Sustainability in Food

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Agriculture Productivity Not Accelerating Fast Enough to Meet Demand in 2050

Global Harvest Initiative’s 2014 GAP Report® Highlights Obstacles to Meeting Needs of 9 Billion People in 2050

The Global Agricultural ImperativeIf the latest trend continues, the world may not be able to sustainably supply enough food and other agricultural goods to meet exponentially growing demand during the next three decades. Today, the Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) announced that stark reality as it released its fifth annual Global Agricultural Productivity Report® (GAP Report®) at the World Food Prize Symposium. The GAP Index™ is an annual snapshot of agricultural productivity growth measured against growth in global population and food demand. The report notes that for the first time in several years — global agricultural productivity is not accelerating fast enough to meet the expected agricultural demand by 2050 through sustainable practices. 

“This year’s report shows a clear gap that could dramatically impact people all around the globe,” said Dr. Margaret Zeigler, executive director of GHI. ”Raising productivity across all regions and for farmers of any size and scale requires long-term investments and sustained focus if we are going to have sufficient nutritious and affordable food and agriculture.” Zeigler continued, “To realize the promise of new global revolutions in agriculture, we need greater investment in agricultural research and development, better trade agreements for facilitation of global and regional trade in agriculture, and a commitment to apply information and science-based technologies. We must also promote the empowerment of women in society and in agricultural production, as their contributions will be key to lifting up the nutritional status of the next generation.”

The Global Harvest Initiative (GHI) is a private-sector voice for productivity growth throughout the agricultural value chain to sustainably meet the demands of a growing world. Since its establishment in 2009, GHI has been focused on the importance of agricultural productivity for global food security, and since 2010, GHI has released its signature GAP Report®, an annual benchmark of the global rate of agricultural productivity. DuPont Pioneer is a supporting member of GHI.

Find the complete GAP Report® here.

 

Taking on the Challenge of Food Security – the Youth Factor

Food and Agricultural Careers Await Young People

A new report released today identifies a growing gap between the supply of new graduates trained in agriculture-related STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields and the demand for young professionals in related roles by global food and agriculture employers. The report recommends that the food and agriculture industries work closely with educational institutions on closing the employment gap necessary to sustainably feed an expected global population of nine billion people by 2050.

STEM_agcareer_DataThe STEM Food & Ag Council, a project of STEMconnector®, found substantial career opportunities in the food and agriculture industries for the next generation of young people and calls on Millennials to pursue STEM education. Key findings from the report include:

  • From January to August 2014, the food and agriculture industries hired nearly 34,000 people per month.
  • A quarter of current food and agriculture professionals are age 55 or older, meaning that workforce attrition will create additional opportunities for young professionals to advance in their careers.
  • A 4.9 percent aggregate growth in STEM employment opportunities in advanced agriculture fields is projected over the next five years, adding 33,100 new positions.

Find the full STEMconnector® report and recommendations online at stemconnector.org.

Global Youth Institute

This week, The World Food Prize are hosting youth from around the world at its Global Youth Institute in Des Moines, Iowa. The institute allows more than 100 high school students and their mentor to interact with Nobel and World Food Prize Laureates and discuss food security and agricultural issues with international experts. World Food Prize Foundation President, Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, penned an OpEd about the three-day experience for the Des Moines Register, here.

#WFD2014 – Preventing Food Loss and Waste

The statistics are staggering. Under nutrition is a factor in more than a third of the deaths of all children under age 5. One-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted. Today, World Food Day continues to raise awareness about hunger around the world.

Ensuring that enough healthy, nutritious food is available for people everywhere is one of the most critical challenges facing humanity. At DuPont, food security is at the heart of our priorities. We are committed to being part of the conversation, building collaborations with businesses, non-profit organizations and governments, and working with local farmers and food producers from around the globe.

Packaging’s ability to help reduce food loss and waste was a recent topic of discussion at the opening day of the PAC Packaging Consortium’s “A Day in the Life” symposium. DuPont Packaging and Global Marketing Director, Yasmin Siddiqi, concluded her keynote with a question to the packaging professionals in attendance: “What’s holding back our efforts to reduce food waste?”  Find out the results of the exit poll here.

In alignment with the World Food Day 2014 theme, Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth, the FAO collected a series of essays offering different points of view about the impact and potential of family farming. Be sure to visit the event website to read the Perspectives essays and find events in your area.

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