Speaking on intriguing tweets, try this one:
Did Secretary Vilsack mean crop diversity, by any chance? You know, as in genebanks, among other things. His remarks do not seem to be online yet. Were any of our readers there?
Sometimes, a tweet says it all.
But read the long version of the argument in a blog post on obesity by Uma Lele, Co-chair of the Food Security Information Network (FSIN) Technical Working Group on Measuring Food and Nutrition Security.
…the future of the institution responsible for the Green Revolution – a consortium of 15 research centers around the world called the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) — is under threat. The World Bank, one of its primary funders, is considering withdrawing its financial support.
Well, thank goodness the genebanks at least are safe, eh?
For the CGIAR, the proposed cuts, though painful, would not be devastating; in 2013, the group spent $984 million to fund its activities… Still, the World Bank — the preeminent global development institution — is essentially declaring that agricultural research is not a development priority.
No word from CGIAR. Yet. But then again, adapting agriculture is not that big a deal, is it? Well, Mark Cackler is manager for agriculture and food security at the World Bank, and he seems to think it may be, and that CGIAR have it more or less right:
The Copenhagen Consensus concludes that agricultural research is one of the single most effective investments we could make to fight malnourishment. Therefore, we need more support for bodies like the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research that focus on crops and cropping systems that are of greatest importance to poor farmers and poor countries. Such research is a global public good that the private sector cannot be expected to deliver alone.
What in tarnation is going on at the World Bank?