Thursday, October 15, 2015

Borlaug Dialogue Day Two: Big Data to Aquaculture

There was such great information shared during the second day of the Borlaug Dialogue! Many topics were covered from big data to aquaculture. As yesterday, I will post highlights from the various panels and presentations. Strike up a conservation with others and see what can be done to fight hunger around the world.

Precision Ag and Big Data: Technologies for Resilience: Ruben Echeverria, Yangxuan Liu, Benjamin Pratt, Cory Reed, Jose Simas, Michael Stern
  • There are more cell phones than people in the world.
  • There are 570 million farms globally and 72% are smaller than 1 hectare (2.47 acres).
  • Technology and innovation is the solution.
  • Ninety countries around the world have GPS/guidance capabilities in agriculture.
  • Technology needs to be used to improve fertilizers. We need more research in this area.
  • Precision Ag/data management is not just for crops but also applies to animal production.
  • Small data for smallholder farmers is very important. Lets not forget this.
  • Big data analysis does not replace the experts. 
  • Data privacy will continue to be a major issue.
Special Address on the Occasion: Cargill 150th Anniversary: David MacLennan
  • Change in global food system is constant.
  • Agriculture accounts for 40% of land use and 70% of water use.
  • Today yields are 6-8 times higher than they were 150 years ago.
  • We must grow the right crops in the right soils and climates. Then let free trade work.
  • We must close the gap between farmers in developing and developed countries.
  • Keys to Success in Feeding the World
    • Honor comparative advantage
    • Trust trading partners
    • Enact smart public policy
    • Let markets work
    • Invest in innovation
    • Pursue sustainability
Conversation: Voices from the Farm: Gebisa Ejeta, Eric Pohlman, Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg
  • Smallholder farmers in Africa produce 80% of the food in the continent, but yet these farmers are some of the hungriest people in the world.
  • Forty percent of the harvest is lost post harvest in Africa.
  • We must get farmers in Africa to look at agriculture as a business.
  • Animal agriculture currently accounts for 40% of agriculture GDP.
  • We need to change how we think in order to implement successful practices.
  • Access to credit in rural areas of Africa is a huge challenge.
  • There are a lot of things that are working, but we need to expand and improve.
Innovation: An Essential Ingredient to Feeding 9 Billion: James Borel
  • The path of food security begins by exploring the challenges, then developing solutions.
  • Demand is more than one planet can handle.
  • In 2009 the amount of people living in urban areas surpassed the amount living in rural areas.
  • About half of all farmers and their families are malnourished around the world.
  • Farmers feed the world, but they cannot do it alone.
  • We must find ways to significantly reduce food waste.  
Hope for Feeding Our World: Chris Policinski
  • We cannot let rich countries drive and determine what developing countries need.
  • We cannot wage a war against science if we want to feed the world.
  • Agriculture Productivity Drivers = Adoption of modern business, production management practices on the farm + Application of safe, proven agricultural technologies
  • Less than 2% are involved in production agriculture.
  • We need to get past "or" and move to "and." For example, it should not be "organic or conventional farming" it should be "organic and conventional farming."
Symposium Luncheon Address: Sheryl WuDunn
  • We must intervene early no matter what the cause.
  • Maternal attachment is so important to children success (both mother and father).
  • The brain develops the most in the first 1,000 days of life.
  • "Growing up poor is bad for your brains."
  • Thirty percent of american girls will get pregnant by the age of 19. Three times higher than European girls. 
  • Note the video below that was shared at the event in a discussion o empowering women:

Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Improved Food Security and Nutrition: Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Jeppe Kolding, Ami Mathiesen, Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted
  • The future of mankind is based on fish.
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing area in the food industry in the past 20 years.
  • Eating fish make healthier children in developing countries.
  • China is number one in fish production from aquaculture.
  • Small fish have a higher nutritional value than large fish. Smaller fish are also more environmentally friendly. 
  • Africa and developing countries are not ready for aquaculture yet.
  • Fifty percent of fish feed has to come from proteins and fats.
  • Whole sun dried fish serve as vitamins and minerals at high concentrates ,becasue the drying has removed all water.
  • "Fish are animals breeding like plants and eating like lions."
Secretary's Roundtable: Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition: Hon. Thomas Vilsack, Alexander Howard, Brady Deaton, Gavin Starks
  • USDA is committed to opening up public funded research data for all to easily access.
  • We cannot expect others to open their data if we do not open ours.
  • The ability to communicate in real time is huge.
  • We need to find ways to protect identities, but share data through anonymity.
  • We have to think about data ethics.
  • Open data can help reduce friction in trade.
  • If you open data it is amazing how quality improves.
  • Thirty percent of food in the world is not used as intended.
  • The goal is to make data open to the public just not large companies and organizations.
  • The more precise we become it will benefit the farmer financially and the environment.
  • Law is always trying to catch up with the technology.
We concluded the day by enjoying a great dinner at he Machine Shed Restaurant before returning to the hotel to watch the Laureate Award Ceremony on television where Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was honored. We are all looking forward to a spectacular final day of learning, analyzing, and discussing the challenge of feeding 9 billion plus by 2050!

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