DuPont Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman detailed the progress made in the first year of the company’s 2020 food security goals to address global hunger challenges.
Established in 2012, DuPont’s food security goals, targeting innovation, education and rural community development are an outgrowth of its long-standing sustainability goals focused on the environment.
Addressing more than 1,000 international leaders at the World Food Prize 2013 Norman Borlaug Dialogue, Kullman explained that DuPont allocated resources and attention in the first year of the food security goals to bring new innovations to the market, to engage the next generation of food leaders, and to build up the communities that are home to the world’s farmers.
Progress made in the first year of the DuPont food security goals include:
Innovating to Feed the World
Invested $1.2 billion of the $10 billion research and development commitment in 2012 and introduced more than 1,000 new products of the 4,000 products goal centred on producing more food; enhancing nutrition, food and agriculture sustainability and safety; boosting food availability and shelf life; and reducing waste.
Engaging and Educating Youth
Worked with 360,000 youth globally – contributing to the goal of two million youth engagements around the world in educational opportunities.
Improving Rural Communities
Engaged with more than 160,000 smallholder farmers with the goal of improving the livelihoods of at least three million farmers and their rural communities through targeted collaboration and investments that strengthen agricultural systems and make food more available, nutritious and culturally appropriate by 2020.
Bringing New Solutions to Food
Investment in new product innovations is critical to increasing food production while also improving the sustainability of agriculture globally. Cutting-edge solutions such as Optimum AQUAmax corn hybrids with improved drought tolerance from DuPont Pioneer are an example of how DuPont is protecting farmers’ crops and meeting its food security goal of 4,000 new products by 2020. The Optimum AQUAmax products help farmers minimise risk and maximise productivity by providing improved yield stability for the corn plant under water-stressed growing conditions.
Growing the Future Generation in Africa
Growth and sustainability of the food supply will rely on the next generation of producers, scientists, extension agents and food leaders. DuPont is collaborating with non-profit organisations such as the 4-H in Africa, along with universities and governments to ensure they meet their target of three million youth engagements by 2020. DuPont is working with 4-H to engage youth in five African countries to build the skill and will to contribute to addressing the food security challenge. Programs include a Leadership Institute for adult 4-H leaders and enterprise gardens for building hands-on farming and business training for youth. More than 14,000 youth were impacted in 2012.
Working with Smallholder Dairy Farmers
Improving rural communities starts with improving the livelihoods of farm families. To support this goal, DuPont is working closely with small farmers in Latin America to reduce milk waste at dairy farms, and to help them produce quality cheese more consistently and hygienically. DuPont Danisco Marschall brand rennet is a complex enzyme in a simple tablet form that modifies milk protein to form a curd and make cheese. Local DuPont employees work collaboratively with Latin America farmers to implement this technology on their smallholder operations to bring stability and profitability to rural regions.