The Balkan Region of Southeastern Europe has long suffered from political instabilityand armed conflict. Among other causes, the Balkan conflict is rooted in ethnic tensionsexacerbated by competition for scarce resources such as land. Food insecurity, oneoutgrowth of this tension, is inextricably linked to political stability. The U.S. Country Paperpresented at the World Food Summit in Rome in 1996 linked food insecurity to itsantecedents of poverty, war, trade barriers, inappropriate national policies, inadequateagricultural research, poor health, population growth, gender inequity, and environmentaldegradation. Preventive development investments in Balkan food security are one element ofa humane and cost effective approach to reducing future political conflicts and theconcomitant costs of peacemaking and peacekeeping. But agronomic advances alone will notensure food security. Agricultural education and its long standing ties to democraticprocesses presents one set of options for utilization in situations where both technical andsocial change are needed. However, these traditional agricultural education approachesrequire significant modification to be successful under the heightened tensions in theBalkans. Examples of strategies utilized by agricultural educators from Greece and otherBalkan countries are included. The paper concludes with comments on the responsibility ofvarious stakeholders as a key in building trust, stability and prosperity.

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