Food security is the order of business this week. I’m here at the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) / Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) high level event in Dakar, Senegal for its review of national and regional investment plans in agriculture for West African countries. President Obama pledged $3.5 billion for agricultural development and food security over three years and a central part of that approach includes investing in country-owned plans. The United States is making a significant contribution to support the country plans for several West African countries at this review.
Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, renews our commitment to invest in combating the root causes of chronic hunger and poverty. In Senegal, where
the conference is being hosted, about 70% of all food is imported into the country at greater cost to the population, yet there is plenty of fertile land. USAID is attempting to turn that percentage around in Senegal and other countries through investments aimed at boosting productivity, building local and international markets, and improving nutrition. It’s exciting to be here with so many others who share our commitment to fighting global hunger.