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GHI Member ADM Founds Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss
In January, Global Harvest Initiative member Archer Daniels Midland Company founded the ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss with a US$10 million grant to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The global institute will work with smallholder farmers in the developing world to help preserve millions of metric tons of grains and oilseeds lost each year to pests, disease, mishandling and other factors.
“Today, just 5 percent of all agricultural research dollars goes to the study of postharvest handling and infrastructure,” said Patricia A. Woertz, ADM chairman, CEO and president. “The ADM Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss will focus on helping farmers around the world preserve more of what they grow through training, tools and technologies that can help eliminate pests and disease, enable more efficient grain storage and handling, prevent spoilage and improve crop quality overall.”
“As we look ahead to the middle of this century, global population is expected to reach more than 9 billion people, and the demand for agricultural products is expected to as much as double,” Woertz added. “Clearly, preserving what is already grown is fundamental to feeding the world, and to making the most of the land, water, energy and other inputs already used to grow crops.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about 30 million metric tons of corn, 20 million metric tons of wheat, and nearly 3 million metric tons of soybeans – with an aggregate value estimated at more than $14 billion – went to waste worldwide in 2007. The University of Illinois has noted that the amount of wheat and rice lost during that year could have satisfied the cereal-grain dietary needs of more than 380 million people. Much of the loss occurs in developing nations, which lack essential infrastructure, technology and training needed to prevent spoilage and waste.