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Agricultural expert outlines path for developing nations to double food production, meet 2050 demand
Date:5/16/2012

Like countries throughout the world, Malaysia will need double its current food production by 2050 due to population growth and rising living standards.

At a meeting today in New York with Malaysia's Prime Minister and other senior leaders, a renowned international agricultural scientist says meeting that daunting challenge is possible but results will be gradual and efforts must begin now.

Dr. Aalt A. Dijkhuizen, President and Chairman of the Executive Board, Wageningen University and Research Centre in The Netherlands, detailed ways to secure the future of the country's food supply through seed research, a more sophisticated universal system of forecasting relevant crop prices, and high-tech assisted "precision farming."

"It is certainly possible to double food production in Malaysia through techniques and technologies within the financial reach of all, coupled with training, management support and other capacity building measures," Dr. Dijkhuizen told fellow members of Malaysia's Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council (GSIAC) -- a unique assembly of all-star international and Malaysian experts and leaders created to guide Malaysian development.

Specifically, the program includes:

  • Increased harvests per hectare, especially in rice, through plant species research and substitution to both improve salt tolerance and reduce water use. At the same time, the breeding efforts would improve food safety by reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides;

  • Better prediction of crop prices based on global harvests data and forecasts collected from nations worldwide. Working closely with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Dr. Dijkhuizen's institute is a world leader in this field; and

  • Precision farming, using information and communication technologies to collect data from the field and better inform farming decisions such as when and what to plant, along with training to i
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Contact: Terry Collins
tc@tca.tc
416-878-8712
Malaysian Industry‑Government Group for High Technology
Source:Eurekalert

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