Sustained Investment in Agricultural Research Needed to Double the Production

New Delhi, 06 September, 2010

‘The problems of agriculture are becoming increasingly complex, requiring more holistic and integrated approached to solving them. This calls for the mobilization of the talent needed as well as financial resources to support earnest efforts. Sustained investment in research needed to at least double food system productivity by 2050’, said Dr. Gebisa Ejeta, World Food Prize-2009 winner and Professor, Plant Breeding and Geneics, Purdue University, USA. He was delivering Annual Foundation Day Lecture-2010 on ‘Global Food Security in the Face of Emerging Challenges’ of Barwale Foundation at National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Pusa campus.

Annual Foundation Day - 2010 of  Barwale Foundation at National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Pusa  campus

Dr. Ejeta is known for his monumental contributions in the production of sorghum hybrids resistant to drought and devastating Striga weed which have dramatically increased the production and enhanced the food supply to people in sub-Saharan Africa. He is special advisor to USAID Administrator for 2010 and US Government Presidential Science Envoy 2010.

Dr. Gebisa Ejeta delivering Annual Foundation Day  Lecture-2010 on ‘Global Food Security in the Face of Emerging Challenges’ of  Barwale Foundation at National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, Pusa  campus

Enumerating the challenges before the developing and developed nations amidst climate change, he urged policy planners for capacity building and fostering public-public and Public-Private Partnership models. ‘The population of the world is currently hovering around six billion and is expected to almost double by the year 2050. This will need more emphasis on increased food production. It can be attained through efficient vertical expansion of the yield gap and with more judicious use of chemical inputs’, he added.

He outlined the essential actions for revitalizing agricultural research for global food security. Dr. Ejeta urged to push institutions of higher learning to develop a more global perspective with global interventions.  Effective address of complex scientific challenges in research and education, partnerships in educational programmes between traditional powerhouse like America and newly emerging economy-India, China and Brazil and push for appropriate funding through government and private sector level, he said.

Dr. B.R. Barwale, Chairman, Barwale Foundation in his welcome address highlighted the role of human resource development and capacity building in food security. Dr. H.S.Gupta, Director, Indian Agricultural Institute said that world population will be reach at its peak by 2050. He urged for integrated approach in farming which can give the required food security to the world.

(Source: NAIP Mass Media Sub-Project for Mobilizing Mass Media, DIPA)