ESA Annual Meetings Online Program

Team 2 (University of Idaho, faculty advisor - Mark Schwarzlaender), Topic 1: What is the best individual solution to feeding the world's growing population?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012: 2:05 PM
Lecture Hall, Floor Two (Knoxville Convention Center)
Jessica K. Rendon , Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Shaonpius Mondal , Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Ikju Park , Department of PSES, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Joel R. Price , Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
Today, one of the foremost concerns of the world community is the predicted increase in world population, which is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050.  An additional 70 to 100% more food will be required to satiate this new global food demand.  If immediate action is not planned or taken to address this challenging problem, millions of people will suffer from hunger and malnutrition in the near future.  Global climate change, pest resistance and resurgence problems, and growing concerns of environmental and ecological safety, have resulted in minimal choices for farmers to escalate crop yield.

To address this problem of unprecedented magnitude, we argue that the immediate implementation and further development of genetically modified (GM) crops as a basis for integrated pest management (IPM) strategies, especially in the developing world, will offer the single most promising approach to feeding the world’s growing population.  Genetic modification of crops can enhance yield through resistance against many insect pests and pathogens.  Genetic modification can also increase tolerance to herbicides, drought, flooding, and altered growing cycles and temperature fluctuations due to climate change.  Additionally, when GM crops are implemented within a locally adapted IPM context, beneficial synergistic effects are expected.

Genetic modification of crops is a fast evolving technology that already offers extraordinary opportunities to increase food production and improve food quality.  We conclude that promoting the acceptance and implementation of respective crops in combination with accelerated research offers the most promising approach to diminishing world hunger and feeding a growing world population.

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