Bereuter: Democracies must lead global food security effort | TheFencePost.com

Bereuter: Democracies must lead global food security effort

-The Hagstrom Report

Democracies rather than authoritarian governments must take the lead in the campaign for global food security, Douglas Bereuter, a distinguished fellow In the Global Food and Agriculture Program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs said late last week.

"It is important that democracies take the lead in food security rather than an authoritarian government," Bereuter said at the Chicago Council's annual Global Food Security Symposium in Washington.

Bereuter is a a former Republican member of the House from Nebraska and president emeritus of the Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization that works to improve lives in Asia.

Because the United States has stepped back in its leadership on food security, Bereuter said, "People are looking at the Chinese model. I look at it as exploitive."

He said he wants other countries "to see how government and the private sector can work together."

Bereuter made the comments during a panel discussion set up to reflect on the council's 10-year program on global food security.

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Former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, who is also a distinguished fellow at the council, noted that the council had "elevated" the issue of food security on the global stage, beginning with its advocacy of the ideas that led to the U.S. Agency for International Development's Feed the Future program.

Glickman also said the United States must stay engaged.

Chicago Council President Ivo Daalder called the U.S. role in improving global food security beginning in 2008 one of the country's biggest successes in foreign policy in recent years.

The panel also noted that governance and contracts are important because free markets are vital to achieving food security.

Bereuter said that support for global food security programs must remain bipartisan and that the council must continue to inform members of Congress and candidates about the issues in 2020.