WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Office of Global Analysis will host a one-day Global Food Security Summit on Earth Day, April 22, 2009, in Washington, D.C. The Summit is sponsored in partnership with the Department of Defense, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, NASA, U.S. Agency for International Development, and State Department.

Advance registration is required to attend all or part of the summit. Register on-line at www.empliant.com/USDAFoodSecuritySeminar or contact Sherry Loy, Global Marketing Insights, Inc. at 216-525-0600 or sherryloy@globalinsights.com.

The goal of the Global Food Security Summit is to provide education on the critical link that exists between a stable food supply and national security in many countries around the world. Global food supplies are often stressed by population growth, political issues, resource depletion and climate change. The USDA FAS Office of Global Analysis is tasked with monitoring crop conditions and assessing food supplies worldwide for humanitarian, economic and security purposes.

"The USDA FAS Office of Global Analysis has successfully partnered with DoD, NASA, and USAID to deploy state-of-the-art Earth observation technologies, as well as data archiving and reporting methods, to monitor the global food supply," said Bradley Doorn, Division Director of the USDA FAS International Production Assessment Division. "These technologies and others assist the U.S. in identifying crop failures and predicting food shortages in advance to deliver aid in a timely manner."

Representatives from USDA FAS, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, State Department, USAID and NASA will discuss many of the Earth observation technologies and other methodologies being used to monitor and assess agricultural resources around the world. Current and future challenges facing the United States' ongoing ability to track the constantly changing food supply situation will also be discussed.

"By working together as partners, federal agencies of the U.S. government have developed technological and procedural solutions to the many challenges in monitoring the Earth's resources," said Bob Tetrault, Archive Manager of the USDA FAS Satellite Imagery Archive. "Our existing projects in the Middle East and proposed efforts in Africa will be highlighted at the Summit on Earth Day."

The Global Food Security Summit has been created to educate and inform personnel working in Capitol Hill congressional offices, federal government agencies and non-governmental organizations. Attendance is free, but advance registration is required as noted above.

The Summit will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 22, followed by a reception, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Conference Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, D.C.

USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has the primary responsibility for USDA's international activities--market development, trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection and analysis of statistics and market information. As such a primary mission of FAS is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural production information. The purpose is to provide unbiased commodity estimates and forecasts to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets.

Established in 1997, Global Marketing Insights Inc. provides a wide range of geospatial industry based business planning and market research services, including targeted product/service market studies and competitive market research. Global Marketing Insights, Inc. executives have worked with USDA FAS since 1988 and have assisted in the development and implementation of the last four annual seminars. As authors of the NOAA and USGS International Remote Sensing Studies Global Marketing Insights, Inc. is the largest global provider of remote sensing information.

SOURCE: USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Office of Global Analysis.