Sunday, February 21, 2010

Seeds of Diplomacy, Part II

As a follow-up to my last message, here's a link to some remarks by Agricultural Secretary Vilsack:

We need to do a better job, frankly, of developing partnerships, farmer to farmer, leader to leader, explaining these benefits.

So public diplomacy is part of our new approach. We have to focus on a rules-based and science-based system, but we also have to create new opportunities for empowering other nations in other parts of the world to assist us in carrying this message. It cannot just simply be a message carried by the United States. And so you look for countries in Africa and Asia and South America who are embracing this science, who explain to the friends and neighbors in their part of the world the benefits of it. Expanding exports is an important consideration.

And it also means developing relationships, as Jim Miller discussed. Our global food security initiative is not just simply about providing assistance to countries because it is the right thing to do. It is the smart thing to do because it creates relationships that in turn lead to ultimate business opportunities. So if you focus on protecting the market through food safety, if you put more research and development to allow farmers to be more productive and to protect their crops from pests and disease, you expand domestic markets and you increase export markets.

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