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Viewpoint: Republicans signal support for Obama-era global agricultural aid bill that could usher in higher tech African Green Revolution

| | July 17, 2018
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The Global Food Security Act, an Obama-era piece of legislation that marshals foreign aid to speed up agricultural growth and reduce hunger in poor countries, will expire this year if it is not renewed.

Fortunately, it seems to have bipartisan support, as evidenced last month when the Republican-controlled Senate reauthorized the legislation for another five years. It will soon face a vote in the House, and its odds there are relatively high — with 107 cosponsors (including 30 Republicans) already lined up.

But even if the bill passes both houses, it remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump will sign it into law. If the administration’s stance on another very similar Obama-era initiative — the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, which increases food security by boosting agricultural productivity, predominantly in African countries — is anything to go by, the chances for renewal appear quite low. On the one-year anniversary of the Trump presidency, the Treasury Department declared the US would pull out of that program.

Development experts and advocacy groups in the US who are fighting against food insecurity are right to appeal for increased US aid for African agriculture. But given the political climate at home that renders aid highly precarious, they should also encourage African leaders themselves to do the right thing by their poor populations.

Read full, original article: What Trump and African leaders need to know about food security

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