As we conclude the yearlong centennial observance of the birth of our founder, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, the 2014 Borlaug Dialogue international symposium will draw upon Dr. Borlaug's legacy and address “The Greatest Challenge in Human History: Can We Sustainably Feed the 9 Billion People on our Planet by the Year 2050?” The Dialogue will give special emphasis to the powers of intensification, innovation and inspiration to uplift smallholder farmers and meet the increasing demand for nutritious food.
Discussion topics will include:
- taking stock of where we currently stand in meeting the "greatest challenge in human history";
- closing yield gaps while addressing pressing water, gender and nutrition challenges and disparities;
- the role of information technology and data to increase productivity, conserve the environment, adapt to climate volatility and consumer needs, and improve the lives of farmers and other participants along the value chain;
- sustainable intensification to improve productivity with a special focus on soils and fertilizers;
- innovations in insurance and agrofinancing;
- and the role of the next generation in the fight against hunger through the DialogueNEXT conversation that features young innovators and thought leaders who are contributing new ideas, concepts and achievements toward this goal.
A special highlight at this year's Borlaug Dialogue will be the awarding of the 40 Chances Fellowships - the special initiative we announced at the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue with former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Howard G. Buffett - to four young innovators under the age of 40, who will each receive $150,000 in start-up funds to implement market and social entrepreneurship projects to confront hunger, poverty and conflict in Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.
Referred to as the "premier conference in the world on global agriculture", the Borlaug Dialogue will feature expertise and diverse perspectives of governmental leaders; policymakers; farmers; CEOs and executives from agribusiness; leaders of non-governmental organizations; and scientific, academic and development experts from around the world. Highlighted speakers include:
- His Excellency Ernest Bai Koroma, President, Republic of Sierra Leone
- His Excellency Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development
- The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, United States
- His Excellency Enrique Martinez y Martinez, Secretary of Agriculture, Mexico
- Her Excellency Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Agriculture, Liberia
In addition to the plenary symposium program of keynote speakers and conversation sessions, we are also pleased to offer Borlaug Dialogue attendees the opportunity to register for the following events:
- Ceremony and Reception for the Borlaug Field Award for Research and Application, Endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation (Oct. 15, 5:30 p.m.)
- Iowa Farm Tours (Oct. 17, afternoon): Organized by the Iowa Soybean Association, this event will provide an opportunity for national and international guests to travel to a real working Iowa farm during harvest.