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Crop Biotech Update

Strategies to "Freeze the Footprint of Food"

July 29, 2011

In an article Freeze the footprint of food published in Nature journal, Jason Clay of WWF identifies eight strategies that could enable farming to address issues concerning a growing global population amidst higher consumption and shrinking production land.

"If applied globally and simultaneously, (the strategies) will help to reform the food system and protect the planet," Clay explained. Among the strategies are the following:

  • Genetics – Use the potential of genetics in traditional plant breeding as well as new modern technologies.
  • Better practices – Improve the poorest-performing producers to enhance food production, increase income, and reduce environmental impacts.
  • Efficiency through technology – Double the efficiency of every agricultural input, including water, fertilizer, pesticides, energy, and infrastructure.
  • Degraded land –  Rehabilitate abandoned or underperforming lands.

"If we cannot double the genetic potential of the 10–15 main calorie crops, on the same amount of land, we will fail to meet rising demand. NGOs and academics do not control the global food system, so instead they must try to change how governments and the private sector think about food production," Clay concluded.

Subscribers can view the article at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v475/n7356/full/475287a.html.