From the ground up: Borlaug institute working for food and national security

A worldwide effort to end hunger through science
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:17 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:55 AM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - There are many people in the Brazos Valley and around the world that have no idea where their next meal is coming from. There’s an institute right here in the Brazos Valley dedicated to a future where food is no longer a worry.

"Borlaug said himself, ‘peace cannot be built on empty stomachs, or human misery,’” Elsa Murano, the director of the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture at Texas A&M, says, quoting her former mentor.

Murano and her colleagues are pioneering multi-disciplinary projects around the world, with eradicating hunger and developing self-sustaining communities.

“Anything from production agriculture to processing and policy, economics, and education, to try to elevate people out of poverty, through science, as much as we can,” Murano says.

“When people around the world or in specific countries are miserable because they don’t have food, they don’t have income, they can’t send their kids to school, etcetera, they will do desperate things," Murano says. "They will migrate to wherever they need to go to have a better life for themselves and their family. They will join movements that will overthrow governments, and cause a lot of conflict. [The US] has to go to war to end up trying to mitigate those effects.”

In other words, Murano and her colleagues at the institute say that food security also means national security.

“It is in our best interest, it really is, that we as a nation engage in this effort to eradicate poverty and hunger around the world,” Murano says.

She says sharing our knowledge of science is the best way we can help the world right now.

“In all of our projects we try to interject these things as much as we can, so that we can make a difference. What we wanna do, always, is work ourselves out of the projects, so that people are doing for themselves, [and they] don’t need us anymore," Murano says.

"That’s the best feeling there is, to be honest.”

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