Following the recommendation of the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, the Indian Government is taking further steps to approve the commercial use of BT Eggplant. The Journal reports that land area under food cultivation has shrunk from 73.8% in 1951 to around 60% in 2007.
“We have to use technology which does not demand more water or more land,” said D.H Pai Panandikar, an economist and chairman of the Indian arm of the Washington-based International Life Sciences Institute.
“I believe technology advancement has to take place and farmers should be given the advantage of new technology,” said Vibha Dhawan, executive director of The Energy Resources Institute (TERI).
The entire article can be read here. Please share your thoughts in our comments section.
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.
Field to Market: The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture has launched The Fieldprint Calculator, a free, online tool designed to help U.S. corn, cotton, soybean, and wheat growers assess how their operational decisions affect sustainability performance. The Calculator can estimate how a grower’s land use, energy use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and soil loss per unit of output compares with state and national averages.
This is a trial version and Field to Market encourages feedback about the product. You can read more and provide feedback about the Fieldprint Calculator here
On World Food Day (Oct. 16), Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack hosted a conference call with media to discuss the growing threat of global food insecurity. They used the call to discuss their comprehensive approach to reducing the number of people worldwide who are chronically hungry (currently more than 1 billion).
The U.S. approach centers on “research, capacity-building, and technical assistance” and relies heavily on the production value of biotechnology. According to Sec. Vilsack, “sustainability and productivity are not mutually exclusive goals” and the United States will pursue both in its strategy to promote food production around the world.
The call’s transcript can be read here
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