Workshop on the Sustainability of the World's Food and Farming Systems


Thursday, April 28, 2016, 4:00pm to 6:00pm


CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S050

"Scaling up Technology Delivery Systems for Food Security"


Chandra Madramootoo, Visiting Scholar, Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; James McGill Professor, Bioresource Engineering, McGill University.


Heather Conrad


Rob Paarlberg, Associate. Betty F. Johnson Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science, Wellesley College.


It is expected that food production would have to at least double over the next 25 years to meet the food demands of the world population, which could rise to nearly 12 billion. The challenge is enormous considering land and water resource constraints, and the impact of climatic variability in the arid and semi-arid tropics. Global freshwater availability per capita, as well as groundwater aquifer levels are declining rapidly in the major food producing regions of both the developed and developing world. Consequently new irrigation methods must be introduced. Degradation of natural resources and loss of biodiversity will limit the ability to bring new lands under crop and livestock production. While much is being done in genomics to develop new drought and disease resistant crops, there are numerous hurdles to disseminating these new varieties to small farmers.

The presentation will discuss potential pathways to the scaling up of various crop and water technologies, in order to tackle the challenges of water and food insecurity confronting the world food system.