A Prosperous World Requires Innovation in Agriculture


This week, leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos are analyzing innovative solutions for fiscal growth in the “new global context.” As population expands from 7.2 to 9.6 billion by 2050 and climate change worsens, the world needs disruptive technologies that boost food production and build markets in developing nations. These advances will drive economies.

The agriculture industry plays a critical role in developing new and better products that are accessible to the smallholder farmers who need them. But no “new” more efficient fertilizer has been created in the past 40 years. Innovations in fertilizers must occur in order to advance food security, mitigate the impact of climate change and improve human health.

More efficient technologies are already proving successful in smaller markets around the world. Fertilizers containing micronutrients, such as zinc, can improve soil, plant and human health. Urea deep placement also is benefiting farmers and manufacturers. It requires one-third less fertilizer and increases yields by approximately 20 percent while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from rice production.

Fostering innovations like these not only strengthens food security; it catalyzes profitability in other sectors. Tony Kalm of One Acre Fund describes it best: “Why should Davos participants care about farming? … It is one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to reduce poverty, improve the health of children and families, grow economies and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.”

We hope those gathered in Davos agree – Investments to strengthen global agriculture will lead to a more prosperous world.

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