Water for Food conference will focus on public-private partnerships

· 3 min read

Water for Food conference will focus on public-private partnerships

Registration is open now for the 2016 Water for Food Global Conference organized by the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska.

The conference will be April 24-26 at Nebraska Innovation Campus. Conference details, including how to register, are available here.

The conference brings together global experts to discuss advances in science, technology and policy to help address one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century: how to achieve greater food security with less pressure on water resources.

This year’s theme is “Catalytic Collaborations: Building Public-Private Partnerships for Water and Food Security,” focusing on the powerful impact that can be achieved through public-private partnerships in water for food research, technology and project development.

The conference features a mix of plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, side events and workshops representing different voices in PPPs. There will also be various special events to facilitate networking among participants, including a workshop on smallholder irrigation in Africa co-convened with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and KickStart; the world premiere of “Thirsty Land,” a documentary feature film; a student poster competition; photography competition and exhibit; farm-to-table dinner and closing reception with live music.

Session topics include:

  • irrigation research and technology for smallholder farmers, including remote sensing and apps that help farmers target water usage to maximize yields;

  • agricultural solutions in both crop development and management; and livestock;

  • information technology to improve water and agricultural productivity;

  • food processing advancements to reduce water use in the food and beverage sector;

  • mitigating the effects of climate change on water and food security and public health; and

  • the rapidly growing agricultural entrepreneurship ecosystem and its role in private-public partnerships.

Plenary speakers include Hank Bounds, University of Nebraska system president; Melissa Ho, managing director, Africa at Millennium Challenge Corporation; Martin Fisher, co-founder and CEO of KickStart; Patricia Mulroy, senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institute and former general manager of the Las Vegas Valley Water District; Jeff Raikes, co-founder of the Raikes Foundation and Water for Food Institute board chair; the executive director-designate of the Water for Food Institute; and Sally Rockey, executive director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.

Early registration ($450) goes through March 18; regular registration ($550) is March 19 to April 15 and registration for university faculty and staff is $250.

Roberto Lenton, founding executive director of the Water for Food Institute, said the international event is part of the institute’s efforts to provide educational outreach and facilitate partnerships beyond Nebraska. The 2014 conference in Seattle attracted more than 250 practitioners, scholars, farmers and leaders from 23 countries.

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