Tuesday, October 07, 2014
The world population is growing towards 11 billion people. To feed them will take a revolution in agriculture. But, progress in developing new methods of growing crops has lagged. It seems that world governments have other priorities at the moment. Not only that, but crop developers like Monsanto are under pressure from activists who disdain genetically modified organisms. Yet these are the seeds we need if the world is to nourish its people in just 85 years. Progress in agriculture is slow and timed to growing cycles. Today is already late in finding answers to the 11 billion challenge. With large farming, the production cycle has increasingly become automated to the point where a farmer no longer has to steer his tractor. It steers itself. The problem lies with millions of subsistence growers who need tools and seed that can produce a surplus. We know it works when they get them. The Green Revolution proved that. The challenges are to change people's minds about GMO at the same time influencing governments to spend more on research and development. There is PR opportunity in both of these goals, but it won't be easy, especially when segments of the world refuse to eat GMO-based foods. It will take generations of PR practitioners working the problems to change hearts and minds, but if the world is not starve, it must be done.