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CropWorld Global 2013: How Do We Feed Our Growing Population?

CropWorld Global 2013: How Do We Feed Our Growing Population?

29 October 2013

THE NETHERLANDS - This week, Amsterdam hosts the 4th Annual CropWorld Global 2013 Conference. Leading international experts from the agrochemical and crop industry, key policymakers and regulators are meeting to discuss the future of crop production, as well as crop protection. Gemma Hyland reports from the event.

As the last of St Jude's storm passes over Europe, it serves as a reminder of our ever-changing climate and the impacts on our food supply chain.

Challenges facing the global agricultural community are now greater than ever, with immediate solutions required for climate change, population growth and the need to sustainably manage the world’s rapidly growing demand for energy and water.

Speaking ahead of the event, Adrian Gough, Business Development Manager EMEA, DuPont Crop Protection (UK), said: "As the global population grows, the impact on hunger will be dramatic. According to the United Nations, global food production must be 70 per cent greater than today’s level to feed the population.

"At the same time, arable land is projected to decline by 11 per cent in developing countries due to climate change. Coupled with water scarcity, crop yields are expected to decline by 12 per cent.

"We must look at all of the factors affecting global food security, develop a comprehensive, accurate assessment of what it will take to achieve that security and determine how to best invest time, money and resources."

Delivering his address, Mr Gough added: "We believe the keys to addressing the global food challenge are science and innovation. But science alone is not enough; the true measure is how science is developed and applied.

"We believe that mankind has the capacity to address the food crisis, but only if the global community can also find the will to address the political, economic, trade, infrastructure and regulatory issues that also play a critical role in achieving food security."

Regulations are 'significant hurdle'

Professor Alison Stewart, Chief Science Officer at Marrone Bio Innovations said: "Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment, food safety, and their health. It is now an imperative to grow more from less land and doing it more sustainably than we have in the past.

"Today it is about discovering and leveraging innovative methods to enhance yields without putting workers, consumers, or the environment at risk.

"Solutions will need to come from companies—large and small, as well as individual farmers.

"Today’s regulatory environment is a significant hurdle as it is complex and often contradictory. 

"Streamlining the introduction of safer, effective crop protection solutions would benefit everyone in the food supply chain from the farmer to the grocery retailer to the families who want healthy, high quality food."

Gemma Hyland, Editor

Gemma Hyland, Editor

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