The food crisis of 2008 brought into sharp focus the stark realities confronting the global food production system. Rising energy prices, demand for biofuels, climate change, market speculation, changes in dietary patterns, and under-investment in the agricultural sector in many countries were some of the root causes of the 2008 crisis. Reduced agricultural research and development in the public sector, and a contraction in investments in rural infrastructure and development also did not help. Riots and political instability were manifested in several countries as a result of the food crisis. The impacts of the food crisis on the world’s most vulnerable and poorest were worsened a few months later when the North American financial crisis erupted. Some 100 million more people were plunged into food deprivation and poverty.

It is against this global backdrop that the McGill Institute for Global Food Security was launched in October 2010. Institute staff, students and post doctoral fellows focus their energies on finding solutions, and help to advance the annual agricultural productivity growth, while at the same time conserving natural resources and minimizing environmental degradation. The time to reinvest in agriculture, food production and nutrition is now. Research and development, technology transfer, education, and dissemination of knowledge are so critical to alleviating the hunger and poverty being experienced by over 1 billion people in the world.




Margaret Gilliam Fund