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May 4, 2010

Monsanto - Adoption of "Crop Per Drop" GM Technology Critical to Sustainable Agriculture

Dr. Robb Farley
Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto
Photo: Monsanto
Monsanto issued a press release on 4 May covering the speech of its Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Robb Farley at the University of Nebraska's Water for Food Summit. 

The Water for Food Summit was organized by the Water for Food Institute located in Lincoln, Nebraska at the University of Nebraska.  This insitute was funded with a grant from the Robert B. Daugherty Charitable Foundation.  Its mission is to create a multi-campus center for research, education and policy analysis relating to use of water for agriculture. Water for food is one of the top priorities identified in October 2009 by the University of Nebraska.

Dr. Fraley heads Monsanto's integrated seed, traits and chemistry research and development activities. At the Water for Food Summit, he articulated Monsanto's "commitment to help farmers double crop yields by 2030 while conserving natural resources, all while helping to improve the lives of farmers around the world."

According to Fraley, "[a] s the world meets the challenge of feeding itself while the population is growing, the efficient use of water will be a significant limiting factor .. The widespread adoption of improved agronomic practices, advances in breeding and improvements and adoption of biotechnology will help farmers squeeze more from every ounce of water to meet the demands of a hungry, growing world."

"Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world's freshwater withdrawals for irrigation, and 60 percent of the food supply is produced by rain-fed agriculture. Yet, global water supplies face increasing demands from expanding urban populations and a changing climate holds unknown risks. ... Agriculture is at the center of unprecedented global demand for food and water security, energy needs and human health and nutrition demands while being challenged with climate change. ... The availability of water to support these demands will likely be an ongoing production challenge."

In June 2009 Monsanto opened its Water Utilization Learning Center in Gothenburg, Neb. with the goal of designing water-use efficiency technologies such as drought-tolerant cropping systems. 

Fraley concluded his speech noting that "[a]gricultural productivity has the potential to play a fundamental role, and increasing the 'crop per drop' is vital.".

For more see: "Increasing 'Crop Per Drop' Critical, Says Monsanto's Fraley; Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture Key to Meeting Demands of Hungry, Growing World," Monsanto Press Release, Lincoln, Nebraska, 4 May 2010.

"Robert B. Daugherty Foundation's $50 million gift will fund global Water for Food Institute at NU," Water for Food Institute, A Global Institute at the University of Nebraska [retrieved 10 May 2010]

About Margaret

CEO and Curator (The Food Museum) | Managing Director and Chief Editor (GR2 Global LLC) | Educator (UCLA PhD) | Researching and writing on global food issues, nutrition and health, sustainability, history (preservation), conservation (natural resources), and design.
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