Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Healthy U.S. Farm Policy in a Globalized World

Featured Speakers: Ousmane Badiane Senior Research Fellow and Africa Coordinator, IFPRI ; David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World; Kimberly Elliott, Senior Fellow, Center of Global Development, Congressman Ron Kind, Rachel Nugent, Senior Program Associate, Center of Global Development; and Professor Barry Popkin, the University of North Carolina

The Farm Bill was passed by the House in July and is expected to be passed by the Senate in October. The focus of the discussion centered on the domestic and global implications of the bill if put into effect as is. The discussion was split into three panels, one consisting of Dr. Badiane and Ms. Elliott, one consisting of Congressman Ron Kind, and the final consisting of Dr. Popkin, Mr. Beckmann, and Dr. Nugent.

The first panel discussed the effects of domestic policies globally, specifically in regards to Africa, as well as the dormant state of the Doha Rounds. Dr. Badiane stated that the U.S. can fashion the farm bill to refrain from negatively affecting Africa, but the problem lies in whether the Senate chooses to do so.

The second panel, consisting of Congressman Kind, discussed the farm bill’s Fairness Amendment and its attempt to provide positive assistance to farmers, fight obesity, and renegotiate efficiency aspects. The congressman concluded that positive changes could be made to the bill if constituents would personally confront their senators.

The final panel focused on a myriad of topics. Mr. Beckmann, addressed the domestic aspects of the bill, emphasizing the need for greater attention to the food stamp program and discussed the lack of its effect on those facing poverity in rural areas. Dr. Popkin focused on recent global phenomenon of obesity in less-developed states, citing that the addition of supermarkets is a leading factor. Dr. Nugent concluded the event with a discussion on agricultural polices and disease.

Sponsor: Center for Global Development

Location: C. Fred Bergsten Conference Center, Peterson Institute for International Economics

Date: Monday, September 10, 2007

Time: 3:00pm-5:30pm

Approximate Number of Attendees: 75

Intern Attending: Keely Foutch

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