Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 - CropLife Asia
|Singapore Hosts Plant Science Industry Leaders as Regional Food Security, Safety take Centerstage|
SINGAPORE, Mar 28, 2018 - (ACN Newswire) - CropLife Asia's 2018 Annual General Meeting was conducted for the past two days in Singapore -- bringing together leaders in the plant science industry and a host of food value chain stakeholders. This annual event provides a platform for agricultural sector experts to share insights around the topic of how best to ensure a safe and sustainable food supply in Asia as well as global and regional best practices.
By 2050, the global population is projected to rise to around 10 billion. Ensuring a sustainable supply of food that is safe and nutritious is one of the greatest challenges the world faces. This challenge is particularly pronounced within Southeast Asia where critical factors suggest a deteriorating landscape. Just last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released findings that food security conditions had worsened in more vulnerable parts of the world - including South Eastern and Western Asia. Also contained in the FAO data were troubling statistics indicating that the number of undernourished people globally is increasing - up from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.
"With food insecurity on the rise in Asia, ensuring a sustainable supply of safe and nutritious food in our region is critically important," said Tina Lawton, President of CropLife Asia. "The plant science industry of Asia remains steadfast in its support of our region's farmers to grow more food, and to ensuring our technology is used responsibly in that pursuit."
Asia is home to the smallest-sized farms and the largest number of smallholder farmers globally. It's estimated that 85% of the world's 525 million smallholder farmers live and work within our continent - around 100 million in Southeast Asia alone. With fewer resources and more unique challenges to mitigate such as access to technology, landholder rights, finance availability, and climate change, smallholder farmers in the region face a daunting task.
"The challenge of feeding a growing population calls for a shared solution among food and agriculture stakeholders that ensures success, sustainability and good stewardship," added Dr. Siang Hee, Executive Director of CropLife Asia. "The innovative technologies of plant science are a key component of the solution. At CropLife Asia, we remain committed to working with our fellow food and agriculture stakeholders to ensure farmers have access to the modern tools and technology they need to do the job."
The advancements of Asia's plant science industry are providing invaluable tools for the region's smallholder farmer toolbox. These technologies are better enabling farmers to sustainably increase their yields, use fewer resources, and minimize the impact on our environment.
Without crop protection products, almost 50% of the world's food would be lost to pests and disease. The protection these advanced pesticides provide isn't limited to the field - they also help prolong the viable life and prevent post-harvest losses of these crops while in storage as well. With arable land being converted for other uses, crop protection products help farmers to grow more food on less land.
Meanwhile, biotech crops are helping increase crop productivity, conserve biodiversity and increase farmer incomes. The technology has also helped slow the advance of climate change by reducing carbon emissions. In 2015 alone, it's estimated that biotech crop plantings lowered carbon dioxide emissions by 26.7 billion kg which is equivalent to removing around 12 million cars from the road for an entire year. Farmer income gains from 1996-2015 generated globally by biotech crops amounted to about US $167.8 billion.
The newly-elected Board of Directors was also officially presented during the Annual General Meeting. The CropLife Asia 2018 Board consists of:
-- Ms. Tina Lawton - President, CropLife Asia (Syngenta)
-- Mr. Gustavo Carneiro - Vice President, CropLife Asia (BASF)
-- Mr. Jagresh Rana - Treasurer, CropLife Asia (Monsanto)
-- Ms. Bethwyn Todd - Secretary, CropLife Asia (FMC)
The CropLife Asia 2018 Annual General Meeting concluded today, Wednesday, March 28.
About CropLife Asia
CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry. We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture. CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by seven member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development. For more information, visit us at www.croplifeasia.org.
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