AgDaily says stagnant public funding for agricultural research is threatening the future vitality of US food systems — posing risks to farmer productivity and profitability, the steady supply of affordable food for consumers, and ultimately global food security, according to a new report.
The report, authored by the IHS Markit Agribusiness Consulting Group, highlights the vital importance of public funding for agricultural research and development (R&D). New innovations are crucial so that farmers can increase their productivity and meet rising global demand for food, even as climate change intensifies. The world population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, and food production will need to increase by 60 per cent to 70 per cent to meet rising demand. While private-sector funding for agricultural R&D has been increasing, US public spending has been flat for the past decade.
“The US has always been a leader in agricultural innovation, but we’re at risk of losing that advantage by falling behind the rest of the world in research and development,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “This report shows the clear need for agricultural research to benefit not only farmers, but our entire food system and every person who eats. Research will unlock the answers to growing more crops even as we face increasingly volatile weather, help to create a more resilient food system supply chain, and provide food that’s higher in nutritional value. It’s the golden ticket.”