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Viewpoint: ‘Radical change’ needed to make global food system sustainable

| | December 11, 2017

The Green Revolution of the post-World War II era has rightly been hailed as a huge achievement for humankind. Transformation in plant breeding coupled with development of an array of fertilisers and other agrochemicals and mechanisation of agronomic practice brought about massive increases in the yields of the major cereal crops, saving millions of lives. It led to an industrialisation of agriculture which has enabled the development of a complex global food business that delivers a wide choice of safe, nutritious and affordable food to billions of people. However, this industrialisation of food production has had significant and increasingly worrying negative environmental and social consequences.

Despite the industrialisation of agriculture and its dependence on technology, there has been a failure to embrace those new technologies such as genetically modified crops or new ideas about soil conservation, which could increase the sustainability of food production.

Agricultural research should be directed towards understanding how to maintain outputs with reduced inputs. To meet this objective, highly productive and more resource-efficient crop varieties should be developed through the most efficient methods, including modern methods of gene editing.

Read full, original post: We need radical change in how we produce and consume food

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