Recently, during two intense days in sunny Valencia, Spain, the National Association of Agro-food cooperatives organized, Reasons for Future: 7th Congress of Alimentary Cooperatives. The forum set the stage for sharing the challenges and opportunities of the agricultural cooperative sector between cooperative members, business and industry, and government representatives. Attendees ranged from the King of Spain to the European Union (EU) commissioner of Agriculture & Rural Development to the Chair of the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Commission from the EU Parliament. The theme of the event was “three I’s+one” – integration, internationalization, innovation and the addition of illusion [eagerness] to drive them to success.
Summarized below are highlights from the forum conversations:
DuPont was a conference sponsor and featured a booth from which a team of technicians shared the latest scientific developments in the sector.
“Our main task is to help farmers improve productivity, reduce the impact on the environment and ensure prosperity for their businesses and their families,” said Piersilvio Paiero, director of DuPont Crop Protection in Spain. “The food cooperative movement in Spain represents 2 percent of the GDP of the country, which has registered a growth of 23 percent since 2007 and now employs 100,000 people, so, it is an important partner for us to meet our goals.”
Today is the 42nd Anniversary of National Ag Day in the United States, set to recognize agriculture’s role in American life. Food and fiber doesn’t just arrive at the grocery or clothing store or magically appear on our dinner table or in our closet. There’s an entire industry dedicated to providing plentiful, nutritious and safe food to eat, as well as a wide range of comfortable, fashionable clothing choices. We rely on agriculture for life’s necessities. From beef and pork to cotton and corn, agriculture is working harder than ever to meet the needs of Americans and others around the world.
Learn more about agriculture innovation, collaboration and how these ideas are shared at the local level around the world.
Today we shine a light on the role of agriculture in feeding a growing population and celebrate it.
- Each American farmer feeds about 144 people
- Agriculture is America’s #1 export
Innovation and new technology means farmers continue to be good stewards of the land. In the U.S., DuPont is using its expertise to advise farmers of the benefits of planting cover crops to promote sustainable agriculture. Cover crops include oats or rye that are seeded into existing crops such as corn or soybean to control weeds, prevent erosion, and improve soil health. These cover crops are also beneficial alternatives in regions such as the Midwest that are susceptible to weather-related “prevented planting” when heavy rains or drought prevent planting of soybean or corn during the growing season. Planting cover crops is a relatively new practice, but DuPont Pioneer is helping farmers realize it can pay significant dividends in terms of land stewardship and crop yields. In October of 2013, DuPont Pioneer announced an initiative with The Howard Buffet Foundation to develop products to support a conservation-based system of agriculture to sustainably improve the productivity of smallholder farmers in Africa.
Learn more about AgDay by visiting http://www.agday.org/ or by following @agday on Twitter. AgDay is organized by the Agriculture Council of America and DuPont is a sponsor.
While the rest of the world has made significant progress towards achieving food security, Africa, in particular Sub-Saharan Africa, continues to lag behind. The ever increasing population is also posing huge challenges in providing a secure food future to the present generation and the next.
DuPont believes that with inclusive innovation Africa can address the challenge of food security. At DuPont Africa, science is hard at work to deliver innovative food and nutrition solutions in the areas of food enzymes and ingredients, animal nutrition, soy protein isolates, food safety detection and packaging solutions. DuPont is working with local producers and food value chain companies to provide host of innovative solutions. By developing next-generation materials, nurturing local innovation and forming new research partnerships, DuPont is seeking newer Horizons to help Africa feed good food to more people. We invite you to collaborate with us to help secure Africa’s food future. Some recent examples of such partnerships include:
Let’s get in touch so that we can look forward to working together to help advance Africa’s economic transformation.
Regional Director, DuPont Sub-Saharan Africa
(Follow @DuPontAfrica on Twitter or visit the DuPont South Africa website to learn more.)