Video: UN goals for reducing hunger best achieved by investing in agricultural research

This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Bjørn Lomborg, director of non-profit think tank Copenhagen Consensus, says that investing in agricultural research and development is one of the best ways to address hunger. In a recent article in The Guardian he wrote:

At the moment, the UN is considering 169 new development targets to succeed the millennium development goals (hunger is one target area, among many). These targets are vitally important, because they will determine how more than $2.5tn in development money is spent on everything from climate change to malaria.

My thinktank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, therefore asked 60 teams of top economists to assess which proposed targets will do the most good – and which will not. Our research on food security shows that there are smart ways to feed many more on the planet.

Today, only $5bn is spent annually on research to improve the seven major global food crops, and just one-tenth of that is targeted to help small farmers in Africa and Asia. Investing an extra $88bn in agricultural research and development over the next 15 years would increase yields by an additional 0.4% each year.

That might not sound like very much, but the reduction in prices and improvements in food security would help almost everyone. It would be worth nearly $3tn in social good – yielding an enormous $34 of benefits for every dollar spent.

The Copenhagen Consensus also released a video of Lomborg that explains these concepts in further detail:

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Green Revolution 2.0: Ensuring Food Security Through Agricultural R&D

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