Aug. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- The Global Harvest Initiative announces the
launch of a campaign to heighten awareness of the increasing gap
between the world's agricultural production capacity and what will be
required to meet the needs of a growing population. Based on
projections from the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United
Nations, agriculture will need to double output by 2050.
"The Global Harvest Initiative is mobilizing a diverse
group of thought-leaders to focus on the challenge of doubling
agricultural output, and doing so in a sustainable manner," said Dr.
William G. Lesher, executive director of the Global Harvest Initiative.
"Already efforts are underway to enhance agricultural production,
minimize post-harvest losses and introduce efficiencies throughout the
value chain. But achieving such a monumental task requires additional
attention and support from many."
The Global Harvest Initiative will launch the effort on
September 22, 2009, in Washington, D.C. with a symposium for leaders in
production agriculture, sustainability, conservation, hunger
remediation and global policies. The day-long event will include
discussions of the role of innovation, investment, international policy
and other factors in increasing global agricultural production,
reducing waste and conserving resources. Participants will also discuss
the link between agriculture and national security.
The symposium will feature a keynote address by U.S.
Senator Richard Lugar and a roundtable discussion on innovation and
productivity challenges by the chief executives of the four leading
agricultural companies - John Deere, DuPont, Monsanto and Archer
Daniels Midland Company - that founded the Global Harvest Initiative.
Other confirmed speakers include Catherine Bertini, Syracuse
University; Dan Glickman, Friends of the World Food Program; Jason
Clay, World Wildlife Fund; Kenneth Quinn, World Food Prize; Glenn
Prickett, Conservation International; Margaret Zeigler, Congressional
Hunger Center; Neil Conklin, Farm Foundation; Robert Thompson,
University of Illinois; and John Kruse, Global Insights. Symposium
participants will examine policies to support the goal, including:
- increasing competitive agricultural research
- enhancing food security through freer trade in agriculture goods and products
- improving the effectiveness of US foreign development assistance activities
- offering greater incentives for innovation and conservation throughout the agriculture value chain
- promoting science-based approval of new technologies
world faces a daunting challenge but, together, we can meet the growing
demand in a sustainable way that transcends agriculture and promotes
political stability in many parts of the world," said Lesher.
"Successfully closing the gap will require a concerted effort to
facilitate and expand agricultural innovations worldwide and across
producers of all sizes. It will also require substantial investment by
both public and private entities along with policy reform and new
The Global Harvest Initiative is dedicated to spurring the
development and sharing of agricultural innovations with those that
need it most. It is underwritten by funding from the Archer Daniels
Midland Company, DuPont, John Deere and Monsanto. Further support is
welcome from public and private sectors entities sharing the goal of
closing the global productivity gap. For more information, visit