Yesterday, several experts discussed the role of biotechnology in agricultural production. Here are some of their thoughts on the future of sustainable agriculture and biotechnology.
Jason Clay, SVP, Market Transformation, WWF – Talapia and catfish, both farm-raised, will be the “next white meat.” They require fewer natural resources than livestock and produce the needed daily protein requirement. Also, we’ll need to invest in tropical trees since many of our food products will come from tropical trees. We’ll need to invest in palm trees, cacoa trees, cassava, and sorghum.
Weibin Yin, CEO, Longping High-Tech Agriculture – We’ll need to look at policies that support better pricing of commodity crops to make farming and agriculture profitable.
William Dar, Director General, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics – We will need to invest in dry-land crops grown in regions where the most vulnerable populations live. Crops like sorghum and millet would benefit from further biotech research.
Seyfu Ketema, Exec. Director, Assoc. for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa – In Africa, sorghum and millet are very important. We will need to increase production of these crops.
Finally, Ms. H. E. Gerda Verburg, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, The Netherlands, quoted Namibia’s Minister of the Environment, “If you do what you did, you get what you’ve got.” She reiterated that nations, public and private sector industries, multilateral organizations, farm organizations and all stakeholders will need to work together to meet critical food needs while practicing sound environmental stewardship. She urged everyone not to continue with the status quo.