DuPont researcher addresses world food needs

In a presentation to attendees at the CropWorld Global 2011 Congress, Julia Wheeler called for a new form of collaboration, one she said will take place across borders; with growers, agribusinesses and academia; and in partnership with policy makers and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

Agriculture is entering a critical era in research and development — one that requires feeding more people with fewer resources.

This urgent challenge can only be met by unprecedented knowledge-sharing and cooperation, according to Julia Wheeler, director of research and development – DuPont Crop Protection.

In a presentation to attendees at the CropWorld Global 2011 Congress, Wheeler called for a new form of collaboration, one she said will take place across borders; with growers, agribusinesses and academia; and in partnership with policy makers and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations.

“At DuPont, we recognize that finding new solutions to support growers is pivotal in our collective quest to feed the world, but that must be done in a manner that meets the expectations of customers, governments and regulatory agencies,” said Wheeler. Those expectations, she explained, include producing more food with increased nutritional value, ensuring its safety and making it accessible and affordable for all people.

Wheeler said developing answers to the growing global food shortage will require rigorous effort in the months and years to come. But she pointed to important inroads that have already been made, including development of soy ingredients that make high-quality protein available and affordable, and higher-yielding corn and rice hybrids that perform better under adverse conditions, such as drought and insect pressure.

Meeting global food demand will depend on revitalization in research and development, she added. Wheeler outlined the critical steps required.

“First, food production must dramatically increase to meet world demand. Second, we must fully understand, innovate and deliver tools that help individual growers on individual farms. Finally, none of us, no matter how large, influential or innovative, can afford to operate in a vacuum. Collaboration is what will reinvent our entire industry.”

She cited recent introduction of DuPont Rynaxypyr insect control as an example of the type of research and development process that delivers solutions growers need to enhance crop production. “We’re focused on developing tools that bring about improved productivity and enhanced sustainability on a large scale for growers worldwide.”

Wheeler concluded by calling on all in attendance to create innovative new partnerships that share resources and support growers more effectively to expedite progress in meeting global food demand.

CropWorld brings together those at the forefront of sustainable crop production to discuss and debate the critical issues from field to fork and share groundbreaking research findings from across the crop production value chain.

For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit http://www.dupont.com.

 

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