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Elanco says technology needed more than ever to meet food demand

Agriculture.com Staff 04/27/2009 @ 3:01pm

In a white paper released Monday, the president of Elanco, Jeff Simmons, said a broad array of food technologies will be needed to meet demand from a growing and more affluent world population by 2050.

The paper, Technology's Role in the 21st Century: Food Economics and Consumer Choice, says that not enough land will be available to meet added demand for food and fuel, but that demand for both can be met if societies focus on five areas:

  1. Improving the affordability of food by using new and existing technologies, and optimal productivity practices
  2. Increasing the food supply by instituting a vastly improved degree of cooperation throughout the entire global food chain
  3. Ensuring food safety via a combination of technological innovation, and high-quality standards and systems, along with more worldwide collaboration
  4. Increasing sustainability through highly productive, efficient systems that simultaneously protect the environment through sensitive, efficient use of natural resources
  5. Producing more biofuels to reduce dependence on fossil fuels while creating no negative effect on global food supplies

Simmons said he's confident that the problem of hunger "will get solved."

In some parts of the world, existing technology to improve crop storage could have a big effect, said economist Tom Elam, who joined Simmons in a press conference with reporters.

In India, for example, as much as a third of the grain crop is lost to spoilage and rodent damage because of inadequate storage, he said.

Simmons said that in the current economic downturn, the United States could fall behind if restrictions like California's recently adopted limits on animal production methods and housing are adopted.

Increasing food production and efficiency won't be limited to the United States.

"This is an economic opportunity in a world that's hungry for economic opportunity," he said.

In a white paper released Monday, the president of Elanco, Jeff Simmons, said a broad array of food technologies will be needed to meet demand from a growing and more affluent world population by 2050.

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