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World Ag Congress : World Ag Congress
16 World Agricultural Forum 2009 Congress Q: Would you please state the problems and how to solve them? A (Janaiah): If you look at the globe as a whole it looks pretty secure, but there is an uneven distribution of the production across countries. We have three distinct categories. Category #1: largely U.S., Europe and Australia. Their problem is how to manage the surpluses. The second category of nations are by and large self-sufficient in Brazil and a large part of Asia. Their problem is how to manage the domestic market. How to transform the agricul- tural business to convert agriculture from an income-generating equity, by supporting the livelihood because Category #2 nations, agriculture is not just an economic activity, it is a source of livelihood. The third category nations are largely in Africa and a few in Latin America. Their issue is how to increase domestic production. Nowhere in the world are farmers happy with their income. So, we have to focus our strategies and policies towards making the farmer 's income profitable. The global communities should focus on strengthening national food production, and the national agricultural production system in order to maintain long-term security. For developing countries, Categories 2 and 3, the research should be extended. We have to look back and see how to improve the public sector 's International Agricultural Research System to strengthen the national system. Then we should also look at the market infrastructure in developing countries. I think the infrastructure should be a priority to provide agriculture insight to the farmers. Ultimately, the farmers should be happy. Q: Would you agree that political will, food security and national production are the silver bullets for the future? A (Stallman): The year 2050 is a big date. It is the challenge of producing enough food and fiber and probably fuel, too, to serve 9 billion people on this planet with about the same amount of airable land we have now with notably less fresh water supplies to do it with. For us to meet that challenge I think we have to understand that there are consequences to political and policy decisions that are made between now and then. If those decisions are not correct, the poorest of the world will suffer the most consequences. Hunger today is a problem of distribution. We affect distribution by making policy decisions in areas such as trade and border policies. Trade policies are frequently the protectionists between developing countries. We have numerous examples of countries that have shown their willingness to open trade and those countries are the ones with the highest economic growth rates. But for trade to work, there are conditions that have to be met. You must have infrastructure, and the contract enforcement, the law, and the judicial system --- all of the elements that provide food and are responsible for the business activities from a farmer 's gate to the consumer 's plate. That is a huge challenge. The word sustainable is probably the most overused and ill-defined word in the policy environment today. But let me give you two sustainable criteria that have to be met. The first of those is economic sustainability. To stay on the land to be successful there has to be economic sustainability. You have to be profitable enough to remain there. Condition number two is for production sustainability. We must continue to seek out new production technology, adapt to new production technology and not fear it. There is a lot of room for technological improvement in the developing world. It does not mean everybody adopting biotechnology. It means taking the technology that exists today, applying it in the developing world and then being aggressive about moving forward with the education, implementation and investment that it takes to do it. WAF STRATEGY, ACTIONS AND POLICIES FOR LONG-TERM SECURITY IN AGRICULTURE Professor Aldas Janaiah, ANGR Agri University, Hyderabad, India and Bob Stallman, President, American Farm Bureau Q & A SESSION WITH OSLER DESOUZART, CEO, OD CONSULTING, BRAZIL, MODERATOR TAKE-AWAY INSIGHTS FROM ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION "You have to have economic value, environmental value and social value. If you try to stress one in the detriment of the other, you go nowhere." "Sometimes you have to exercise a little bit of patience, but do you know anyone involved in agriculture that is not patient?" "We can make research available to the extent that we can get dollars much more efficiently, given the communications and digital age technologies that we have today. It can be available on the internet for everyone, if it is in the public domain. We need to further develop distributional systems for the research that is done all over the world."