(September 30, 2014) Members of the House and Senate each introduced legislation to permanently authorize the US government’s Feed the Future Initiative. The House’s Feed the Future Global Food Security Act of 2014 and the Senate’s Global Food Security Act of 2014 were introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), respectively. The bills are cosponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) and Sens. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
Feed the Future aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, strengthen maternal and child nutrition, and build capacity for long-term growth. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, there are more than 500 million family farms in the world, and the majority are in developing countries.
Both bills will build upon the progress already made through Feed the Future by developing a whole-of-government strategy that supports country ownership, nutrition, and food security. Through this legislation, assistance to small-scale farmers, especially women, will be prioritized. Additionally, each bill seeks to improve maternal and child nutrition during the critical 1,000-day window between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday.
These aims are consistent with the nutrition strategy introduced by the US Agency for International Development earlier this year.” Introduced before Congress left for recess, both bills will have to wait until after the November elections for consideration.