Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Fake Pesticides Harming India

Counterfeit pesticides are causing an array of challenges and issues in India. From harming crops to human health the results are not good. Linked below is an article that discusses the challenges that India is facing regarding fake pesticides. Utilize the discussion points below to guide discussions in your classrooms and around the globe!

Fake Pesticides Endanger Crops and Health

Discussion Points

  • What are the negative effects of the distribution of fake pesticides to the following areas?
    • Crops
    • Production throughout the country
    • Health
    • Society
  • What penalties are in place in India to combat the sale/distribution of fake pesticides?
  • How could the sale of fake pesticides in India affect other countries and policies around the globe?
  • The overuse of pesticides was mentioned in this article. What practices are utilized around the world to diminish the overuse of pesticides?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

China Company Interested in Syngenta and Others

We take a look at an article discussing the interest of ChemChina to purchase Swiss based Syngenta. China for years has been trying to get it's hand on GMO (genetically modified organisms) seeds. They have gone to great lengths to do so. They may be closer than ever now to doing so with the possible purchase of Syngenta and other seed companies. Read the linked article and use the discussion points below to guide your conversations.

China's Hunger for GMO Seeds

Discussion Points

  • Why is ChemChina so interested in purchasing Syngenta?
  • Why is China's president, Jinping, in such great support of the possible acquisition?
  • What other companies is ChemChina interested in purchasing and why?
  • What could the acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina mean for:
    • China?
    • your home country?
    • for the rest of the world?

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Global Food Security: Why Science Matters

The middle of October the Global Agriculture Learning Center at Hawkeye Community College hosted David Lambert as he presented his lecture "A Closer Look at Global Food Security: Why Science Matters" as part of the World Food Prize Lecture Series. David hit on many of hot topics relating to global food security ranging from climate change to child nutrition. Linked below is David's lecture. It is about 45 minutes in length. Unfortunately, David passed away just a few days after sharing his lecture with us. In his honor I encourage you to share his lecture with others and start discussion around global food security.

David Lambert's Lecture

Discussion Points (Feel free to share these points and questions ahead of time to guide notes while watching.)

  • Why should we even care about hunger around the world?
  • What does hunger look like in the United States and around the world? What facts surprised you?
  • What role does science play in global food security?
  • Explain the concept behind "1,000 Days."
  • What does agriculture's global footprint look like?
  • What facts were shared regarding climate change?
  • What has history and science said about the safety of biotechnology and genetically modified foods? Explain.
  • How does food loss and waste factor into global food security?
  • David shared the best policy solutions for global food security. Which policy/policies that he shared do you feel has the biggest potential for a positive impact and why?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Feeding Our World Utilizing Technology

We have all heard the challenge of feeding a growing world by 2050. At first projections were a population of over 9 billion by 2050 and now recent projections are showing a projected population of over 9.6 or 9.7 billion by 2050. There are many thoughts and plans on how we will achieve feeding our continually growing population. One of the key concepts is the fact that we will need to produce more with less utilizing technology and innovation. The linked article takes a look at how agriculture is investing more and more into technology and precision agriculture practices. Read the linked article and use the discussion points below to guide conversations in your classrooms and coffee shops around the globe.

Farming by sub-inch: What the future of food looks like

Discussion Points

  • What is precision agriculture and how will it help us increase agriculture production and sustainability to feed a growing population? How would you explain this to someone that you run into on the street and have a minute or less to give your explanation?
  • What policy change in China just happened recently that could affect food demand? In your opinion how big of an impact will this have? Justify your response.
  • Specifically discuss and share with others the trends we have seen in agriculture technology investments over the past years.
  • What factors are causing John Deere to invest more resources into Chinese markets?
  • In the section "land productivity side-effects" some negative light is shed on agriculture. Are these accusations legitimate? Is it completely an agriculture issue? How is/can agriculture be a part of the solution?