Robynne Anderson's Emerging Thoughts on Ag

Building a Business in the Shadow of Ebola

The intrepid and dedicated Paddy Docherty has been building a rice business called Lion Mountains Agrico Ltd. in Sierra Leone, Africa, that aims to turn the country into an agricultural powerhouse. Building a business in a developing country is always a tough job, but it gets even more complicated when there is a health crisis the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak. Here’s an audio interview with Paddy on BBC World Service about the successes they are having.

Farming First to Host Event Declaring Food and Agriculture Matters

Please join me at Conference Room C, UN Headquarters, on February 20, 1:15-2:30pm (EST) for a panel discussion that will hear from women farmers and leading thinkers on means to improve food security, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture. The event has been organized by Farming First, a multi-stakeholder platform involving farmers, scientists, NGOs, and business that strives to bolster sustainable development and food security through agriculture, particularly with regards to developing countries.

The event will be held as a panel discussion with short intervention by the speakers below, followed by discussion.

  • Chair: Guillermo Rishcyhnski, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada
  • Mildred Crawford, Jamaica Network of Rural Women Producers
  • Rose Akaki, Uganda National Farmers Federation
  • Sharon Brennan Haylock, UN FAO
  • Anne-Sophie Stevance, ICSU
  • Hilda Poulson, One Acre Fund

Please if you plan to attend.

Mars and IBM launch Food Safety Project

Sequencing the Food Supply Chain Infographic.

Sequencing the Food Supply Chain Infographic.

Mars, a member of the private sector mechanism we resource (, is partnering with IBM to undertake a ground breaking effort on food safety. It is estimated 2 million people a year die in emerging areas due to food borne infections. In the U.S. alone, one in six people are affected by food-borne diseases each year, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations, 3,000 deaths, and $9 billion in medical costs. Another $75 billion worth of contaminated food is recalled and discarded annually.

Together a food company and a science company will conduct the largest-ever metagenomics study to categorize and understand micro-organisms and the factors that influence their activity in a normal, safe factory environment.

Click the infographic at the right to see the full size version, and read the Press Release.

Multi-stakeholder Model

The UN Committee on Food Security is a unique multi-stakeholder model that has governments, research bodies, private sector, civil society and foundations all working together. It was an honour to be included in a video on the impacts of the reform. Please visit:

And congratulations to fellow delegates on their engagement including:

  1. Jan Dyer, Canadian Canola Growers’ Association
  2. Mike Michener, CropLife International
  3. Nico Van Belzen, International Dairy Federation
  4. Natalia Federighi, Yara International
  5. Charles Ogang, Uganda National Farmers Federation
  6. Barrie Bain, Informa

An Event Worth Attending

World Vision is launching “Advancing the Debate: Cross-sector partnerships, business and the post-2015 development agenda.” on Tuesday, 10 February 2015, from 8:15-9:30 am (light breakfast will be served at 8:00 am) at the UN Millennium Hotel, Riverview conference room (28th floor), 1 United Nations Plaza, New York, (East 44th Street, between First and Second Avenues). The list of speakers includes:

Charles Badenoch,
Vice-President for Global Advocacy. World Vision

Panelists include:
Cheryl Freeman, Senior Director, Global Advocacy. World Vision
Ambassador Palitha T.B. Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN.
Gary Cohen, Acting CEO, GBCHealth
Louise Kantrow, Permanent Representative to the UN, International Chamber of Commerce
Other Representatives from UN Missions – TBC

For more information or to RSVP, contact