The Financial Times published an editorial calling for more agriculture and food security aid in the declaration that will be signed at next week’s World Food Summit. They write that more attention must be paid towards the 1 billion chronically undernourished people in the globe, and the challenges to the future of food production, including an increasing population and climate change.
They also write that developing countries “need investment in research on agricultural techniques” in order to significantly increase food production in the developing world.
Read more of the Financial Times’ editorial here (subscription required)
Leonardo Academy, a nonprofit organization that works to advance sustainability, is recruiting applicants for five vacant seats on their National Sustainable Agriculture Standards Committee. The 58-member committee is in the process of developing a national standard for sustainable agriculture. The Academy is specifically searching for stakeholders in the following categories: Producer, User, Environmentalist and General Interest.
If you would like to apply for Committee membership click here
The latest issue of Rice Today focuses on climate change, and the potential impact extreme weather conditions in Southeast Asia will have on rice production. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is studying ways to better adapt rice crops to monsoons, floods and droughts, and has sent submergence-tolerant and salt-tolerant rice varieties to Myanmar for testing. The IRRI is also hosting an international conference about the future of rice production and climate change in November, 2009.
The issue also plays tributes to the late Nobel Laureate, Dr. Norman Borlaug, and his success in bringing the “Green Revolution” to India through developing high-yielding crops that help combat hunger and poverty.
You can read more about the latest issue of Rice Today here
Professor Sir Gordon Conway, chief scientist at the UK’s Department for International Development, has produced a new scientific paper arguing that climate change could devastate Africa and lead to catastrophic food shortages. He predicts that hunger could increase dramatically as more droughts affect water supply, leading to a 50% reduction in crop yields by 2020.
Sir Conway maintains that new technologies must be part of Africa’s response to hunger and drought. According to Sir Conway, “In certain circumstances…GM may be the speediest and most efficient way to increase yields.”
Read more about Sir Conway’s scientific paper here
Michael Specter, a staff writer with the New Yorker, confronts the widespread fear of science and the negative impact it could have on scientific progress in the areas of global agriculture, health and nutrition in his new book Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives .
Specter was on MSNBC and NPR’s “On the Media” program promoting Denialism and explaining the importance of agricultural biotechnology in addressing certain global challenges, and the resistance to it among certain groups.
A video of the MSNBC interview can be found here and a transcript of the NPR interview is available here.
Please share your thoughts on Denialism and how attitudes towards science and technology may be limiting progress.