Speaking yesterday at the World Grain Forum 2009 in St. Petersburg, John Atkin, Syngenta Chief Operating Officer Crop Protection, emphasized the essential role of technology in meeting the global food production challenges of the 21st Century. "We only have one planet, we need worldwide collaboration to raise yields through the use of modern technology, supportive government policies and efficient global trade," said Atkin.

The event, which is the result of a G8 summit initiative, focused on grain supply and food provision for the global population. "As the 2008 World Development Report states, more dynamic and inclusive agriculture could help to meet the Millennium Development Goal on poverty and hunger. Clearly, this is a challenging goal," continued Atkin. "The world must work together to accelerate technology adoption. We could already realize significant yield potential within the next three years by comprehensively deploying existing technologies."

Atkin went on to highlight the importance of science-based regulatory frameworks and efficient trade systems. "Governments and stakeholders need to recognize the importance of technology and facilitate farmer access to it. Public investment in agriculture, which has been reduced in recent years, should be increased to advance technology discovery and development and efficient global trade systems should also be encouraged. However, without the political and institutional will to do the right thing, we will not get very far."

The event was hosted by Dmitry Medvedev, President of the Russian Federation. John Atkin joined alongside guests including Jacques Diouf, Director-General, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and various agricultural ministers.

Source: Syngenta