The United Nations estimates that by the end of today the world’s population will have quietly shot past seven billion. In the past decade the world has grown by nearly a billion people, and since 1940 the population has more than tripled. To meet the challenge of feeding this exponentially growing world, the plant science industry has created innovative technologies that provide farmers with the means to boost yields, increase farm income and protect natural resources. However for these tools to meet the challenge of feeding the next billion people, nations must ensure farmers have access to these sustainable, science-based technologies while investing in the next generation of innovation. To support this effort, CropLife International is launching the Declaration for Farmer Choice, a new framework built on five principles that can empower farmers with the knowledge and freedom to determine what they need in order to grow crops successfully and sustainability.

“Today, our world stands at a crossroads; we have surpassed seven billion inhabitants and will surpass eight billion in the next 15 years. To feed these individuals we must empower farmers to improve their land and livelihoods by providing access to new agricultural technologies,” explained Howard Minigh, President and CEO of CropLife International. “As the international community prepares for the June 2012 RIO+20 Earth Summit, the Declaration for Farmer Choice will provide a basis for discussion on how to foster sustainable farming practices while improving farmer’s lives, especially in the developing world.”

Through its five principles, the Declaration for Farmer Choice creates a foundation to determine how to achieve green agriculture while improving yields and increasing farm incomes.

The Declaration for Farmer Choice calls for:

  • sustainable, productive and environmentally-responsible technologies
  • enhanced access to agricultural technologies
  • science-based regulatory schemes
  • increased agriculture investment
  • improved agricultural knowledge

“Under the Declaration for Farmer Choice, farmers are recognized as the best and most knowledgeable stewards of their unique plot of land, and green agriculture is comprised of a mosaic of sustainable agricultural solutions and practices that farmers can choose from,” said Minigh. “We urge individuals and organizations to sign on to the Declaration and support these basic principles.”

At launch, several organizations have already joined CropLife International in supporting the Declaration for Farmer Choice. The International Seed Federation, Truth about Trade and Technology, Pan African Agribusiness & Agroindustry Consortium, and the International Fertilizer Industry Association have pledged their support and will join CropLife in demonstrating to the public and private sector the importance of allowing farmers the freedom to choose the tools that are best for their land and livelihoods.

To learn more about the Declaration for Farmer Choice and to find out how to sign on, visit www.ActionforAg.org/get-involved