Next week, farmers from around the world will gather in Des Moines for the Global Farmer-to-Farmer Roundtable, held in conjunction with the Word Food Prize Symposium, hosted by Truth About Trade & Technology (TATT), and sponsored in part by CBI. The farmers will discuss the future of agriculture and how innovations in farming can promote food security around the globe. In preparation for this exciting event, we asked the farmers to share their thoughts on agriculture. Meet a few farmers below and hear their thoughts on food security.
This year, the theme of the World Food Prize Symposium is “take it to the farmer.” How would you describe the role of farmers in feeding the world?
Jose Luis Romeo Martin (Spain): I think Norman Borlaug gave us the correct answer: If you can feed the world you must give the technology and the seeds to the farmers. In many countries in Africa hunger could be solved giving the farmers good seeds and good fertilizers and teaching them the best way to use them. And giving the seeds to the farmers doesn’t solve only hunger. It solves poverty also. In Asia I think the problem is different. There are a lot of people in Asia and they are using all the land they can. And I think the only way to increase the yield is using the new biotech crops.
Giorgio Fidenato (Italy): The role of farmers is analogous to that of other entrepreneurs. Food production is an entrepreneurial activity like any other and must respond to the law of supply and demand. Like all activities it continuously evolves toward the goal of greater efficiency. If the farming sector were left alone and there were a truly free market, innovation in agriculture would be continuous and could certainly solve world hunger.
Camilla Illich (Brazil): Data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that by the year 2050, the world will have around 10 billion people, in other words, from the current situation there would be 4 billion-plus people to feed. Compounding the problem of feeding the world, emerging countries like Brazil have been reducing the number of farmers who have the responsibility to feed urban populations. Given this reality, the focus of the farmers in agriculture is to promote high productivity, or yield average (plant and animal), with help of technology and biotechnology. Farmers are one of the most important players in feeding the world.