Encouraging Careers in Food Security and Safety (ECaFSS)

A multi-institucional approach for succcess in Puerto Rico

NIFA HSI Award Number: 2016-38422-25541

Worldwide, plant and food-borne pathogens pose significant hazards to the food supply. At the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM) we are conscious of the importance of preparing a robust mass of Hispanic scientists well trained to diagnose plant diseases and food-borne pathogens. Through a multi-institutional and interdisciplinary collaborative agreement among the University of Puerto Rico at MayaguezInter American University-San GermánPontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico- Ponce and University of Puerto Rico- Aguadilla, lead by UPRM, we will train and expose a substantial number of underrepresented Hispanics minorities to food security and food safety issues. This collaborative agreement will provide curricula enhancement, research experiences, internships opportunities within USDA agencies and non-profit organizations, as well as faculty professional development, among others. In addition, we will outreach middle and high schools students through summer camps and field days. Selected high school students, undergraduate and graduate students (M.S. and Ph.D.), will benefit from the results of this collaborative agreement among scientists from all four participating Hispanic Serving Institutions of Puerto Rico. Our final goal will be to increase the critical mass of Hispanic agricultural scientists pursuing careers in NIFA-HIS priority areas of food security, food safety, and related disciplines.View ECaFFS project’s objectives here.

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Food Security

What is food security?

People are considered food secure when they have availability and adequate access at all times to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life. Food security analysts look at the combination of the following three main elements:

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Why pursue a career in Food Safety and Security?

Almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food

125 000 children under 5 years old die every year

Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger.

Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

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