Liz Schrayer, President & CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, began the discussion with the idea that global food security is national security. Isobel Coleman, Deputy Administrator at USAID, explained that the crisis has been long in the making: the disruption of supply chains, climate change, and war. Price shock has made food prohibitively expensive for millions, and smallholder farmers may not be able to afford the fuel, fertilizer, and seeds they need to grow food for next year.
John R. Tyson, Executive Vice President for Strategy and Chief Sustainability Officer at Tyson Foods, explained that the supply chain has plenty of room for increased resiliency. A concerning amount of food is wasted so companies need to work creatively to find solutions. In Africa, according to Dr. Chris Cleverly, Group President, Tingo, Inc. and Tingo International Holdings, Inc., companies need to help smallholder farmers by providing banking services, access to fertilizers, and technology. Making smallholder farmers the hero of the story helps put their needs first.
When it comes to doing good and doing well, the private sector is all in. Jay Collins, Vice Chairman of Banking, Capital Markets, and Advisory at Citi and Concordia Leadership Council Member, explained the lessons we can apply to the food crisis from the global response to COVID vaccine distribution. We need to connect a broken whole food ecosystem from soil to fork. Many important players in the private sector are not yet at the table. Schrayer asked the panel to reflect on what might make a difference. Tyson noted the USDA’s commitment to focus on climate-smart agricultural commodities. Cleverly highlighted how reforming finance is crucial to helping smallholder farmers. Coleman emphasized the importance of fertilizer and seeds for smallholders. Collins said he hopes to see all the players working cooperatively.
“Our business provides banking services, soil access, and more to 10 million farmers in Nigeria […] you have to make the smallholder farmer the hero of the story.”
Dr. Chris Cleverly, Group President, Tingo, Inc. and Tingo International Holdings, Inc.
“30% of the world’s food is produced by smallholder farmers […] and many encounter price shocks when buying inputs for foods.”
Isobel Coleman, Deputy Administrator, USAID
“We pulled together large private sector players, investors, policymakers, decision-making bodies, and technology for vaccine production.”
Jay Collins, Vice Chairman of Banking, Capital Markets, and Advisory, Citi; Concordia Leadership Council Member
“Global food security is national security.”
Liz Schrayer, President & CEO, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
“What we have to focus on collectively, across capital markets, government agencies and companies, is to transport food to areas that need it.”
John R. Tyson, EVP, Strategy, and Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods