McGill University's upcoming Conference on Global Food Security (Sept. 24-26) has attracted a long list of important players in key organizations around the world to discuss solutions to a problem that might have fallen off media radar screens, but which has not gone away.
The latest development in this crisis lies in our own hemisphere, where Haiti has been hammered by hurricanes this summer, bringing death, destruction and more strain on that impoverished nation's food supply.
The Haitian experience is part of a conference session called "Voices from the Field". People from eight nations will recount experiences trying to provide food when there isn't enough or when it has become too expensive.
The conference, perhaps the only one of its kind in the world so far, will draw representatives from agriculture, the food industry, governments, academia and NGOs to discuss critical problems of food supply and affordability as well as looking ahead to ways to solve these crippling problems.
Here's a list of some of the key conference participants.
- Kanayo Nwanze
As Vice-President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a United Nations specialized agency and an international financial institution with a mission of enabling poor rural people to overcome poverty, Mr. Nwanze brings more than 30 years of extensive experience devoted to the improvement of livelihoods of poor rural communities.
- David Malone
The President of the International Development Research Centre, Dr. Malone is a career foreign service officer who has served as Canada's High Commissioner to India. He was also Assistant Deputy Minister in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, responsible initially for Africa and the Middle East and subsequently for global issues, where he oversaw Canada's multilateral and economic diplomacy. He is a graduate of the Université de Montréal as well as Harvard and Oxford.
- Shellemiah O. Keyha
An advisor to the Director General of the Africa Rice Centre (WARDA), Dr. Keyha is an expert in legume and food crop production. In addition to a distinguished academic career in Kenya, he has served with the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research and has undertaken studies in soils, forestry and agriculture for the World Bank, FAO, UNEP and UNESCO.
- Maximo Torero
The Director of the Market, Trade and Institutions Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute, Dr. Torero is a Latin American specialist and a leader of the Global Research Program on Institutions and Infrastructure for Market Development. His expertise lies mostly in analyzing poverty and inequality.
- Aly Shady
Aly Shady is Senior Water Advisor at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). A graduate of Cairo University and McGill, he has been associated with international development in a number of capacities, as a consulting engineer, agricultural specialist, irrigation and drainage engineer and water policy advisor. Mr. Shady has developed and managed more than 185 major projects, in more than 40 countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
- Al Mussell
A Senior Research Associate at the George Morris Centre in Guelph, Ont., Mr. Mussell's areas of expertise are farm management, agricultural marketing and farm income policies. Founded in 1990, the George Morris Centre is a Canada-wide, not-for-profit organization and independent think tank that provides industry with critical information and analysis on agricultural issues.
- Er. M. Gopalakrishnan
Mr. Gopalkrishnan has been Secretary General of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) since January 2004, having previously served in a variety of senior posts in the government of India. He has spent four decades in the water resources sector and been involved in a wide variety of international organizations dedicated to water resources.
- François Dagenais
Mr. Dagenais, formerly Quebec Assistant Deputy Minister of Agriculture, now works in San Jose, Costa Rica, as Director of External Financing and Investment Projects for the Inter-American Institute for Co-operation in Agriculture (IICA). He also worked with CIDA in Honduras and has worked on agriculture, rural development and natural resources projects throughout the world. He holds BSc and MSc degrees in Agriculture from McGill and Université Laval, and a PhD from Montpellier.
- Gaétan Lussier
The Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute identifies issues and opportunities for the Canadian Agri-food economy. Mr. Lussier sits on a number of corporate boards and is a former President and Chief Executive Officer of Culinar Inc., and former President of Weston Bakeries Quebec. He also served as Quebec Deputy Minister of Agriculture and as Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Canada. He received an honorary doctorate in agricultural sciences from McGill in 1979.
- Jack Wilkinson
Born and raised on a family farm in Ontario, Jack Wilkinson is a practising farmer who produces grains and oilseeds and has a beef cow/calf operation. He was elected President of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers in 2002 at the 35th World Farmers' Congress held in Cairo. He has served as President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, and was also President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
On the Web: http://www.mcgill.ca/globalfoodsecurity/
Source: Douglas Sweet