19 June 2012
Prime Minister Julia Gillard should be congratulated for the Government’s commitment to global food security, which was reinforced with the recent announcement of significant funding to the new Ag Results initiative. The plant science industry welcomes the announcement and commends the Government for their support of such a key initiative, which is vital to the prosperity of Australian agriculture.
CropLife Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Cossey, expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative saying “I am very pleased that world leaders are taking the challenge of global food security seriously. With over one billion people going to bed hungry every night, this is already a significant issue. Without a substantial increase in production, the growing demand for food, particularly across developing countries, will very likely outgrow supply, increasing pressure on farmers to produce more food with less land, soil, water and fertiliser.
“There is an urgent need for drastic measures in agriculture globally to counter this threat. The adoption of modern agricultural chemistry and biotechnology will be at the very core of the solution.
“It is also so encouraging to see that governments are now coming together to develop and fund innovation in this sector. Such commitment will inspire the plant science industry to maintain their annual multi-billion dollar research and development spend and to devote even further resources to this critical fight.”
Equipped with the appropriate scientific and technical resources, the plant science industry has for decades been innovating agriculture. The industry has already provided crucial advances such as GM crops that have revolutionised global agriculture by increasing crop yields, reducing the risks of crop disease, facilitating the switch to no-till cropping systems and multiple other environmental benefits.
Scientists have also been examining and trialling increased nutritional content in GM crops, an advancement that could prove critical to seventy-five per cent of the world’s poorest people who struggle to provide adequate food and nutrition to their families.
“With increased investment by governments we can look forward to seeing further advancements sooner and more agricultural tools and products becoming available for farmers globally. Australia can be confident that we have a world leading plant science industry that invests heavily in agricultural innovation and which stands ready to work with governments in this very urgent and serious fight so as to ensure some of our world’s most vulnerable people are given the best chance to achieve global food security”, concluded Mr Cossey.