SynTech Research attended the AgBio’2011 Global Summit in India in February 2011. The event was jointly organized by the Maryland India Business Round Table, ICRISAT and the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.
Industry and academic speakers from India, USA, Egypt, Japan and the Philippines developed the key theme: use of GM technology to help create Food Security, particularly in the Developing World. FAO and World Bank forecasts and current crop production figures illustrated the great challenge of feeding the world’s growing population, at a time when farmers are leaving the land for better paid jobs in cities, or getting much older while urbanisation is consuming precious agricultural land.
Agricultural productivity needs to increase dramatically and GM technology needs to be part of that solution. Bt Cotton, RR/Bt Corn and RR/Bt Soya are great success stories, the former totally revitalising the cotton industry in India and the local economy in regions where it is grown. Reproducing these successes with important food crops, such as rice and vegetables, is now critical to avoid major shortages in the near future. This goal will not be easy given public concerns about the technology, which have created political barriers in some countries. The scientific community and industry need to work together to improve the understanding of both politicians and the public to demonstrate the safety and real need for this important technology.