Science: Helping solve the world’s food problems
The F&A sector needs to use all available resources in a unified method if we are to come up with a solution to the world's food issues, and manage to produce 'more with less. While productivity and efficiency are key, sustainable intensification is required to ensure long-term success. To achieve this, we need to invest in science-based solutions. Productivity gains will only be made when we look for integrated solutions, utilising the best of all worlds.
According to the WWF, the world’s best performing farmers are about 100 times more efficient than their least productive colleagues, whereas the latter are responsible for half of the environmental impact. High-yielding and efficient systems use fewer inputs per kilogram of end product and have lower (GHG) emissions. Moreover, land use is lower, leaving more space for nature, urbanisation and recreation.
There are many opportunities for further improvement, including:
- Accelerated breeding progress using genomics
- Higher and more efficient production of crops and livestock using ICT (precision farming)
- Enhanced housing systems for improved animal welfare
- Enriched healthier foods
- Longer shelf lives and reduced waste using intelligent cooling, storage and packaging techniques
- New efficient raw materials, such as algae and insects
- New bio-based techniques enabling food, animal feed and fuel to be obtained from one plant.