By the middle of the 21st century, the world population will increase by 30% to more than 9 billion people. Food production will need to grow by 70% to meet increased demands. The numbers do not add-up to explain how we are going to realistically meet the rising demand for food. Forecast increases in crop productivity from biotechnology, genetics, agronomics and horticulture will not be sufficient to meet food demands, and resource limitations will constrain the global food system. For the first time in human history, food production will be limited on a global scale by the availability of land, water, and energy. Food issues could become as politically destabilizing after 2050 as energy issues are today. There is a direct link in the world’s reduced public funding of extension and applied research and the plateau of agricultural productivity, i.e. U.S. agricultural productivity has averaged less than 1.2% per year between 1990 and 2007. More efficient technologies and crops will need to be developed to address this challenge - and equally important, better ways of applying these technologies locally for farmers. Simply put: technologies are not reaching enough smallholder farmers. A greater emphasis is needed in high-value, horticultural crops which create jobs and economic opportunities for rural communities, enables more profitable, intensive farming of small tracts of land in urban areas; many of these smallholder entrepreneurs are women, i.e. women dominate the tomato industry in Ghana. Better information delivery (extension), reducing high crop losses and improving the value-chain from farm to fork are critical.
Food Security is tethered to the nexus of Nutrition, Food, Energy, Water, Health, Sanitation & Smart Policy. The challenge of Sustainable Intensification is doing more with LESS: less land, inputs of water, fertilizer and chemicals – that is environmentally and economically viable.
Mark Tester, Chair of the Enrichment in the Fall Program, will introduce this keynote lecture.
Refreshments will be served prior to the keynote lecture from 5:00 p.m., in the lobby of building 20; a cocktail reception will take place after the keynote.
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New! Babysitting services are offered during the keynote lecture for families and their children from 3 to 8 years old. To register your children click here or go back on the schedule page and visit the Babysitting services related event.
Fred Davies is a Regents Professor emeritus, Dept. of Horticultural Sciences, faculty of Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences, and AgriLife Research Faculty Fellow at Texas A&M University. He is a Senior Borlaug Fellow in Horticulture at the TAMU Borlaug Institute of International Agriculture. In 2013-14, he was a Senior Science Advisor (Jefferson Science Fellow) at USAID, Bureau of Food Security / Office of Agricultural Research & Policy, Washington, D.C. He continues to advise USAID on food security, agriculture and horticulture - most recently serving as the team lead, evaluating USAID plant seed programs in West Africa. He has over 35 years’ experience in research, evaluation, teaching, industry outreach and consultancies in horticulture, agriculture, plant propagation and seed programs in more than 25 countries.
He received a B.A. and M.S. from Rutgers University, and a PhD in Horticultural Sciences, Plant Physiology and Tropical Agriculture from the University of Florida. He has been a Visiting Scientist at the USDA Horticultural Crops Laboratory (Oregon), CINVESTAV Plant Biology Institute (Mexico) and International Potato Center (Peru). He has also been a Visiting Professor at Oregon State University, Monterrey Tech. Univ. (Mexico), National Agrarian University of Peru, and Bogor Agricultural University [IPB (Indonesia)]. As an expert in international horticulture and agriculture, he has been a Guggenheim Fellow and Senior Fulbright Fellow to Peru, Mexico, and Indonesia. He is past-president of American Society for Horticultural Sciences (ASHS) and International Plant Propagators Society (IPPS). He is a Fellow of the ASHS and IPPS. His research has been supported by NASA, National Science Foundation, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, other agencies, and industry. His co-authored book on Plant Propagation is the standard text of the field, and is used worldwide by academia and industry.
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