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Media Advisory

May 9 public forum to address global hunger and agricultural development

07 May 2008

ATTENTION: Reporters covering world food prices, agriculture and developing economies

Contact: Cyril Manning, College of Natural Resources
(510) 643-1722 cyril@berkeley.edu

"Addressing Global Hunger & Poverty through Agricultural Development," a public forum hosted by the University of California, Berkeley, College of Natural Resources and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Rajiv Shah, director of agricultural development at the Gates Foundation's Global Development Program, will present an overview of the foundation's programs that address global poverty, rising food prices and hunger. A panel of experts will also discuss the role of philanthropy, technology and policy in addressing the challenges and opportunities in agricultural development for small farmers and their families in Africa and South Asia.

2-4 p.m. Friday, May 9

Chevron Auditorium, International House, 2299 Piedmont Ave, Berkeley. Directions are available online at the International House Web site.

Graham Fleming, deputy director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-director of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research, will moderate a panel that, in addition to Shah, includes:

  • Louise Fortmann, UC Berkeley professor of forestry and sustainable development
  • Andrew Paul Gutierrez, UC Berkeley professor of ecosystem sciences
  • Brian Wright, UC Berkeley professor of agricultural and resource economics
  • David Zilberman, UC Berkeley professor of agricultural and resource economics and director of the Center for Sustainable Resource Development

Food prices are soaring around the globe, and the World Bank recently issued a report calling for a renewed focus on agricultural development to reduce global poverty and hunger. "The recent spike in food prices is driving millions of poor people around the world deeper into hunger and poverty, highlighting the importance of efforts to help small-scale farmers in the developing world," said Shah from the Gates Foundation. "Ensuring small-scale farmers have access to the supplies and support they need to boost their yields and incomes is a critical step so they can lead healthy and productive lives."