G8 Must Follow Through with Food Security Pledge

Jun 25, 2010, 08:35 ET from CropLife International

BRUSSELS, June 25, 2010 /PRNewswire/ --

- Focus on Impact and Implementation of L'Aquila Initiative Needed

As leaders of the G8 nations meet in Canada, the plant science industry calls for clarification and a reiteration of the pledge to address food security made in L'Aquila last year.

In the year since the G8 committed to addressing food security and sustainable agricultural development through a US$22 billion[1] dedicated fund, little clarity has been gained over how much new funding is actually being committed, and how the funds will be channeled to make a difference to the one billion hungry today, and the food and nutrition needs of the coming decades.

As the G8 meets for the 2010 summit, CropLife International calls on leaders to follow through with their commitment to food security by:

    - Issuing a clear plan of action for implementation of the L'Aquila Food
      Security Initiative.
    - Doing this in a way that is globally coordinated, yet locally adapted.
    - Ensuring that action addresses the multiple issues that underpin food
      security, including the need to foster innovation.

Howard Minigh, CEO and President of CropLife International said: "Agriculture has to produce more food while preserving threatened natural resources, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. That is a huge undertaking - not just for farmers, but for legislators who must balance these concerns in a way that feeds our growing population."

The plant science industry recognizes the valuable contribution that science and technology can make to achieving food security. Food security is achievable. However, to be truly impactful, the contribution of science and technology needs to be complemented by addressing six key issue areas that underpin food security.

    - Agricultural productivity
        - We must increase productivity on existing lands. Plant science can
          help: without crop protection products, global crop losses would
          rise to 40-80%. Beyond existing yield benefits, biotech crops have
          the potential to further raise globally yields by up to 25%.[2]

    - Fostering innovation
        - Increasing agricultural productivity sustainably requires continued
          innovation for new, improved technologies and knowledge. It also
          requires science-based regulation to make sure innovative
          technologies reach the market in a timely manner.

    - Sustainable resource management
        - Biodiversity and natural resources are under unprecedented
          pressure. To help ensure that agriculture helps preserve natural
          resources, policies must inform and incentivize farmers to adopt
          more sustainable farming practices.

    - Global and local trade
        - Efficient food production requires open, fair and well-functioning
          global markets.

    - Improved infrastructure
        - Infrastructure improvements are needed to improve crop production
          and quality, reduce post-harvest losses and secure farmers' access
          to inputs and markets.

    - Rural poverty
        - 75% of the poor in developing countries live in rural areas. With
          rising urbanization, there is a risk that policies will neglect
          the needs of rural and agricultural communities. This must be

While food security remains achievable, making it a reality requires genuine political will and investment in coordinated, targeted policies. The G8 has the opportunity to set an example through the L'Aquila Initiative and to make a difference to the food insecure of today, and those of the coming decades. The plant science industry calls on the G8 to take this opportunity and to ensure that their commitment translates into real change.

Available resources:

CropLife International Food Security Perspective



"Food Security: Not (Just) a Developing Country Issue", article in G8 official publication 2010 by CropLife International, European Crop Protection Association (ECPA) and CropLife Canada




(Due to the length of the above URLs, it may be necessary to copy and paste these hyperlinks into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the space if one exists.)

    Farming First Food Security Guide
    Note to Editors:

CropLife International is the global federation representing the plant science industry. It supports a network of regional and national associations in 91 countries, and is led by companies such as BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, FMC, Monsanto, Sumitomo and Syngenta. CropLife International promotes the benefits of crop protection and biotechnology products, their importance to sustainable agriculture and food production, and their responsible use through stewardship activities.

    [1] Raised from the originally committed US$20 billion
    [2] Consultative Group on Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

SOURCE CropLife International