11 July 2011
On World Population Day, the peak body for Australia’s plant science industry, CropLife is calling on the Australian Government to recognise the crucial role that modern farming technology can play in meeting the world’s growing demand for food.
Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia, Matthew Cossey, stated that modern farm technologies are essential in ensuring food security and stable national economies. “With 1.7 billion more mouths to feed by 2030, the ratio of arable land to population declining by 40-55 per cent and 1.8 billion people living with absolute water scarcity by 2025, there has never been greater pressure on global agriculture”, Mr Cossey said.
“The FAO predicts that the world population will tip over 9 billion by 2050. Our farmers face a massive challenge in feeding this population while combating natural disasters, reduced arable cropping land, salinity and at the same time trying to conserve natural resources and deliver more with less”.
“Research and development in agricultural plant science, combined with effective food distribution and population program measures are all needed to increase agricultural production and address the world’s food security issues. Farmers, particularly in the developing world need financial, technical and educational support from governments and international organisations to assist them in this task”.
“The Australian plant science industry recognises that it is part of the solution. The industry is developing innovative crop protection and plant varieties that enable farmers to grow more food sustainably and productively. It is critical that farmers are equipped with all the necessary tools to increase their productivity. Already, 20-40% of the world’s food production is lost to pests, weeds and diseases. This number would double without effective crop protection products”, Mr Cossey said.
According to a recent report on global food and farming futures conducted by the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor and the Foresight Panel, the only way to meet future food needs is through sustainable intensification of agriculture, through the use of all forms of agriculture, including GM crops.
“Using a variety of innovative agricultural tools is the only way to achieve sustainable increased crop production. The Australian plant science industry is committed to providing farmers with modern tools that increase yields, safeguard crops, preserve the environment and protect human health. These efficiencies help to give the world the time it needs to achieve a sustainable population”, Mr Cossey concluded.
About World Population Day:World Population Day was established by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme in 1989 as a way to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. It was an outgrowth of the interest generated by the Day of Five Billion, which was observed on 11 July 1987.