Inaugural MU Christopher S. Bond Distinguished Lecture features panel on worldwide food security

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 | 7:52 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Sharing innovations in technology and agriculture production can help people in developing countries get the food they need at affordable prices. 

Ensuring food security for those living in countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines is possible, said panel members at a forum held Wednesday in the Bond Life Sciences Center.

Partnerships with academic institutions like MU that conduct research in food-related areas can assist these countries through technology transfer and new production methods.

The panel on achieving worldwide food security was brought together for the inaugural MU Christopher S. "Kit" Bond Distinguished Lecture.

The panel, moderated by former Sen. Bond, included Dino Patti Djalal, Indonesian ambassador to the United States; Roger Beachy, president emeritus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center; and MU Chancellor Brady Deaton.

Djalal said food security could be improved by empowering women through education, promoting aquaculture, providing access to credit to Indonesian farmers and resolving disputes over natural resources diplomatically.

In Indonesia, more than 50 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day, making the simple need to eat an unaffordable luxury for many, according to a 2007 report from the United Nations World Food Programme.

The exchange of students and faculty and the development of joint research between Indonesia and MU is beneficial to Missouri, Deaton said.

"This is a big opportunity for Indonesia," Eka Putra, an Indonesian native, said.He said the country's relationship with MU is "like a bridge for Indonesia so Indonesia can in the future have more imports and exports."

Kenneth C. Schneeberger, assistant dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources said during the discussion that every country is concerned with the diet of its people because the better nourished a population, the less likely citizens are to rebel.

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