What can we do about feeding the world?

Monday, 7 June 2010

Threatened global food security, the scientific and political challenges ahead and our role as food consumers are the focus of a University of Adelaide free public forum on the World Food Crisis tomorrow evening.

Leading thinkers on food security from the University of Adelaide will form a panel to explore the critical issues surrounding global food security and whether it's a problem of shortage or access, whether science holds the answers and the ethical issues raised.

The forum panellists and their topics are:

Associate Professor Rachel Ankeny, School of History and Politics, said: "Food insecurity is on the increase even in more developed countries including Australia. Complexity over food choice is heightening what has been described as 'food anxiety'. And we need to ask, what are individuals' and Australia's responsibilities with regard to the current food shortage?"

Professor Roger Leigh, Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, said: "It is estimated that crop yields must increase by at least 2% a year to achieve food security, about double the productivity growth currently being achieved. There needs to be a new expansion of agricultural research focussed on food security issues and utilising the power of modern biology."

Professor Randy Stringer, Professor of Agriculture and Food Policy, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, said: "There is no world food shortage. Yes, there is a world food crisis, but it's all about access to food. Population growth is not the problem. The lack of access to food poses the greatest threats to our human-managed agro ecosystems and human-influenced natural ecosystems."

Moderating the forum will be Professor Peter Langridge, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics.

The World Food Crisis Forum is part of the University of Adelaide's regular Research Tuesdays series.

WHAT: Research Tuesdays: 'Feeding Anxiety: The World Food Crisis Forum'
WHERE: Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, North Terrace Campus, University of Adelaide
WHEN: 5.30pm - 7pm, Tuesday 8 June
COST: Free but booking is essential. Register online: www.adelaide.edu.au/researchtuesdays or
phone: (08) 8303 3692


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