We agree that we must double out agricultural output if we are to meet the needs of the world population in 2050
Des Moines, IA (PRWEB) October 14, 2009
Agricultural leaders today opened the World Food Prize 2009 Borlaug Dialogue Symposium encouraging stakeholders to work collectively to achieve Norman Borlaug's vision to develop and share meaningful agricultural innovations with farmers around the world. Borlaug, who was known as the father of the "green revolution," died in September.
Speaking to a standing room only audience at the event's opening ceremony, Ellen Kullman, chief executive officer, DuPont, and Patricia Woertz, chairman, CEO and president, Archer Daniels Midland Company, praised the World Food Prize and urged participants to come together to meet the agricultural needs of a growing world.
"We agree that we must double out agricultural output if we are to meet the needs of the world population in 2050," said Kullman. "We believe this must be done in a sustainable way to reduce agriculture's environmental footprint and conserve the precious resources available to us. We know it's going to require cooperative efforts across industries and geographies, and between private and public entities. With all of us working toward a common goal, we can leverage many opportunities throughout the agriculture value chains to feed our growing, global population."
The two CEOs were united in their call for new public-private partnerships that will encourage agricultural progress and challenge the status quo.
"Innovation on the farm - and improved yields alone - won't be sufficient to meet future global demands. They must be accompanied by increased post-harvest investment," Woertz said.
"We in the private sector can play an important role by making infrastructure investments that help build global markets and create economic opportunity," said Woertz, noting that ADM is investing to expand its global sourcing, storage, transportation and processing capabilities.
"The World Food Prize, bolstered by the passion of Kenneth Quinn, has inspired a generation of researchers and continues to inspire leaders outside of traditional agriculture," said Bill Lesher, Global Harvest Initiative executive director. "We are in a prime position to make the difference that Norman Borlaug envisioned. At no time have we encountered such a positive environment for change, such a diverse group of leaders primed to work together."
Lesher urged public and private sector leaders to join the Global Harvest Initiative in developing a blueprint for change that promotes growth in developing and developed countries to close the global agricultural productivity gap - the difference between the current pace of output expansion and the pace required to meet future agricultural needs.
About the Global Harvest Initiative: The Global Harvest Initiative is dedicated to fostering new partnerships between agriculture, food security and conservation leaders to sustainably double agricultural output by 2050. For more information, visit Harvest 2050 Blog or http://www.globalharvestinitiative.org.