The population growth on this planet has been projected to double within the next 40 years. This presents major issues of food security and availability over the entire planet.
At a recent Canadian Agri-marketing Association (CAMA) meeting held in conjunction with the Canadian International Farm Show (CIFS) in Toronto, the growth opportunities in the agriculture industry from this occurring phenomenon were discussed. Jay Bradshaw, president of Syngenta Corp Protection Canada Inc., discussed research opportunities and taking agriculture into the future. Some of the discussed issues with this however, included the developed Golden Rice technology, created by Syngenta, which is genetically enriched with vitamin A. This food technology was donated for humanitarian use in developing countries, but Bradshaw says, “they aren’t allowed to put it in the ground” due to ethical dilemmas regarding biotechnology and genetically modified foods.
Research into better foods that will sustain a large population is important, however, getting over the hurdles of ethical values and beliefs about foods also needs to be overcome. Bradshaw says science-based policy needs to be used to make decisions about agriculture and food technology.
Below is a photo of the Golden Rice variety, compared to a traditional white rice variety. More information and photos can be found at http://www.goldenrice.org/