WASHINGTON, May 9, 2012 – DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel encouraged industry leaders and students to join efforts to end world hunger today during his address at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies’ “Year of Agriculture” symposium, identifying food as among the greatest challenges of the 21st century.
With food security at the top of this month’s G8 summit, Borel emphasized that all of us have a role to play in addressing hunger, and that no one company, nonprofit or industry can tackle it alone.
“Even in the United States, for instance — a land of enormous agricultural productivity — statistics indicate that last year about one-in-seven Americans experienced some degree of food insecurity,” Borel said. “Overcoming hunger within the United States and around the world will require a lasting commitment to collaboration all along the food value chain. Everyone must come to the table. Because feeding the world is everyone’s business.”
Borel outlined three themes that are essential to make significant advances in food security and to feed the 7 billion people of today, and 9 billion of tomorrow.
During his keynote, Borel invited current and future leaders to join him in asking some tough questions, including: “How is your expertise helping to ensure people everywhere have food to eat? And, how can we work together and invite others to join us?”
Borel also addressed the pervasive consequences of hunger on a family, community, nation and world.
“If we cannot provide food security — if people go hungry, if people are allowed to starve — it will not just be a humanitarian crisis, but a geo-political crisis as well. People will be hungry, ungovernable and angry,” said Borel. “Severe hunger can easily lead to civil unrest or worse. Starving families are only focused on survival. Clearly, it is in our own best interests to prevent this.”
However, Borel maintained that agriculture is an optimistic science, and “this is a challenge all of us can rise to meet. But, not by doing business as usual. Not by looking the other way or waiting for someone else to lead the way. And not by working alone. We must face this together.”