World leaders and CEOs at the Davos 2010 World Economic Forum participate in a panel called Rethinking how to feed the world. The panel discusses the challenges facing global food production and possible solutions that will increase yield and support agricultural producers worldwide.
The panel is moderated by Prannoy Roy, Chairman, New Delhi Television (NDTV), India, and panelists included: Jakaya M. Kikwete, William H. Gates III, Ellen Kullman, Nguyen Tan Dung, Patricia A. Woertz, Prannoy Roy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Nguyen Tan Dung
Nguyen Tan Dung is the prime minister of Vietnam. He was confirmed by the National Assembly on June 27, 2006, having been nominated by his predecessor, Phan VÄƒn Kháº£i, who retired from office.
Nguyen Tan Dung was born in Ca Mau province in Southern Vietnam. Precisely on his 12th birthday (November 17, 1961), the young Nguyen Tan Dung voluntarily joined the military arm of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, later part of the Vietnam People's Army, doing first-aid, and communication tasks; he also worked as a nurse, and a physician. Dung was four times wounded in the Vietnam War, and was later ranked as a level 2/4 wounded veteran. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in law (doctor of jurisprudence) following the end of the war.
Dung previously served as First Deputy Prime Minister from September 29, 1997. He was also the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam between 1998 and 1999. He was admitted to the Communist Party of Vietnam on June 10, 1967, then joined the army as a full-fledged fighter and was subsequently elected a member of the Party's Politburo at the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth National Party Congresses.
He is the first senior Vietnamese communist leader who was born after the August Revolution in 1945 and the youngest Vietnamese Prime Minister (57 years old when he assumed the office). He is also a native southerner and remained in the southern region throughout the Vietnam War (he was only 5 when the country was divided in 1954).
He was reelected by the Communist Party on July 25, 2007. In 2009, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made a two day visit to Russia where he signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal.
Bill H. Gates
Bill Gates III is chairman of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. In July 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates continues to serve as Microsoft's chairman and an advisor on key development projects.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (born October 7, 1950) is a Tanzanian politician and current President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Kikwete was born in Msoga, Bagamoyo District, Tanganyika in present day Tanzania. Kikwete was also the Chairperson of the African Union from 31 January 2008 to 2 February 2009.
Ellen J. Kullman
Ellen J. Kullman, 53, is chief executive officer of DuPont. Kullmanis the 19th executive to lead the company in more than 205 years of DuPont History. She became president on Oct. 1, 2008, and CEO on Jan.1, 2009.
Prior to her appointment as DuPont president and CEO she served as executive vice president and a member of the company's office of the chief executive. Kullman was responsible for DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies; DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies; DuPont Performance Materials; DuPont Safety & Protection; Marketing & Sales; Pharmaceuticals; Risk Management; and Safety & Sustainability. In March 2008, Kullman was tapped to lead the dynamic planning process for the company's growth in emerging international markets.
A native of Wilmington, Del., Kullman began her career at DuPont in 1988 as marketing manager in the Medical Imaging business. Following two years as business director for the X-ray Film business, she moved to Printing & Publishing as global business director, Electronic Imaging. In 1994, she joined White Pigment & Mineral Products as global business director and was named vice president and general manager in 1995. She assumed leadership of two high-growth businesses, DuPont Safety Resources in 1998 and Bio-Based Materials in 1999.
Kullman was named group vice president and general manager in 2000 with the addition of Corporate New Business Development and Intellectual Assets Licensing. In 2001 she assumed responsibility for DuPont Flooring Systems and DuPont Surfaces. She was named group vice president - DuPont Safety & Protection in February 2002. In June 2006 she was named executive vice president until her appointment as DuPont President and CEO.
Kullman is on the Board of Trustees at Tufts University, serves on the board of overseers at Tufts University School of Engineering. She is also on the Board of Trustees, National Safety Council.
Prior to joining DuPont, Kullman worked for General Electric in various business development and marketing positions. She holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a masters degree in management from Northwestern University.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a director of the World Bank, was Nigeria's Finance Minister and then briefly Foreign Affairs Minister from 2003 to 2006, the first woman to hold either position.
During her tenure as Finance Minister, she worked to combat corruption, make Nigeria's finances more transparent, and institute reforms to make the nation's economy more hospitable to foreign investment. The government unlinked its budget from the price of oil, its main export, to lessen perennial cashflow crises, and got oil companies to publish how much they pay the government.
Since 2003 -- when watchdog group Transparency International rated Nigeria "the most corrupt place on Earth" -- the nation has made headway recovering stolen assets and jailing hundreds of people engaged in international Internet 419 scams.
Okonjo-Iweala is a former World Bank vice president who graduated from Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in regional economics and development at MIT. Her son Uzodinma Iweala is the celebrated young author of Beasts of No Nation.
Dr. Prannoy L. Roy is the founder and the Executive Chairperson of New Delhi Television (NDTV). He is also an economist, accountant, author, psephologist and has served as economic adviser to the ministry of finance.
Patricia A. Woertz
Patricia A. Woertz is chairman of the board of directors, chief executive officer and president of Archer Daniels Midland Company.
She was named CEO and president in April 2006, and assumed the additional role of chairman of the board in February 2007. Since joining ADM, Woertz has led the Company to record financial results while growing its sourcing, transportation and processing networks through select acquisitions, strategic capital investments, and a number of global joint ventures and partnerships. She has also worked with ADM's board and senior leadership to strengthen the Company's strategic focus and planning, and to promote safety, continuous learning and sustainability initiatives companywide.
Woertz began her career as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Ernst, later Ernst & Young, in Pittsburgh. Attracted to the complexity and opportunity of a global company, she joined Gulf Oil Corporation in 1977, where she held various positions in refining, marketing, strategic planning and finance. Following the merger of Gulf and Chevron in 1987, Woertz led international operations and a global workforce as president of Chevron Canada and, later, Chevron International Oil Company. With the merger of Chevron and Texaco in 2001, she was named executive vice president in charge of the company's global refining, marketing, lubricant, and supply and trading operations.
She serves on the board of directors of the Procter & Gamble Company, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and The Business Council. She also serves on the board of trustees of the University of San Diego and the board of visitors of Pennsylvania State University, which awarded her its highest recognition for alumni.
She holds a B.S. in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.
Extreme and protracted shortage of food, resulting in widespread hunger and a substantial increase in the death rate. General famines affect all classes or groups in the region of food shortage; class famines affect some classes or groups much more severely than others; regional famines affect only a particular region of a country. Causes may be natural or human. Natural causes include drought, flooding, unfavourable weather conditions, plant disease, and insect infestation. Human causes include war, overpopulation, faulty distribution systems, and high food prices. Several severe famines occurred in the 20th century, including those in China (192829, at least 3 million dead; 195961, 1530 million), the U.S.S.R. (1921, more than 5 million; 193233, 68 million), India (194344, 1.5 million), Cambodia (197579, 1 million), and North Korea (199599, 2.5 million), and continued into the 21st century, as in sub-Saharan Africa.
"The pollen from a gm crop has the potential to end life as we know it. - The companies who make GM crops want nothing less then the enslavement of all humanity. - Do yourself a favor and research the damage gm crops can do before coming on here and ranting about how the rest of the world is ignorant and you are so enlightened."
Sounds like you are the one who is ranting and ignorant. However, if you can provide one instance where any of your statements has been proven true, I will reconsider your post.
GM crops have made people sick and dead.
Total Rubbish. There is no evidence to support that claim. There are legitimate fears about accidentally introducing new retroviruses etc, but nature's variety is also quite creative at producing new diseases, so that's not even a one sided argument.
Biodiversity is at risk from all agriculture. It is purely a question of land use. The more we need for agriculture, the less is available for wildlife. When we increase the yield per hectare, that reduces the pressure on biodiversity in the unfarmed wilderness. GM is one of the tools which helps this.
I don't know which video you saw, but it couldn't be the one I saw. In the one I saw it was clearly pointed out, that the amount of food grown on the available land is more than enough.
Also, there was a sharp contrast between representatives from developed countries with huge surpluses and not yet developed countries with shortages. While the former kept droning on about genetically modified crops, the latter were talking about tractors, (any) irrigation (at all), conventionally bred seeds, fertilizers, access to markets (at home and abroad), access to education and decent infrastructure for transport.
Don't get me wrong. I think that genetically modified crops can be great, though not in the way they are currently being developed and distributed. (I will not go into the details, this is a comment, not a book. ) The problems people, especially in Africa, are having, though, are of a completely different kind.
And no, those can't be solved by exporting 30,000 tractors to Africa. But some may be solved by providing African entrepreneurs with the knowhow, intellectual property (=patents) and governmental backing necessary to build their own tractor plants (you'll find a few with enough money even in Africa), employing state of the art technology to design and manufacture cheap, basic tractors that are adapted to local needs.
>>GM crops have made people sick and dead<<
Please post the reputable news source from which this was derived. (If it happened, even once, media would jump on this kind of front page story).
>>There's many examples now of ecosystems being overtaken by GM crops<<
If it's true, it wouldn't be very surprising. We engineered them to flourish. That's the point.
People used to be pretty uneasy eating something from a microwave. Not the case anymore. All those people became rambling raisins in nursing homes. Same for GM foods. Same with superstitious you.
But don't take my word for it, (or the activists above). Ask the Scientists in the field, who BTW don't receive money from any corporation.
Let me correct myself: engineered foods that ARE NOT transgenic are better, since they only mix between the same species -rice with rice, for example, instead of rice with some totally unrelated organism.
Many good points well-raised. From the first to last. I think the price of food should be higher. This would also be able to pay for better means of production even if it means they are more labor intensive. (much like green, new technology that is more expensive but cleaner, better and in the long run perhaps our only choice). Organic food has become more expensive to grow, but is generally regarded as healthier (and becoming scientifically confirmed).
There is difference between GM and trans-genetic, as Bill Gates implicitly said. Engineered transgenetics is not as bad as engineering food seeds with totally unrelated bacteria genes, for example. Hence the need for "responsible technology" and also that big corporations stay out of this. They clearly have in mind first and foremost profit, even above people's health and high standards. This is an old problem still going on... food companies (like processing companies and biotech companies) have shown to be awfully greedy and concern about social justice for people around the world is clearly way down in their list. These are very rich companies, they have the power to help alot. They don't.
Very sad that such a clear and powerful question raised about the issues of obesity and surplus of food production in many countries, was completely shut down with no response! It was the only one! What is this? This whole problem is about :
-Bringing up the education of the societies that cannot grow food themselves. Like Nigeria for example. It is a shame they import their rise. They have to fix this problem. They must unite as a country and show their support for their own society. And the gov't must in turn nurture that potential for work and development of the people around the basic issue of agriculture. Not society can survive without it. And it is not some foreign corporation that is gonna come to save you. Donors, unless investing on grassroots education and social forces for the people to motivate in a shared goal, is not going to help either.
You are exactly right, manzanitaz.
I'd like to believe Gates means well, but if so it's unfortunate he's getting fed dubious information (possibly from his foundation's grantees) causing him to spend money on projects that will most likely do more harm than good.
This recent article from the Nation outlines in detail how global hunger is mostly a problem of distribution, not production:
And Jeffrey M. Smith has done lots of great research about the hazards of GMOs, much of which can be found at this site:
I'm sorry to inform you farmer joe but the ignorant one is you.. GM crops have wreaked havoc on nature and humans in just the short amount of time they have been around.. Millions of years of evolution being replaced is not only foolish but downright selfish.. GM crops have made people sick and dead.. They have also severely limited bio-diversity.. There's many examples now of ecosystems being overtaken by GM crops.. Not to mention the mass suicides in india due to the farmers bieng essentially slaves to the big business who "sell" the seeds and own the farmers..
GM crops were not invented to stop hunger, they were invented to make companies rich ,period.. The companies who make GM crops want nothing less then the enslavement of all humanity.. They have already litigated countless farmers into oblivion due to their pollen crossing with a native farmers crop.. The GM companies claim it's "their" crop due to the gm dna present and claim ownership of a legitimate farmers livelihood.. That is a crime against all humanity in itself..
And then there's the part of polluting the genes of every living organism on the planet.. It's a crime of unimaginable evil.. To tell me that it's the ignorant poor people fault for not using GM crops is downright sinister.. You need to rethink your position carefully.. The pollen from a gm crop has the potential to end life as we know it.. The frankensteins who made these gm seeds need to be stopped before it's too late for a reversal.. Do yourself a favor and research the damage gm crops can do before coming on here and ranting about how the rest of the world is ignorant and you are so enlightened..
As a farmer and agronomist, the factor limiting my yield is the price of the crop I grow. If the crop was more valuable, then I could invest in more fertilizer, a better planter, additional fungicide applications, tile land, bulldoze brush, afford more employees to increase management intensity, afford to install irrigation infrastructure etc. Doubling yield is very easily achievable. The best thing that can be done is ensuring that the worlds poor can afford to buy food by urbanizing, modernizing, and educating them (especially education to fix the ignorant fear of GM). See http://fora.tv/2009/07/28/Pamela_Ron..._of_the_Future