Mexico City, March 26, 2014 Sustainable intensification can be approached through ecological, genetic or socio-economic means. These issues will be discussed in the context of increased wheat production by Sir Gordon Conway, a Professor of International Development at Imperial College London and Director of Agriculture for Impact, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funded advocacy initiative that focuses on European support of agricultural development in Africa. Conway will make his keynote presentation, “The Green Revolution – Lessons for the Future” at the upcoming Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security, which will take place in Ciudad Obregón, Mexico on March 25-28. The Borlaug Summit is being organized by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) and the Patronato for Research and Agricultural Experimentation of the State of Sonora (PIEAES). The Summit will look back at Dr. Norman Borlaug’s legacy as the father of the Green Revolution, which sparked key advances in food production. “The Green Revolution was one of the great technological achievements of the 20th century,” Conway outlined in his presentation abstract. In the years following the start of the Green Revolution, food production kept pace with population growth and in many regions the probability of famine was reduced. However, Conway notes that along with the successes came a number of problems. “For example, the technologies accompanying the Green Revolution turned out to have adverse environmental effects.” Additionally, “the contribution of agriculture to global pollution has grown, with potentially serious consequences. Land has become degraded, forests and biodiversity lost, grazing land and fisheries overexploited. Moreover, as we have discovered in recent years, agriculture is both a victim and a culprit of climate change,” Conway writes. The challenges the world faces today are similar to those faced in the 1960s, Conway points out, but in some respects more complex. “We have to intensify the production of food on the same amount of land with the same amount or less water but in a sustainable fashion, with more prudent use of inputs, lower emissions of greenhouse gases, improvements to natural capital and incorporate greater resilience,” he points out. “We have to do more with less and not damage the environmental resources on which agriculture depends,” Conway summarized. The Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security honors the 100th anniversary of the birth and the legacy of Dr. Norman Borlaug, a legendary CIMMYT scientist who developed high-yielding, semi-dwarf wheat, which is credited with saving over 1 billion people from starvation. Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 in recognition of his contributions to world peace through an increased food supply. Borlaug’s wheat varieties were grown in Mexico, Turkey, India and Pakistan, boosting harvests in those countries, avoiding famine in South Asia and sparking widespread adoption of improved crop varieties and farming practices. Conway was educated at the Universities of Wales (Bangor), Cambridge, West Indies (Trinidad) and California (Davis). His discipline is agricultural ecology. In the early 1960s, working in Sabah, North Borneo, he became one of the pioneers of sustainable agriculture. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004 and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2007. Conway was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2005. From 2005-2009 he was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Department for International Development. Previously he was President of The Rockefeller Foundation and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex. He is a Deputy Lieutenant for East Sussex and was recently President of the Royal Geographical Society. Conway is the author of The Doubly Green Revolution: Food for all in the 21st century (Penguin and University Press, Cornell) and co-authored Science and Innovation for Development (UK Collaborative on Development Sciences [UKCDS]). His most recent book One Billion Hungry: Can we Feed the World? was published in October 2012. Professor Conway will be one of a number of experts speaking at the Borlaug Summit, which will focus on wheat’s critical role in global food security. Other speakers include the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto; Howard Buffett, Chairman & CEO of theHoward G. Buffett Foundation; Dr. Ronnie Coffman, Vice-Chair of the BGRI and Director of International Programs, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University; Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen, 2001 World Food Prize Laureate; Dr. Steve Jennings, Head of Programme Policy at Oxfam; Dr. Hélène Lucas, International Scientific Coordinator of the Wheat Initiative; and Dr. Robert T. Fraley, Executive Vice President/Chief Technology Officer at Monsanto and 2013 World Food Prize Laureate.For more information on the Borlaug Summit on Wheat for Food Security, visit www.borlaug100.org. Additional information on Sir Gordon Conway can be found here. ### About CIMMYT Headquartered in Mexico, CIMMYT is the global leader in research for development in wheat and maize and wheat- and maize-based farming systems for developing countries. CIMMYT works throughout the developing world with hundreds of partners to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat systems to improve global food security and livelihoods. Improved, CIMMYT-derived wheat is sown on more than 60 million hectares in developing countries – over 70 percent of the spring wheat area planted with modern wheat varieties in those nations. These wheat varieties are responsible for bigger harvests that bring annual added benefits to farmers of at least US $500 million. CIMMYT is a member of CGIAR and receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.
Today, our planet is hurt by how we live, how produce food and energy for example. #EarthDay2021 is time for you and me to truly appreciate how to restore our earth to secure our futures. #SustainableEconomy— Nachilala Nkombo (@Nachilala) April 19, 2021
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