Water shortage is about to be a huge global problem. America gets off comparatively light approximately one third of our land facing high-to-extreme water shortage by 2050.
Agricorporation Syngenta emailed a response to our reports on the water crisis.
We’re publishing it because who but Big Ag can get us out of the water crisis? After all, Big Ag sparked the mid-century green revolution that allowed the world’s population to surge, creating the structural problems we have now.
Here’s the rundown from a Syngenta exec:
The Water Crisis
By Jessica Adelman, Vice President for Corporate Affairs, Syngenta North America
As Monday’s Map of the Day reported, the National Resource defence Council has a new study indicating that a warming climate could spell potential devastation for American agriculture due to increasing water scarcity.
At the same time, a growing world population and rising living standards will require a massive increase in agricultural production. The bottom line is that we will need to grow twice as much food by 2050 and we will have to produce it with the same amount of water we have now. We have to use water more efficiently. More will need to be grown from less.
This is not just one company’s problem, or even one country’s problem. Tackling this will necessitate broad cooperation among all parties – including the private sector, government, universities and NGOs.
The good news is that we have dramatically improved yields before, through new technologies and methods that increase agricultural intensification, such as no-till agriculture, drip irrigation, crops with traits that can grow with less water and crop protection products and seed treatments that promote water optimization. We will need more of these innovations to ensure we have the water we need in the future.
At Syngenta, along with other agricultural science and research companies, we are trying to do our part. Across our industry there are many products that that help crops use water more effectively while maintaining and even improving yield.
For example, new sugar beets are being used in India that can be grown in relatively dry areas with substantially less water than typically required by sugar cane. Other technological advances include plant growth regulators which can increase yields by up to 15 per cent – generating healthier, more robust plants that need less water to grow.
What makes these advancements encouraging is not only their direct effect, but that they assist farmers in both the developed and the developing world. Most of the world’s farmers depend on rain fall to grow crops, instead of sophisticated irrigation systems. For instance, have just released a new technology, Agrisure Artesian, that helps stabilise yields in years of inconsistent rainfall to help farmers survive those difficult times.
Whether you are an agricultural science company, a farmer or consumer, the challenge is the same for all of us: steward our resources more efficiently to ensure they will be there for future generations. To meet the increased demand for water we can expect from a global population that will reach 9 billion in a few decades, we must make more efficient use of every ounce of water. New agricultural technologies and farming methods are essential to making this a reality.