All segments of society must contribute to meeting the water challenge, but agriculture—which consumes 70 percent of the world’s usable water—will need to be a big part of the solution. Fortunately, new biotech and crop protection technologies, as well as improved irrigation and other techniques, allow farmers to produce more “crop for drop,” raising agricultural yields while using dramatically less water. Making full use of modern agricultural technologies can go a long way to preserving our precious fresh water resources while we feed a growing and prospering world population in the 21st century.
Right now, many smallholder farmers are trapped in subsistence, barely able to feed even themselves with what they grow. In fact, one half of the one billion malnourished people in the world are smallholder farmers or their families. For much of the world, therefore, enabling these smallholder farmers to boost the yields on their farms, produce a surplus, and create profits for reinvestment is the key to broader economic development and participation in the world economy.
A study published in 2010 by leading researchers at Stanford University found that because of advances in modern agriculture since 1960, we are using half as much land to grow our crops than we would have had to use otherwise.
Fourat Janabi discusses the reasons for the success of the anti-GMO movement, and argues that the pro-GMO can learn from this success.
Check out this great parody from the Peterson Farm Bros: "I'm Farming and I Grow It."
Here are some other great resources on Food Security and Agriculture:
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