Food Tank recently had the opportunity to speak with Allan Jury, the Vice President of Public Policy and Senior Advisor at World Food Program USA, who will be speaking at the summit.
Food Tank (FT): What inspired you to get involved in food and agriculture?
Allan Jury (AJ): I first got interested in food issues during my work on international refugee affairs, when I witnessed first-hand how important food systems are for basic survival of refugees fleeing conflict and, eventually, for their successful return and reintegration in their home countries.
FT: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?
AJ: Integrating technology, market economics, and good governance to dramatically improve the incomes and food security of the poor small producer households in middle- and low-income countries.
FT: What innovations in agriculture and the food system are you most excited about?
AJ: Technologies and systems that reduce food waste and loss, particularly post-harvest losses that can cripple income gains for the smallest producers.
FT: Can you share a story about a food hero that inspired you?
AJ: Amartya Sen inspires me because his academic work on food security and famine underscores my fundamental conviction that effective economic and political access to food for the poorest and most vulnerable is as important as simply producing enough food for all.
FT: What drives you every day to fight for the bettering of our food system?
AJ: The belief that reaching “Zero Hunger” is possible and not a dream.
FT: What’s the biggest problem within the food system our parents and grandparents didn’t have to deal with?
AJ: Climate change.
FT: What’s the first, most pressing issue you’d like to see solved within the food system?
AJ: Building effective national social safety nets and social protection to meet the minimum food survival needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, regardless of which country they live in.
FT: What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?
AJ: Reduce their own food waste and support food systems that efficiently deliver adequate food to all who need it.
FT: What’s one issue within the food system you’d like to see completely solved for the next generation?
AJ: An end to malnutrition in children under two years of age.
FT: What agricultural issue would you like for the next president of the United States to immediately address?
AJ: Increase support for low-income countries to adapt to the food and agricultural impacts of climate change.
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