Tuesday, May 04, 2010

"More crop per drop"

Speaking at an international water conference, the CEO of the Gates Foundation called for water efficiency while improving agriculture yields. Jeff Raikes of the Gates Foundation talked about the science breakthroughs in modified seeds that produce more food with less water.

Ralkes also showed slides of dried up lakes and rivers in Asia and Africa and how this will cause conflicts in the future.

From KOMO news, AP writer Eric Olson recieved a bunch of quotes from the Gates Foundation CEO.

"I see the linkage of the water crisis and the future of global poverty," he said, "yet I don't see the general awareness of this issue. I don't hear the talk of securing water for food.

"We worry about terrorism, yet do we understand that the battles over resources are the most devastating?"

Raikes echoed the notion that many of the 20th century's conflicts were based on oil, and many of this century's conflicts will be over water.

Without better farming practices and water management in impoverished areas, the amount of water required to meet global demand for food will almost double by 2050, Raikes said.

"We have to get more food on the same land with the same or less amount of water," Raikes said.

The world population is projected to grow from 6 billion to 9 billion over the next 40 years, with the biggest increase in developing nations. Improving diets in developing nations such as India and China will further increase food demand, he said.

Meanwhile, the development of biofuels is cutting into water and land use for food crops, Raikes said, and there is increasing demand for water by industry

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