National group tackling global food problems meets today at MU

Mar 15, 2013

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton was appointed by President Obama to chair the Board of International Food and Agriculture Development in May 2011. The Board meets today on MU campus.
Credit Eric Staszczak / KBIA

An international group that presents research aimed at solving global agriculture issues, is meeting at The University of Missouri today. A public meeting of the Board of International Food and Agriculture Development, or BIFAD, gathers on MU’s campus to draw upon university research to help solve the world’s food problems.    

Chancellor Brady Deaton serves as chair of BIFAD. He says tackling world-wide issues of hunger requires understanding of many fields beyond agriculture: “One of my first conversations was all about urban infrastructure because food isn’t isolated sitting out there," he said. "The way in which labor and capital and – to use economic terms for a minute – are utilized at the agricultural level determines the rate of migration from rural areas into the urban centers.”

Susan Owens is director of BIFAD. She says one priority the groups has is to help other countries identify important research they have.  She says the group is also concerned with the human element of agriculture.

“How do you best build an agricultural workforce in sub-Saharan Africa countries and in South Asia countries that is sustainable and will move forward in the coming generation?” she said.

At today’s meeting board members will present research from around the world aimed at solving global agriculture issues.