This post is part of a series produced by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs, marking the occasion of its annual Global Food Security Symposium in Washington, D.C., which will be held on May 21st. For more information on the symposium, click here. Follow @GlobalAgDev and use #globalag on twitter to join the conversation on May 21.
Margaret Zeigler is the executive director of the Global Harvest Initiative
On May 21, leaders from numerous sectors will participate in the Chicago Council Global Food Security Symposium to identify opportunities to alleviate hunger and poverty through agricultural development. In February of 2013, I visited the Philippines to conduct an in-depth look at how that nation’s government and civil society organizations are implementing new approaches to improve food and nutrition security. During meetings with policymakers, farmers, research institutions and the private sector, I witnessed a growing nexus among science, government and business as each sector begins to collaborate to advance the Philippine agricultural system, educate the next generation, and improve livelihoods of those in rural farming communities.
On the trip, I saw this nexus come to life through the CoCoPal Program. CoCoPal, named after the cocoa, coconut and Palayamanan concept of rice-based diversified farming, is implemented by ACDI/VOCA, one of GHI’s consultative partner organizations. In 2009, ACDI/VOCA was awarded a $6.6 million USDA Food for Progress grant. CoCoPal is improving the incomes and food security of 25,000 smallholder farmers and 125,000 indirect beneficiaries through value-chain growth and integration of diversified farming systems. The program also improves post-harvest processing facilities, and practices and standards for cultivation of cocoa, coconut and rice.
Let’s take a closer look at how the program is fostering science, business and collaboration.