"Food in a Global Economic Crisis: Impacts and Solutions"
Dear Colleagues -
If you are interested in international agricultural or rural development, then I would like to invite you to attend an important conference hosted by The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD). Our 45th Annual Conference will be held May 31st through June 3, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C Street SW in Washington, DC, and will attract a wide array of leaders, field-based experts, students, scholars, and many others from government, academia, business, foundations and elsewhere. I'm looking forward to this gathering as a chance to discuss and debate one of today's most exciting issues in international agriculture and rural development.
This year's topic is, in fact, especially timely. Within the last year we have seen food prices increase exponentially. For many in developed countries the increase has affected only the very poor. However, in developing countries the impact is far reaching where nearly everyone is affected. There have been food riots in over 20 countries and some specialists say we have not seen the worst.
The initial reaction by donors was urgent but there has been an overshadowing of this emergency by the more recent financial crisis. Relief agencies are addressing immediate concerns, some with success other with frustrations. Long term solutions are also being discussed and some country strategies have developed mechanisms to cope. What can we learn from these early efforts that may cue what we do in the future?
As we focus during this year's AIARD meeting on "The Global Food Crisis," we expect the presentations and discussions to be lively, engaging and especially thought provoking. The program will consist of presentations by speakers who have been front and center in implementing strategies to alleviate the current crisis as well as long term planners who will think ahead to ways to prevent such a crisis. Key questions that they will discuss include:
What are some of the policies and practices that created this food crisis?
What type of interventions have shown promising and which have failed?
Are we ignoring this crisis in light of our own financial crisis?
Are there ways to avoid this in the future?
Over the course of the meeting, our expert speakers will review the historic and present day food crisis; highlight key interventions in such collaborations in international agriculture and rural development; and, look ahead to consider the challenges to avoid a global food crisis. There will be plenty of time for open discussion. It should be fun. Please join us if you can!