What is Monsanto doing to address the issue of food security?

Each week, we will answer a question from our readers regarding our operations and community outreach in the State of Hawaii. Submit your question by visiting the contact page. Thanks for reading. Mahalo!

Q: With the world’s growing population, food security is a major concern. What is Monsanto doing to address this issue?

A: Each day, the world supports 200,000 more people than the day before. As the population increases, so does the demand for food, fiber, energy and water.

By 2030, global demand for soybeans will be 125 percent more than it was in 2000. Arable land per capita in 2030 will be just one third of what was available in 1980. And without essential improvements in productivity, there is a projected 40 percent gap in the amount of global water supply that will be available in 2030 versus expected demand. We must wisely use our natural resources to meet these future challenges.

To do our part in addressing these challenges, in 2008, we set ambitious goals for continuous improvement in the agriculture sector following a year of analysis and dialogue sessions with more than 100 experts in the agriculture, food, international development, not-for-profit and government sectors.

Monsanto’s sustainable agriculture goals are threefold:

PRODUCING MORE

Developing improved seeds and agronomic practices to help farmers double yields by 2030 from 2000 levels for corn, soybeans, cotton and canola. In addition, we pledged $10 million to support rice and wheat breeding, crops essential to food security, by establishing Monsanto’s Beachell Borlaug International Scholars Program.

CONSERVING MORE

Conserving resources by developing seeds and agronomic practices that by 2030 use one third fewer key resources than in 2000 per unit of output to grow crops, while working to lessen habitat loss and improve water quality.

IMPROVING LIVES

Helping improve the lives of farmers and their families, including 5 million people in resource-poor farm families by 2020.

We acknowledge that Monsanto, acting alone, cannot accomplish these goals.  However, as an agricultural company focused on increasing crop yields sustainably, we have pledged our best efforts to support the needs of farmers as they tackle these challenges. We are also committed to working with partners, new and already established, who offer diverse capabilities to address the daunting challenges.