ICYMI: Davis in Agri Pulse: University of Illinois Leading the Way in Global Food Security
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Dr. Peter Goldsmith, director of the Soybean Innovation Lab and a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of Illinois, explained in Agri-Pulse how the Soybean Innovation Lab promotes global food security.
Davis serves as the Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research and is Co-Chair of the Congressional Agriculture Research Caucus. Dr. Goldsmith was awarded a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant in 2018 to lead the Feed the Future Lab in Soybean Value Chain Research, also known as the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL). Davis toured the facility in June.
Below are excerpts of the opinion piece. Click here to read the full article.
"The Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL) at Illinois is improving the entire soybean value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa. SIL provides the evidence-based guidance, knowledge and innovations necessary to sustainably develop soybean production and utilization value chains in developing countries. This important work not only reduces food insecurity in Africa, but also spurs the economic growth necessary to produce a growing market for U.S. agricultural exports."
"During a food lab demonstration exercise, we combined various starches common in Sub-Saharan Africa such as millet, maize, and orange-fleshed sweet potato with an array of soy ingredients including soy flour, textured soy protein, and soy dairy products to create nutritious, affordable, and tasty complementary foods. SIL’s research examines the acceptability and feasibility of a soy-enriched complementary food containing soy flour and orange-fleshed sweet potato with mothers and weaning-age children in northern Ghana, and the results are promising.
"As Subcommittee Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research, advancement in agricultural research is a priority for me. Research, such as that conducted at SIL, is necessary if we are to feed the world by 2050 and seeing these advancements first hand during my visit gives me hope that we can accomplish this goal."
"Between 2009 and 2016, stunting within USAID’s 19 nutrition priority countries decreased from 40 percent to 34 percent. More than 27 million children under 5 were reached by nutrition interventions in 2016 alone."
"It is critical that the U.S. government and our land grant universities continue to partner and to lead on global food security and nutrition programs. Through this collaboration, we can lift hundreds of millions of people out of conditions of poverty and hunger, and we can develop new political partnerships and markets for U.S. agriculture and other products in fast-growing developing countries across the globe."