Throughout history, world leaders have recognized the importance of agriculture to their own countries.
French President Charles de Gaulle once stated that “a nation that cannot feed itself is not a great nation.”, and more recently President George W. Bush was quoted as saying “When we speak of agriculture we are really speaking about a national security issue.”
“Lots of experts say that we can feed the world. We do have the ability to feed the world, but there’s a lot of issues, unfortunately get in the way. Issues that are political in nature, that are very complicated, as well as cultural to a certain extent.”
Dr. Elsa Murano is the Interim Director of the Borlaug Institute at Texas A&M University. .
“He used to say that peace cannot be built on empty stomachs. So what does that mean? Well, Dr. Borlaug was very aware of the fact that if people don’t have enough to eat there’s despair that sets in, and people in despair, without hope for the future for themselves and for their children will do desperate things, and those desperate things usually translate into violence.”
Once violence erupts, it’s too late to address the problems using education.
“If you teach them how to produce their own food, how to feed themselves, how to be self-determined beforehand, it’s an excellent way to prevent conflict in the world.”
Some argue that the United States has enough problems of its own to address, including some that involve hunger.
“The problem is that we don’t have the luxury to just take care of our own problems and ignore what goes on around the world, because if we ignore what goes on around the world, and allow situations to deteriorate into conflict, usually it is the good ole United States of America, our men and women in uniform who are called to then go to those areas of conflict and put their lives on the line to try to bring peace to the area”
I’m Kailey Carey, taking a look at the role agriculture plays on the world stage, From The Ground Up.