Youth Key to Feeding the World
Earlier this week the two-day Crop World Conference, was held in Charlotte. All the major players in agriculture were a part of this conference, and Bayer CropScience had a big presence with Nick Hamon, Bayer CropScience, Sustainability in Crop Science for North America, and Adrian Percy, VP for group development North America. Hamon explains that sustainability in agriculture is a topic that’s everywhere these days:
“Sustainable agriculture is something that everyone is talking about right now, recognizing that we hit seven billion population in October 2011, and all the projections are that we’re going to be in excess of nine billion by 2050. And there is a huge concern whether agriculture today can feed a growing population particularly by 2050. If you add two billion people, you’re adding the equivalent of two Indias. And today we already have close to a billion people in poverty and having to deal with the cost of food, and the accessibility of food, so it’s a major issue and getting more and more recognition in the past few years.”
The long and short of the situation; is that agriculture is going to have to be more productive on less land:
“The World Economic Forum has now put water and the global food crisis right at the top of the list of things of governments should be concerned about moving forward. So, again, wherever you look, whatever publications you read, they’re all starting to address the need to feed a growing population, and talking about the benefits, upsides and downsides of modern agriculture. Particularly what one doesn’t not want to do is grow food on more and more land. And that land is becoming rarer, urbanization is taking a vast amount of land on an annual basis. And you know, really, what I think we’re recognizing, is that agricultural productivity is going to have to increase dramatically to meet the growing need.”
Adrian Percy was also a panelist at this week’s Crop World Conference. He’s very involved in exposing youth, particularly FFA students, to the agriculture sciences:
“What’s really exciting to me about the FFA is that they are a growing organization. There’s over half a million kids in the FFA across the US, and they are growing. I think that they are really a very relevant organization, you know they are teaching kids not just about agricultural science, but also about leadership, and I think you know, as a nation it’s very important that we do the best by the leaders of the future.
So, Bayer is delighted to partner with FFA, and we’re a sponsor of FFA, as are a number of organizations in our sector, and we like to support them both at the national level, but also locally, including here in North Carolina.”
It is rumored that Raleigh will host next year’s Crop World Conference.