“Brazil stands on the brink of becoming an agricultural superpower.” So says the Financial Times. Motivated by fears that reliance upon imported food staples would prove financially unsustainable, Brazil, has worked tirelessly over the past four decades to augment its domestic agricultural production through major investments in agriculture research. As a result of investment in farm technologies and practices, grain production yields have grown by 152% in the past 20 years.
An article in The Economist entitled ‘Doing more with less’ examines the feasibility of growing food on a grander scale in the coming years to accommodate a growing population that according to the UN is poised to grow by 2.5 billion people over the next 40 years. The article focuses on three core areas of agriculture that will have to be addressed in order for agricultural production to keep up with world food demand. These core areas include: “narrowing the gap between the worst and best producers;”
Mark Bittman’s latest blog post on the NYTimes Opinionator, Don’t End Agricultural Subsidies, Fix Them, argues for a more sensible program that could, among other things, more robustly “fund research and innovation in sustainable agriculture, provide necessary incentives to attract the 100,000 new farmers Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack claims we need, and to level the playing field so that medium-sized farms — big enough to supply local supermarkets but small enough to care what and how they grow — can become more competitive with agribusiness.”
Bayer CropScience hosted its annual Ag Issues Forum this week to discuss the impending challenge of sustainably feeding a fast-growing world population in the 21st century. Speakers at the event ranged from Clayton Yeutter, former US Secretary of Agriculture to Robert Kenner, the producer, writer, and director of Food, Inc. Discussion topics included “A look at Agriculture through the Food, Inc. Prism,” “Capital Investment in Agriculture,” and “Standing Up for Our Food System.”
The need to develop sustainable agriculture solutions and technologies that support topsoil development and preservation is essential to the survival of the human race. For this to happen, dirt must become a sexy cause that people feel compelled to rally around.
Perhaps the ‘Board of Dirt’ or ‘Dirt Board,’ if such a board existed, could use this tagline in its collateral to sell the sexiness of dirt.