Kent Scheschke 2016-06-29 04:41:00
A twelve-part series of issues papers compiled and edited by CAST As a scientific agricultural organization—supporting a world where decision-making related to agriculture and natural resources is based on credible information developed through reason, science, and consensus building—CAST is committed to helping to feed the 9 billion people estimated to be living on the planet by 2050. Anyone listening to agricultural experts knows that we are already facing a food security crisis. This problem will grow as the population increases and as the rise in per capita income in developing countries elevates more people into the middle class. Even worse, the frequency with which we are hearing the question “How will we feed the world of 2050?” can make us numb rather than motivating us to action. There is a risk that both agriculturalists and the public will grow complacent if the discussion remains general and abstract. The demands on agriculture are huge and increasing. Innovative, integrated solutions are required to sustainably meet these demands to feed a growing world population. Innovations are needed in all segments of agriculture—livestock production, food science, crops, and soils. The public and decision-makers need to have sciencebased information to guide them regarding programs, policies, and techniques that will advance global food security in the next several decades. Thus, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) is in the process of creating a 12-part series of issue papers—titled “The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050”—that looks at specific programs, policies, and techniques that will advance global food security. CAST is uniquely qualified to assist with this timely initiative, as it has a demonstrated record of producing highquality publications that are shared with national and global policymakers, producers and commodity groups, the media, and the general public. This series will use CAST’s method of convening task forces composed of scientific experts from a wide variety of specialties to write and peer-review each paper, providing a transdisciplinary, integrated approach to the broad topic. CAST’s goals through this series include the following: • Look at why more innovation is needed. • Review megatrends that define the pending agricultural productivity gap. • Spur interest in research funding and highlight the societal benefits of technologies that can increase agricultural productivity and reduce negative environmental impacts. • Encourage implementation and use of science-based regulation to support innovation and the advancement of agricultural technology. Specifically, the series includes an introductory paper; a keynote paper highlighting technologies that exist but are not being used to their potential; three papers each focused on animals, food, and crops; and a summary paper addressing possible barriers to adoption of innovation across the disciplines. Topics addressed in this series include technologies on the shelf, food animal gene pools, genetic intervention in food production, precision production technologies, plant breeding and genetics, crop protection contributions, precision crop management and irrigation technologies, innovative approaches to zero waste in the food chain, food biofortification, and gene editing. The final paper in the series will address barriers to the development and implementation of innovative technologies that show great potential to close the projected gap in food production over the next 30 to 35 years. CAST is very proud to have ASABE as one of its longstanding scientific society members. As engineers, you appreciate the importance of using science and technology to solve complex issues. If you are interested in assisting with this series of papers or would like more information on the progress to date of this initiative, please contact me. I would welcome the opportunity to share additional information. Kent Schescke, Executive Vice-President, The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST), Ames, Iowa, USA, email@example.com. Views expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of ASABE.
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