Latest UN Study Underlines Importance of Continued Ag Innovation

Global hunger has been on the decline in recent years. However, as the population continues to grow, innovation in agriculture production and access to affordable food supplies will be increasingly more important to address global hunger.

In 2000, the United Nations set a goal to eradicate global hunger and a recent report showed significant strides towards closing the worldwide hunger gap. According to the United Nation’s Annual Hunger Report, the number of hungry people around the world has declined from around one billion to around 795 million in the past 25 years.

Even though the numbers are significant, there are still close to 800 million people enduring global hunger. Out of the 129 countries the Food and Agriculture Organization monitors, only 72 have reached the goal of reducing the number of people hungry to half of the country’s population.

America’s farmers and ranchers are feeding a growing world and in order to keep up, all sectors of the ag community must innovate and improve. The world is dependent on advancements in the agriculture industry.

Wheat is a staple food crop and a primary nutrient source for 30 percent of the world’s population. Wheat is the most planted crop worldwide, but unfortunately, lags behind in production compared to crops that utilize biotechnology.

70 years ago, Dr. Norman Borlaug solved wheat production challenges by improving breeding techniques to grow heartier plants in the fields of Mexico. Yet, worldwide, growers are still relying on these traditional breeding techniques over half a century later. While the wheat industry is investing in and making strides towards collaborative research efforts, the reality is the research must continue. Without the collaboration of the private and public sectors, wheat innovation will only lag further behind other advancements in crop production.

As wheat farmers push for collaboration and expansion of current wheat research initiatives, it is critical to maintain enthusiasm for biotechnology used in wheat from the U.S. agriculture industry, food production sector and international agriculture community. Advancements in agriculture are crucial to the betterment of society and the world.