I've just come across Syngenta's brilliant new report on The Agricultural Disconnect, which looks at people's perceptions around the topic of food security and how views on potential solutions vary drastically and, sometimes, in contradicting ways.
The fact is, agriculture is a complex topic. Last week I was lucky to meet Allan Savory, who came to Swiss Re's 150 anniversary London celebration to discuss how food is inextricable linked to the big challenges we face as a species including climate, natural catastrophes, energy... and our future as a species. Mr. Savory believes that agriculture will be key to solving these issues, but that one has to look at the issues holistically to understand and properly address them, which will require a huge effort in education. Discussing with those present at the event, it became obvious that most of us only understand part of the problem(s) and even fewer of us understand the interdependencies between these issues well. Here's former Economist editor Bill Emmott's summary of the discussion: "Agriculture as the villain" https://openminds.swissre.com/stories/443/
It doesn't help that scientific studies are mostly conducted by corporations and governments with an agenda. This is why I applaud Syngenta's new efforts in asking consumers and organizations on their views, reaching out on these complex topics and hopefully helping us all understand the issues and potential solutions better.
Last month Swiss Re also asked 22,000 people in 19 markets about their perception of risk around climate, energy, good, aging... In the graphic attached you can see what consumers answered to "what are the causes of food shortages in your country?" you can see the parallels with Syngenta's findings. In summary: We all want to secure food for all but most of us are confused as to how that can be done (click on the Risk Window below to go to the risk survey itself).
So I'm going with Mr. Savory's views and echoing (and with this and future posts, supporting) Syngenta's latest efforts: We need to invest a whole lot on education before we can really address these issues, globally, collaboratively and constructively as the issues at hand require.
Here's Syngenta's study: http://www.syngenta.com/global/corporate/SiteCollectionDocuments/pdf/publications/good-growth-plan/agricultural-disconnect.pdf
Category: Food security: Farming, Food waste, Livestock