15 August 2023
National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. The week provides a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on the scientific achievements that improve our lives. CropLife Australia, as the national peak industry organisation for the plant science sector, is encouraging all Australians to use the week to recognise the importance of science in ensuring our food and nutritional security and improving the sustainability of farming.
“The science that underpins ensuring we all have enough to eat is probably the most important science of all for humanity. The Third Agricultural Revolution, or the Green Revolution as it is more commonly referred to, started more than half a century ago and remains the foundation of our modern farming systems,” said Chief Executive Officer of Mr. Matthew Cossey.
“The introduction of new seed varieties, modern nutritional and crop protection chemistry and science-based farming systems were the core innovations that facilitated that step change in farming production and productivity. Without modern crop protection chemistry, the world would lose up to half our food crops to pests and plant diseases.
“As the Nobel Laureate, world famous agronomist and father of the Green Revolution, the late Norman Borlaug said, “You can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery”. Decades after this statement was originally made it still, unfortunately, rings true, with nearly one billion people going hungry every day.
“It is the scientific innovations of the plant science industry that will be at the core of the fourth agricultural revolution, which will be required to achieve another leap in production and enable farming to become even more environmentally sustainable. This fourth revolution will need to be done by the farming sector and supporting industries under even more challenging circumstances in every sense; climatically, economically, socially and scientifically.
Mr Cossey concluded, “By 2050, the global population will be 10 billion, and we will need to grow 60 per cent more food with less natural resources. This kind of challenge will require breakthroughs in agriculture that can only be achieved through science. As we look to solve the food security challenges of the future, we must not forget the hard lessons that have come before us.
Throughout National Science Week, follow @CropLifeOz for some of the important scientific advances that shape Australian farming today including: