DuPont Chair and Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman participated in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzherland to discuss what environmental, societal and economic forces are reshaping the global context for food security.
The panel, moderated by Administrator of USAID Rajiv J. Shah, also featured Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn; Director-General of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Shenggen Fan; Chairman of Bharat Krishak Samaj Ajay Vir Jakhar; and Group Chief Executive Officer of Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. Michel M. Liès. The discussion focused on changing climate and weather patterns, addressing demands of an emerging global middle class and strengthening efficient agricultural value chains.
“Food security is a global challenge where DuPont is using its scientific capabilities to address. We have transformed our portfolio to put greater emphasis on delivering higher growth, higher value offerings for the agriculture and nutrition industries,” Kullman said. “DuPont has a unique vantage point on food security because we have innovations across the full value chain, allowing us to holistically address the challenge of feeding the growing global population. Improving agricultural productivity, providing food and nutrition solutions and finding ways to protect food and reduce waste are all part of our strategy.”
“We expect 2 billion more people by 2050 – mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia – where the majority of the more than 850 million chronically malnourished population live. Agricultural production will increase, but we need to accelerate progress locally and increase focus on economic development. This will enable such things as affordability to import food, improve trade policy, better enable the free flow of food, build agricultural food systems and value chains, develop new way to improve shelf life as well as the freshness and variety of foods available, and provide nutrition education to encourage healthy eating as incomes rise.”
Kullman said the company’s strategy has enabled DuPont to focus on innovative technologies and collaborations to understand and adapt to changing growing conditions globally. There have been a variety of public/private partnerships that indicate willingness to collaborate across sectors for impact – including a growing collaboration between DuPont and USAID in Africa. This partnership aims to enhance incomes of more than 35,000 smallholder maize farmers and scale up network for seed distribution in 3 years.
Kullman also announced that building from successful individual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements for projects in Ghana and Ethiopia, DuPont has signed an MOU with USAID to reduce global hunger and poverty by enabling smallholder farmers access to proven, safe and transformative agricultural innovations.