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Purdue Agronomists Join Higher Ed Group Tackling Global Food Security

Kate Holt/Africa Practice


Top agronomists at Purdue University will be part of a new nationwide higher education task force on food security.

The Association of Public and Land Grant Universities is putting together the 31-member commission, which aims to ensure that the world's rapidly growing population has enough to eat.

It was funded by the Kellogg Foundation to devise research and public education ideas for improving food access and nutrition by 2050, when the global population is set to hit 9 billion.

The commission will include a current and former Dean of Agriculture at Purdue, as well as the director of the school's food security center, Gebisa Ejeta. He's also a World Food Prize winner and a presidential appointee to USAID's food security board.

Ejeta says land grant schools' legacy of service means they need to figure out how to feed a changing world.

"I think if we mobilize this talent pool to move away perhaps from just pursuing science for science sake or technology for technology's sake … can we target acute societal problems that are emerging?" he asks, and bring other partners to the table to implement the new ideas -- like ones about combating the effects of climate change and new diseases on agriculture.

The commission will release a list of research and education goals early next year.

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