By 2050, the world’s population will reach nine billion. At the same time, climate change could decrease crop yields by 20 to 30 percent. The urgent need for farmers to sustainably feed more people in a changing climate is one reason why United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development organizers identified food as one of seven areas in need of priority attention at the upcoming Rio+20 conference.
As stated on the Rio+20 website: “It is time to rethink how we grow, share and consume our food. If done right, agriculture, forestry and fisheries can provide nutritious food for all and generate decent incomes, while supporting people-centered rural development and protecting the environment.”
In order to provide insight into how agriculture can be “done right,” IFPRI is leading an official Rio+20 side event that will include representatives of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate, the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), both of which are organizing partners of the side event, and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa).
The goal of IFPRI’s side event, “Feeding the World: Sustainable Agriculture & Innovation,” is to highlight farming tools and methods that could help farmers in Latin America and other parts of the developing world boost agricultural production while protecting natural resources.
At the side event, IFPRI Senior Researcher Claudia Ringler will reveal initial results from an ongoing IFPRI study on the potential economic benefits and drawbacks of nine different agricultural technologies, including drip irrigation, laser land leveling, and conventional breeding.
Adrian Fernández, a member of the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change and the Advisor on Sustainability at Metropolitan Autonomous University, Mexico Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, the chief executive officer and head of the diplomatic mission at FANRPAN, South Africa, and Elisio Contini, deputy of the Strategic Studies and Training Center at Embrapa, Brazil will discuss policies that could deliver these agricultural technologies to farmers so that they can sustainably and effectively meet the challenges of population growth and climate change.
The side event, “Feeding the World: Sustainable Agriculture & Innovation,” will take place at the Riocentro Convention Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 16 at 11:30 a.m. It is open to all registered Rio+20 attendees. Read about additional IFPRI participation in Rio+20 events here.