Paper Concludes Crop Protection Products Play Key Role in Meeting Global Food Demand

Washington, DC – A panel of authors from academic institutions and the CropLife Foundation concludes that crop protection products will play a key role in supporting long-term global food production in both developed and developing countries, when paired with effective policies, proper regulations and responsible use training. The findings are published in the newest Issue Paper, “The Contributions of Pesticides to Pest Management in Meeting the Global Need for Food Production by 2050,” released Nov. 17 by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST). Authors Albert Culbreath of the University of Georgia; Leonard Gianessi of the Crop Protection Research Institute and consultant for the CropLife Foundation; Larry Godfrey of the University of California, Davis; and Stephen C. Weller of Purdue University examine the role of pesticides in yield production and conclude that crop protection products will be important in helping farmers provide for a growing population.

“This report demonstrates that agricultural technology plays a significant role in the production of nutritious food for communities, both in the U.S. and around the world,” said Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America. “The global CropLife network thanks CAST for this critical examination of how crop protection can support a sustainable future.”

The authors examine the role of pesticides in both developed and developing countries and note that low crop yields in developing countries are due in large part to uncontrolled pests. Report data suggests that the responsible use of crop protection products provides a favorable cost/benefit ratio to growers and helps further the use of additional sustainable farming practices. Crop protection and other modern farming technologies will also assist in reducing agricultural labor needs.

“Plant science will be a key component in meeting global food needs and, when paired with training and stewardship programs, farmers around the world will benefit,” said Howard Minigh, president and CEO of CropLife International.

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) hosted a panel discussion in Washington D.C. on Nov. 17 to discuss the findings of the Issue Paper. The report is available online at www.cast-science.org.

Michael Leary