Pulses can be a major player in the fight against one of the most urgent global food challenges: malnutrition. A recent clinical study in Malawi has found that complementary feeding with cowpeas reduces stunting in children and improves overall gut health.
When you think about agriculture and food, women are involved in every aspect. We represent most of the world’s smallholder farmers, livestock keepers, grocery buyers, and household cooks. So if women are a vast part of every aspect of producing and serving our food, why is there a dearth of them in leadership in agriculture?
Our friends at Real Agriculture took the time to interview me at FarmTech in Alberta. It is always fun to chat with Shaun, and got to discuss how Canada is doing on sustainable agriculture. It is particularly important since progress is being made on some global indicators that would allow more consistent and direct comparisons between countries. I think Canada is going to stack up well. Canada’s already made lots of progress on soil health through the use of conversation tillage. Now we need to focus in on improving crop rotations and measures on biodiversity. It’s great to see people already thinking about intercropping and other solutions to drive us to the next great innovations in agriculture. Onwards to continuous improvement!
On July 17, 2018, the SDG Business Forum will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, in the context of the High Level Political Forum, which is running from July 9-18. The Business Forum is a multistakeholder platform to support business action and partnerships to achieve the SDGs. It fosters public-private dialogues, catalyzes new partnerships and alliances, and explores innovative business solutions to accelerate sustainable development. Over 1,000 leaders from business and government are expected to attend. Learn more here. Please mark your calendars!
No, I am not swearing at you. Or if I were, it would be to express excitement over the new innovation work in Canada. The Government of Canada set out a challenge to have public, private and academic institutions band together to create new innovations to support Canadian growth and jobs. A great example of blended finance, it asked for proposals that would link whole value chains and reach every corner of the country with exciting synergies of expertise.
Canada has always been an agricultural powerhouse, but these days it’s not just about selling prairie wheat, P.E.I. potatoes and maple syrup to the world. Now we’re also building bio-cars from ag-based fibres, composites and foams. We’re creating naturally derived pharmaceuticals and functional foods that help fight disease. We’re cutting carbon emissions by finding valuable uses for agricultural wastes, and we’re boosting agricultural productivity in all kinds of ways.
On the occasion of Canada’s 2018 Agriculture Day, which is on February 13th, I want to take time to reflect on some of the incredible work in agriculture that Canadians are accomplishing. It is such a thrill to pause each February 13th and realize that we’ve made incredible progress in just the past year, and that sensation of admiration and optimism is only multiplied when we compare where we are now to where we were five, ten, and fifty years ago.
The International Year of Pulses (IYP) was declared by the United Nations for 2016 and ended in February 2017. What were the year's legacy outcomes? The IYP saw the pulse sector band together to conduct an unprecedented worldwide campaign. Today, multiple sources and research results agree: this very special crop might make an immense difference in a world where the estimated number of undernourished people increased to 815 million in 2016, up from 777 million in 2015.
“Our Time has Come!”
It is an amazing night to have three women inducted into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame on the same evening, moving us from 8 women and 210 men. Now if we just keep doing this for the next 70 years, we’ll be all caught up.
But seriously, it is a special moment and a true honour to be joining Jean and Patty tonight. Women have long been a backbone of the agriculture sector. With time and patience, we are seeing more women moving into leadership roles. At the same time, it is also a conscious choice and I hope every one of us in this room will use tonight as a reminder that we need to turn to women and ask them to join the boards, the committees, and the leadership roles.