who will be next World Bank President What will they do
 
 

     
 

McPherson to feed world. If Peter McPherson does - as rumours suggest - get the nomination as president of the World Bank, expect a greater focus on failed states - McPherson served on Nancy Birdsall's Commission on Weak States and US National Security - and agriculture, especially in Africa.

McPherson is a strong supporter of the use of biotechnology in development, arguing that it's an important tool that should not be kept away from the poor for political reasons.

"Recognizing that biotechnology must be applied within regulatory frameworks," he suggests. "We call for enhanced and expanded uses of biotechnology that can help solve, not just ease, agricultural problems.

"From pest management to livestock husbandry, from plant breeding to soil science the biotechnology is in place to help bring about a revolution, not merely an improvement there."

McPherson, who has criticised the Bank for allowing its investment in agriculture to fall, has been reviving US interest in the area.

According to Andrew Natsios, current USAID adminstrator, "When Peter McPherson was the administrator of USAID in the Reagan administration - a very good friend of mine; he's now the president of Michigan State University - AID was spending $1.3 billion a year in agricultural development - primarily in Africa, but all over the world - $1.3 billion.

"When I arrived at AID a year and a half ago, we were spending $250 million. We dropped a billion dollars in 15 years. The entire donor community, the banks and the U.N. all withdrew in a major way from the agriculture sector, which I think was an unmitigated disaster.

"It was the worst decision made in the international donor community in the last 15 years."

David Steven ~ February 11, 2005


 
 
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