8th International Crop Science Congress
Global population is projected to rise from 6.6 billion in 2007 to over 9 billion by 2050. With population in the more developed countries likely to be fairly stable at around 1.6 billion, nearly all of this growth is occurring in less developed countries. As humankind almost totally dependent on crops for most of our food and feed, the major challenge remains one of providing food security for this ever-increasing world population, particularly in the less developed countries. Also in a world coming to terms with peaking or declining fossil fuel reserves, crops are being used increasingly as industrial feedstock for energy production. This will likely decrease the availability of crops for food and feed and so exacerbate the problem of how to provide sufficient food for our ever-increasing global population. field
Globally there is now major focus on environmental sustainability, including sustainability of agricultural landscapes. There will be little opportunity to increase crop production by expanding the area of land under cultivation. Rather focus must be on improving crop productivity on existing agricultural land while simultaneously looking after the fragile environmental resources upon which agriculture depends. Crop science has driven huge progress in crop productivity over the past 60 years. How are crop scientists going to continue to meet the challenge of improving crop productivity in the future in the context of:
- Climate change and water scarcity
- Fragile environmental resources that need to be sustained
- Often conflicting demands placed on crop production and agriculture by our diverse social systems
The International Crop Science Society fosters communication among crop scientists. It nurtures the International Crop Science Congress held every four years. These Congresses stimulate thinking among scientists as to how advances in crop science, in all their aspects, can assist in meeting the critical diverse global challenges that lie ahead.
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