Dr. William H. Danforth, chairman of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, wrote an op-ed for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that outlines the challenges the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) must meet, and argues that first-rate science is critical to addressing these challenges.
He writes that America must promote innovation and science in order to increase productivity with fewer inputs, lower costs and new value added. This call to action connects to the second challenge: the 1 billion people who are undernourished worldwide. He also addresses the challenge of climate change, and stresses the importance of sustainable agriculture practices and preserving the environment for future generations.
Dr. Danforth also reflects on Dr. Norman Borlaug’s success bringing about the Green Revolution, which saved over 1 billion people from hunger and starvation, and communicates the need for similar food production advances today. Dr. Danforth writes, “An agricultural revolution to provide what’s needed on land able to produce for generations is a tough but noble goal. Our modern scientific and technological tools are allies.”
Read Dr. Danforth’s entire op-ed here
As leaders met in Rome last week, the International Food Policy Research Institute released a report which chronicles 20 good ideas that have helped feed millions of people.
The report, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, showcased initiatives ranging from milk cooperatives among women farmers in India to land reform in China, and they demonstrate what it takes to boost food production.
World leaders and representatives also signed onto a declaration “to take urgent action to eradicate hunger from the world,” and recognized estimates that agricultural output will have to increase by 70 percent between now and 2050.
The entire article can be read herehere.
The International Food Policy Research Institute report can be read here.
The UN World Food Summit Declaration can be read here.
The Economist published an editorial criticizing the decline in agricultural investment over the past 25 years, and called for renewed attention towards the plight of many farmers in developing countries and the importance of agriculture globally.
The recent spike in food prices and the growing world population has necessitated government action, and The Economist argues that the increased aid for agricultural activities must go towards technological advances that boost world food production without depleting resources such as water and land. They write “one way of raising yields stands out: developing genetically modified (GM) crops that, for example, use less water.”
Read the rest of the editorial here
Please comment below and let us know how you think we can increase food production to feed a growing population.
Bloomberg created a chart to demonstrate the increasing level of world hunger in the past two decades. Despite greater global wealth, investment in world food aid has declined 37% on an inflation-adjusted basis since 1988, contributing to the rise in the world’s undernourished. This chart shows the need for a long-term investment in agriculture in order to produce enough food to adequately feed the world.
You can view the article and chart here.
A panel of experts at the British Crop Production Council Congress agreed that agricultural biotechnology will be part of the solution to increasing food production. According to Bayer CropScience’s Julian Little, “To say the only way of producing enough food is through agricultural science and technology is probably not true…but without it there is no chance.”
Read more about the British Crop Production Council Congress here