This week we were pleased to see that researchers at Stanford University were finally able to put to rest the argument that conventional farming is bad for the planet. In fact, they found that modern farming REDUCED the amount of greenhouse gases entering the earth’s atmosphere by the end of the 20th century. Other ag biotech news we liked this week:
Study finds that modern farming helped reduce greenhouse gas emissions
According to researchers at Stanford University, modern high-yield farming significantly reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emissions entering the Earth’s atmosphere by the end of the 20th century. The study found that novel farming techniques prevented as much as the equivalent of 590 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. Any policy intended to lower the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the Earth’s atmosphere, the researchers concluded, should entail the improvement of crop yields. READ MORE »
Brownfield Ag News’ 2009 Year in Review series honors the legacy of Dr. Borlaug, featuring interviews with Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, World Food Prize Foundation President, and Dr. Peggy Lemaux, University of California, Berkeley.
“This past year marked the passing of an incredible person, Dr. Norman Borlaug,” said Brownfield’s Tom Steever.
“[Dr. Borlaug] saved a billion lives with his breakthrough development of miracle wheat,” said Ambassador Quinn. “He saved more lives than any other person who has ever lived.”
“The work that he did creating short stature rice and wheat plants had a tremendous worldwide impact on people’s lives providing nutrition when there were many experts in the field who predicted massive starvation,” said Dr. Lemaux. “Through his work he was able to prove that through human ingenuity you could overcome challenges like that.”
Do you have a comment about Dr. Borlaug’s legacy? If so, we encourage you to leave a comment.
To listen to Brownfield Ag News’ Year in Review radio series, click here and listen to Segment 3 to hear more about Dr. Borlaug’s legacy.
Jim McCarthy, an Irish farmer and a participant in the Truth About Trade & Technology’s Global Farmer-to-Farmer Roundtable at the 2009 World Food Prize Symposium, penned an op-ed for Forbes.com about the importance of access to biotechnology for farmers worldwide.
Mr. McCarthy farms in Ireland and Argentina and grows wheat, corn and soybeans. He finds that the restrictive anti-biotech laws in Ireland contradict our need to grow more food on less land in order to meet the demands of a growing population.
According to Mr. McCarthy, “Europe must do its part to produce more and use its influence, especially in Africa, to encourage biotechnology. The policy of refusing to take GM crops seriously sets us up for an awful tragedy.”
Read more of Jim McCarthy’s piece here and please comment with your thoughts.
In his latest article, Reid Forgrave of the Des Moines Register reports on the types of connections and collaborations that are forged at the annual World Food Prize (WFP) Symposium. Hundreds of WFP attendees, from world leaders to local farmers come together every year to brainstorm, discuss ideas and join forces in the global fight against hunger.
As an example of an event that promotes global collaboration, Mr. Forgrave describes the Global Farmer-to-Farmer Roundtable sponsored by the Council for Biotechology Information. Seventeen farmers from around the world were given the opportunity to form mutually beneficial relationships and discuss solutions to common farming challenges. According to one participating farmer, Rajeesh Kumar from southern India, “The lives of Indian farmers can be miserable, with failing crops and lack of technology, but here, I’ve seen a lot of things which can be translated for farmers back in India.”
The complete article can be read here
Scientific American reports on Bill Gate’s remarks at the World Food Prize and his call for a second Green Revolution. In his speech, Mr. Gates announced nine new agriculture grants totaling $120 million, and openly supported the use of biotechnology as one of many tools necessary to alleviate world hunger and advance the next Green Revolution.
Mr. Gates described the need to “develop crops that can grow in a drought; that can survive in a flood; that can resist pests and disease” and openly endorsed biotechnology as one solution to helping end world hunger.
The complete article can be read here.