Food and AgriCultural Transformation — August 23, 2017

InFACT, it's Global: Resilient Food Security in South America

Ohio State's Initiative for Food and AgriCultural Transformation (InFACT) was represented at the 44th Congress of the Colombian Entomological Society, held from July 5-7 at the Universidad el Bosque in Bogotá, where Casey Hoy, Faculty Director of InFACT, Kellogg Endowed Chair in Agricultural Ecosystems Management, and professor of Entomology, served as a “conferencia magistral,” or master lecturer, at the event.

Dr. Hoy's address to the group was titled “From pest to agroecosystem management, and resilient food security.” The lecture focused on the need for the sophisticated management of rapidly evolving technology, the unprecedented abundance of agricultural commodities, unsustainable resource use, and inequitable access to food and the resources for its production, which leaves 1 in 9 people in the world chronically malnourished. Dr. Hoy highlighted that with the anticipated impacts of climate change, a transformation in food and agriculture is needed locally and globally. In fact, the Colombian audience was well aware that a food security crisis is brewing right next door, in Venezuela.

In his remarks, Dr. Hoy also presented InFACT as an example of institutional change in transformative food systems. He outlined the structure and goals of the program and highlighted how the roots of InFACT are in the holistic thinking currently applied to the integrated management of insect pests. Dr. Hoy noted that expanding this systems thinking to the management of agroecosystems and agroecosystem health provides a robust conceptual framework for resilient and sustainable food security.

The Congress brought together more than 500 professionals, research centers, associations, producers and companies working in the agricultural sector in Colombia. The gathering is the preeminent event for the discussion and exchange of entomology knowledge in Colombia. As the organizers highlighted, in Colombia, climate change, globalization, and the introduction of new technologies for crop protection have generated a wide range of ecological, agricultural, and public health problems. This year, with the theme "Entomology of impact: solving problems integrating disciplines," the conference focused on presenting new and creative ways to interact between disciplines to tackle and solve entomological problems.