Growing More From Less: Meeting The Global Water Challenge
North American Precis Syndicate
Growing More From Less: Meeting The Global Water Challenge (NAPSA)—Maybeit’s not such a small world. By 2050, the world is expected to be hometo 9 billion people. Water will be the biggest limiting factor in the ability to feed this growing global population. Less than %o of 1 percent of the world’s water is freshwater, suitable for drinking and for agricultural production. As a result, many areas already face severe waterscarcity. Worldwide, about 70 percent of freshwateris used for agriculture. The proportion of water that agriculture requires in any part of the world, however, depends on how fully farmers are able to make use of available technologies. The less technology—the more water is required. Water shortages currently threaten America’s breadbasket. The Ogallala Aquifer in the Midwest is rapidly becoming depleted and there is no readily available source of water to replace it. The Ogallala supplies 70 to 90 percent of the irrigation water for three of the top grain-producing states in the U.S. In one recent year, the scarcity of water resulted in an estimated $30 billion in crop losses in the USS. alone. The water shortage is only have a simple solution. Here’s how Syngenta, a global agricultural company, is approaching the problem: First, it’s continually adding to a portfolio of genetic, trait, seed care and crop protection technologies that enable plants to better accommodate stresses resulting from heat, drought and poor water quality. It’s the first company to market corn hybrids precision bred to increase yield from available water and improve yield consistency under variable water conditions. Corn hybrids with the Agrisure Artesian™ trait will be available for planting in 2011. Second, the company collaborates with others to develop innovations in irrigation and water treatment that benefit agricultural production while containing water use. Only 25 percent of all cropland is irrigated but that 25 percent provides 30 to 40 percent of the world’s total food production. Modern irrigation systems can dramatically reduce the amount of water used in farming by efficiently delivering water directly to plants. This can reduce water lost to evaporation by 30 percent. ago, 12 percent of the world was living in water-stressed condi- Third, Syngenta developed an integrated approach that promotes water stewardship and water use efficiency. Its seed triple, to nearly 40 percent. A Multifaceted Effort To Improve Water Use Efficiency Such a complex problem doesn’t products help farmers grow healthy crops even during periods of water stress. Its nonselective herbicides enable minimum going to grow worse. Five years tions. By 2025, that number will treatment and crop protection tillage agriculture, improving water absorption to reduce runoff from farmland and ensuring that available water is used by desired crops rather than undesired weeds. Fourth, the firm advocates for agriculture’s interests in water stewardship through participation in organizations such as the United Nations Global Compact, the World Economic Forum and the 2030 Water Resources Group. “Syngenta is dedicated to helping farmers around the world grow more food using less water by bringing forward technologies and integrated solutions that help the entire agricultural supply chain reduce its water footprint,” said David Morgan, president of Syngenta North America. Working Together To Create A Sustainable Future To meet the needs of an evergrowing population, growers know that sustainability must begin in their own fields and in their local communities. By adopting new technologies and practices and working with companies that promote sustainability, growers are fighting the global food and water challenge. Growers who want to assess the sustainability of their farms can visit Keystone Alliance’s Fieldprint Calculator at www.field tomarket.org/fieldprint-calculator. To learn more about the commitment to improving sustainability and water efficiency, visit www.growmorefromless.com.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)