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Meridian Institute

Cargill Learning Journey to Southern Africa

Related: Agriculture and Food Systems

​In June 2015, Meridian Institute Senior Mediator Heather Lair was part a group of 25 leaders and experts from diverse food and agriculture-related organizations and backgrounds that embarked on a “learning journey” to explore one of the world’s most pressing questions: How will we produce enough food for a growing, more affluent and increasingly urban world in the years ahead? The destination was southern Africa, in the contrasting agricultural economies of South Africa and Zambia. Cargill hosted the trip in celebration of its 150th Anniversary.
The group included food and agriculture supply chain representatives, civil society representatives, international agricultural development organizations (e.g., Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa or AGRA), a U.S. farmer, academics, and several Cargill employees, including senior leaders within the company. Participants brought diverse experiences from Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Many had worked in Africa throughout their careers; for a few, it was their first visit.

Meridian was invited to participate and offer reflections on the learning journey given its deep experience convening diverse stakeholders to collaboratively address agricultural development and food security challenges in Africa. A number of Meridian projects have supported African leaders and institutions and their development partners in efforts to ensure food security and resilient food systems across the continent. Resources from the learning journey include the following:

• Southern African Food Security & Food Systems: Reflections from a Learning Journey to South Africa & Zambia, by Heather Lair, Meridian Institute
• Cargill News Release about the Meridian Institute Findings Report

• AGree Blog - An Invitation to U.S. Farmers and Ranchers

• Video: Cargill Africa Learning Journey Overview
• Cargill’s Africa Learning Journey Website


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