May 20, 2024


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U.S Climate Summit to Address African Food and Soil Challenges

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA - APRIL 01: Vice President Kamala Harris vists Panuka Farm on Saturday, April 1, 2023 in Lusaka, Zambia. The Vice President is visiting the farm to highlight climate-smart agriculture and how climate resilience can advance food security. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The U.S. Department of State, Office of the Special Envoy for Global Food Security, is organizing a breakout session during the AIM for Climate Summit that will discuss the role of developing climate-resilient seeds and improving soil health and fertility in determining the future success and sustainability of food systems.

The presentation brings together leaders from the State Department, African Union, CGIAR Systems, Columbia Climate School, Pivot Bio, and Bayer, who are working on adapting agricultural systems in Africa both above the ground, through investments in plant breeding of nutritious crops, and below the ground, through improvements in soil health.

The program speakers include:

  • Dr. Cary Fowler, Special Envoy for Global Food Security;
  • Professor Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, CGIAR System Board Chair;
  • Ambassador Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment of the African Union;
  • Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and
  • Columbia University Climate School;
  • Lisa Safarian, President and Chief Operating Officer, Pivot Bio; and
  • Dr. Robert Reiter, Head of Research and Development in Crop Science, Bayer

The breakout session builds on the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS), an effort being undertaken in collaboration with the African Union and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. VACS, which is part of the whole-of-U.S. government Feed the Future initiative, will seek to support African governments, farmers, agricultural researchers, and civil society organizations as they prepare the continent’s food systems for the challenges posed by climate change.

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