Will Agriculture Destroy the World before It Saves It?


Speaker: Jack A. Bobo, JD, MS, Senior Advisor for Biotechnology, Chief, Biotechnology and Textile Trade Policy Division, United States Department of State

Title: ‘Will Agriculture Destroy the World before It Saves It?’

Venue: Department of Plant Sciences, Large Lecture Theatre

Date: Wednesday 27 February 2013

Time: 16:00 - 17:00, followed by a wine reception in the Plant Sciences Common Room

Agriculture lies at the crossroads of many global challenges, including food security, climate change, and biofuels. The world needs to increase food production by 60 to 70 percent by 2050, and it needs to do so using less land, less water, less fertilizer and less pesticides. The challenges faced by mankind have never been greater. Fortunately, the tools available to scientists to address these challenges have also never been greater. Over the last one hundred years, technology has consistently delivered on its promise of improved yields and a cleaner environment, year after year, decade after decade. In many ways, the question is not, can technology achieve the improvements necessary to get the world where it needs to be by 2050, but whether governments will allow the needed technologies to find their way to market. The obstacles to bringing products to market are increasing and putting at risk international trade in the food and commodities that feed the world. They are also undermining the ability of scientists to achieve the sustainable intensification of agriculture that is needed to save our soil, water ways and air for future generations.

Speaker Biography:

Jack Bobo is the Senior Advisor for Biotechnology in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB) at the U.S. Department of State. He also serves as the Chief of the Department’s Biotechnology and Textile Trade Policy Division. Mr. Bobo works on trade policy, food security, climate change, and development issues related to agricultural science and technology, including agricultural biotechnology.

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