Students choose a country that is not their own, learn about the country, people, and a factor related to food insecurity in that country and brainstorm viable solutions for food security.

2018 Borlaug Scholars attending the Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa.

2018 Borlaug Scholars attending the Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa.

It is important to learn and report on a typical farm or urban area, what a typical family might look like and barriers facing that typical family. After realistically understanding life and challenges of food insecurity, can the student begin to think of recommendations on how to address the selected factor affecting food insecurity.  This should be a realistic solution helping the typical family, including details of funding and how it may be implemented. Information sessions and office hours will be offered to help give critical feedback on student's paper and presentation. As a research paper, it is important to use credible sources and have a realistic view of solutions for their chosen country.

Below is a list of key factors, though sometimes factors overlap, it is important that the student focuses on one main factor for their research. 

Key Factors affecting Food Security

  1. Plant Science Increasing crop yields and improving disease/drought resistance through research and breeding of improved plant varieties
  2. Water Scarcity Managing water scarcity and adapting farming practices to reduced water supplies with improved irrigation technologies and conservation practices
  3. Biofuels Balancing the demand on global food and energy supplies and ensuring that developing nations also benefit from the use of biofuel
  4. Animal Health Preventing the transmission of disease in livestock and poultry with improved management, investments in vaccine development, and proper application of medications to avoid antibiotic‐resistance
  5. Climate Volatility Responding to climate volatility by adapting agricultural practices and policies to increase carbon sequestration and support ecological resilience to erratic weather, rising temperatures/drought, saltwater intrusion, and shifting plant diseases and pest infestations
  6. Sustainable Agriculture Developing and implementing sustainable agricultural practices (no‐till, crop rotation, integrated pest management, etc.) to combat erosion, desertification and soil depletion and reduce pesticide/herbicide use and minimizing environmental degradation associated with industrial agricultural practices (improved animal waste disposal, conservation buffers, etc.)
  7. Animal Agriculture Implementing sustainable practices for raising livestock and poultry (management intensive grazing, integrated livestock/poultry grazing and poultry/vegetable production systems, fish pond farming systems, etc.)
  8. Spoilage & Waste Reducing spoilage and improving the quality and shelf life of food products with improved food preservation techniques and increased processing capacity (flash‐heating, aseptic processing, freeze drying, bulk storage, etc.
  9. Water & Sanitation Increasing access to safe, potable water supplies, toilets and pit latrines, and education on proper sanitation/hygiene and food preparation techniques to reduce the transmission of food and water‐borne disease
  10. Dietary Diseases Addressing obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other dietary diseases through nutrition education, access to nutritious foods, and healthy behavior (dietary diversification, food selection, portion‐size control, exercise, etc.)
  11. Malnutrition Alleviating micro-nutrient deficiencies (iron, vitamin A, iodine, zinc) and protein‐ energy malnutrition through improved access to nutritious food, fortification, supplementation, school‐feeding programs, nutrition education, emergency therapeutic feeding, etc.
  12. Human Diseases Reducing the burden of illness and infectious diseases like HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), Malaria, etc., to improve human health and nutrition and raise agricultural production
  13. Demographics Addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by population growth and urbanization
  14. Conflict Resolution Preventing and resolving political and armed conflict with diplomatic initiatives
  15. Human Rights Addressing gender, cultural and economic discrimination and improving access to credit and securing property rights for the poor and marginalized
  16. Education Investing in education, training and extension for improved implementation of agricultural research and technology
  17. Good Governance Reducing corruption by promoting the rule of law, government accountability, democratic principles and transparency
  18. International Trade Removing discriminatory international trade policies to improve market access, promote fair trade and increase economic development
  19. Foreign Aid Assisting vulnerable populations and improving the effectiveness of humanitarian relief and food aid in conflict zones and disaster sites
  20. Farm to Market Improving access to markets through infrastructure development (roads and railways, internet, mobile technologies, electricity)