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(C) UN / Eskinder Debebe 2014 - Mr. Ban addressing MDG advocacy group at DavosRallying Support for Post-2015 MDGs of the United Nations: Shenggen Fan honoured by Ban Ki-moon

January 2014. Accolade for Shenggen Fan, Director General of IFPRI, the International Food Policy Research Institute. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (photo left-hand, addressing MDG Advocacy Group at Davos) awarded him what he called the “World Food Programme Hunger Hero” during the World Economic Forum). Dr. Fan was honoured for IFPRI’s work on new methodological approaches to measure food supply chains and demand as well as providing sound policy advice on maintaining or implementing food security on a global scale. The award is part of a charming initiative by Mr. Ban to rally business leaders behind policy makers around the world and speed up implementing the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (MDG).

The fight against hunger has been on the international policy agenda for many decades. However the overarching goals have changed: from immediately getting stomachs full to a sustainable approach. Today climate change, novel technologies (including genetic engineering of plants), good governance, gender equality, or peace are rostered to combat not only hunger, but also malnutrition, which sometimes includes fighting against too much food or unhealthy diets, or food waste. The United Nations (UN 2013) follows this broader view having set the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) high on the agenda. Next year the U.N. will have to decide on a new roadmap.

While there is no shortage of data on different aspects of MDG the overall solution shifted from “Feed the World” to “End Poverty”. One of the major challenges for the new Zero Hunger policies (see: B2Bioworld 2012) is providing reliable and integrated economic data taking into account heterogeneous factors and multiple goals. Then the issue is to develop a business case, an economic agenda for policy makers as well as industry. How can governments be interested to act on MDG’s? Which incentives spark business to invest apart of philanthrophic donations? Intermediaries like Shenggen Fan or IFPRI provide fresh answers and fill the needs of public and private stakeholders. IFPRI is one of fifteen research organisations worldwide supported by CGIAR, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, a role which makes it valuable to support the upcoming post-2015 MDG roadmap of the United Nations. Wolf G Kroner

Shenggen Fan (1962) is Director General of IFPRI, International Food Policy Research Institute. He graduated in Economics and Trade from Nanjing Agricultural University in 1985 and obtained his PhD of Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota in 1989. The following year he started his career working as (C) Wolf G Kroner 2014 - Dr Shenggen FanAssociate Research Officer in former CGIAR’s International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR, today Knowledge, Capacity, and Innovation Division in IFPRI) at Den Haag (NL). After two years he moved on to the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville (US). In 1995 he joined IFPRI as Research Fellow. In 2011 he was awarded a Doctor honoris causa by Panjab niversity, Chandigarh (IN). Since 2012 he is Distinguished Lecturer and Fellow of IUFoST’sInternational Academy of Food Science and Technology.

 

References

United Nations UN (2013): The Millenium Development Goals Report, July 1

B2Bioworld (2012): FAO – Major shifts expected in operations

Welters P (2011): Plants are Nature’s Best Chemists

 

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