Appropriate technology to feed the planet

ID-100143278As we know the world faces the challenge of feeding a growing population in the context of a changing climate. Weather events currently impacting crop production are only expected to get more frequent and more severe. As a new report published by The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation and the London School of Economics, entitled Feeding the planet in a warming world. Building resilient agriculture through innovation, argues this challenge will require an agricultural system as well as individual crops that are more resilient to future shocks and stresses.

The report also argues that current policies to achieve a more resilient agricultural sector fail to recognise the inadequacy of relying only on existing technologies. While overcoming global socio-economic barriers to accessing and disseminating such appropriate technologies should be a priority this in itself is not enough. Authors claim that we will also require “critical, game-changing solutions for building global agricultural resilience”.  In particular new higher-yielding and more nutritious crop varieties that use less water while being more resistant to pests and diseases and more tolerant of weather extremes: heat, cold, flooding, drought. This includes the use of ‘demonstrably safe’ genetically modified (GM) crops. As the report states, “Agriculture will need every existing tool in the box, as well as the development of new ones.” [Read more…]