/output-price ratio. In other words, by the changes in the prices that farmers pay for their inputs against the prices that they receive for their products. This is the most important driver that determines profitability and therefore the sustainability of agricultural production and food security. This principle also includes all the other agricultural disciplines and it is to my mind the single most important reason why almost all the countries in Africa will never have food security.

I just don’t know when all the donors and all the other agents involved in the African countries will ever understand how to end the famine and poverty in these countries.

Fanie Brink

Agricultural Economist

South Africa


 

Hi Fanie - thanks for sharing this perspective. I agree that productivity and profitablity need to go hand-in-hand. The first intermediate result of the U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS), which guides Feed the Future, is "Strengthened inclusive agriculture systems that are productive and profitable." (Emphasis mine.)

Increased or protected crop yields are not an end game, or the "only" goal, but a component of improving incomes, resilience, and nutrition. The GFSS details a many-pronged approach to combatting global food insecurity and poverty, of which increasing agricultural efficiency and productivity is one piece.