NEW YORK, NEW YORK - Increasing agricultural productivity, improving food quality and achieving long-term food security will require science and collaboration to address dramatic global population challenges, DuPont Chair & CEO Ellen Kullman told members of the Chief Executives' Club of Boston yesterday. The Chief Executives' Club is among the top three most influential thought leadership venues in the U.S.

Ellen noted the challenge for global food production is to feed the world's growing population, which is near 7 billion and expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050. In the meantime, the world's supply of arable land per person is decreasing.

Ellen said the scale and scope of this challenge can only be tackled through science and collaboration.

"Successful collaboration means developing advanced seed technologies that meet specific local needs, crop protection products to help guard crop yield and quality, innovative packaging that protects food quality and testing systems to ensure food safety and good agricultural practices that improve the knowledge and skills of farmers in developing countries," Ellen said.

As an example, Ellen pointed to the Africa Biofortified Sorghum (ABS) project. The initiative is an African-led public-private partnership focused on improving the nutrition and digestibility of sorghum that is a staple for more than 300 million people in Africa. The ABS project uses science and technology to enhance sorghum's nutritional content. The lead organization has been Africa Harvest, a Kenya-based non-profit, and DuPont business Pioneer Hi-Bred is a primary technology provider.

"Inclusive, innovative science that involves farmers, governments, universities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and customers can meet the world's demand for food and do it while improving consumer benefits and increasing sustainability," Ellen said. "We have a tremendous opportunity to address global food challenges by increasing the productivity of the world's farmers, expanding the availability of nutritious food, delivering cutting-edge crop protection products that are more sustainable and empowering farmers around the world to improve their families' standards of living."

SOURCE: DuPont News Release