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Conway creates ag development website

Sir Gordon Conway

Sir Gordon Conway, the former Rockefeller Foundation president who is now a professor of international development at Imperial College London, has created a website to collect the latest ideas on international agricultural development.

At a briefing at the World Bank today, Conway announced he has just published a book, “One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World,” that explains the many interrelated issues critical to the global food supply from the science of agricultural advances to the politics of food security.

But Conway noted today that he finished writing the book a year ago and realized that there are already so many new ideas that he decided a website was needed to reflect the latest information available.

Conway says the answer to the book’s title question about whether the world can be fed is “yes,” but only if a variety of actions are taken.

At the briefing, Michael Morris, program coordinator for agriculture and rural development in the Africa region at the bank, said that Conway’s book is a reminder that agricultural development is “hard to do” and takes a long time while bank officials often put pressure on the staff to achieve results a quickly as possible and at the lowest cost possible.

Conway, who has already lectured at Cornell and Purdue and will speak at the World Food Prize event in Des Moines this week, said he did not want to make headlines on the food versus fuel ethanol issue, but noted that the European Commission is proposing to reduce the percentage of biofuels that come from food crops.