Agriculture a Major Focus at the 2011 World Economic Forum

Posted by on February 7th, 2011 | 0 Comments »

At the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, global industry leaders presented a report entitled: “Realizing The New Vision for Agriculture: A roadmap for stakeholders,” an action agenda designed to help increased food productivity and sustainability, drive economic growth and protect the environment.   

Below are remarks from leaders at the 2011 WEF on agriculture, including quotes from several Global Harvest Initiative members.

“The new vision really looks at the challenges that agriculture faces today.  So the 7 billion people in our planet with another 2 billion coming up by 2050, and the challenges really are how are we going to feed 200,000 new people on earth every day? The new vision on agriculture focuses not just on smallholder agriculture here in the U.S., but agriculture around world.  And that’s a big subject and it’s going to involve many, many people sitting down and getting to grips with challenges that agriculture faces today.”

Hugh Grant, CEO and Chairman, Monsanto, Agriculture and Food Security Video

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 “Bio-based technologies are an evolution, not a revolution.”

 “Modern uses of biotechnology, including industrial biotechnology, are just starting and there are vast opportunities to use these tools in new and valuable ways.”…

Ellen Kullman, CEO and Chairman of the Board, DuPont, USA, Industrial Biotechnology and Innovation Can Address Challenges Presented from Global Population Growth

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“Those in attendance at Davos may differ on some issues, but we can all agree that agriculture — a 10,000-year-old human innovation — must play a vital role in addressing some of our most pressing modern challenges.”

“Taking into account the fact that growing conditions and other factors vary greatly from place to place, we looked at what would happen if all 15 of the world’s top producing nations or regions were able to achieve somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of the best yields on record. The results were illuminating: on lands currently in production, we would see an increase of up to 50 percent in global maize production, growth of up to 52 percent in worldwide wheat production, and an increase of as much as 41 percent in rapeseed production.”

“We have perhaps a once-in-a-generation opportunity to usher in a new ‘Golden Age’ for agricultural growth.

— Patricia Woertz, Chairman and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Company, ADM Chairman and CEO Woertz to Outline New Framework for Agricultural Growth at World Economic Forum in Davos

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 “…as outlined in a roadmap called “A New Vision for Agriculture” which will be released on Jan 28, the latest news in solving the age-old problems of hunger and malnutrition is…well, not new.

 In fact, it’s the lesson of the past forty years. Where investment in agriculture has been a priority, prosperity has followed. Just look at how the “green revolution” sparked economic growth and lifted millions in Latin America and Asia out of poverty.

Smart investments in agriculture reduced malnutrition rates while improving farmer livelihoods and farm communities. Conversely, look at that same period in Africa, where the “green revolution” failed to take root. For too much of the continent the result has been persistent famine, political strife and economic collapse. Of course I’m over simplifying it to make my point, but the fact remains that much of the world’s failure to make lasting improvements in addressing hunger and malnutrition has been due to the well-intended but, in hindsight, misguided development policies that drove investment out of the agriculture sector.”

—Perry Yeatman, SVP at Kraft Foods, Inc. and President of the Kraft Foods Foundation:Ending World Hunger Is Possible — Davos is Part of the Process,” The Huffington Post.

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“The New Vision for Agriculture to my knowledge is the first time participants in the whole food chain come together to discuss the topic – seed companies, fertilizer producers and consumer companies – and solve the challenges.”


Joergen Ole Haslestad, President and CEO, Yara International

Read more about the WEF’s Agriculture and Food Security initiative.

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