World leaders and CEOs at the Davos 2010 World Economic Forum participate in a panel called Rethinking how to feed the world. The panel discusses the challenges facing global food production and possible solutions that will increase yield and support agricultural producers worldwide.
The panel is moderated by Prannoy Roy, Chairman, New Delhi Television (NDTV), India, and panelists included: Jakaya M. Kikwete, William H. Gates III, Ellen Kullman, Nguyen Tan Dung, Patricia A. Woertz, Prannoy Roy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Nguyen Tan Dung
Nguyen Tan Dung is the prime minister of Vietnam. He was confirmed by the National Assembly on June 27, 2006, having been nominated by his predecessor, Phan VÄƒn Kháº£i, who retired from office.
Nguyen Tan Dung was born in Ca Mau province in Southern Vietnam. Precisely on his 12th birthday (November 17, 1961), the young Nguyen Tan Dung voluntarily joined the military arm of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam, later part of the Vietnam People's Army, doing first-aid, and communication tasks; he also worked as a nurse, and a physician. Dung was four times wounded in the Vietnam War, and was later ranked as a level 2/4 wounded veteran. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in law (doctor of jurisprudence) following the end of the war.
Dung previously served as First Deputy Prime Minister from September 29, 1997. He was also the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam between 1998 and 1999. He was admitted to the Communist Party of Vietnam on June 10, 1967, then joined the army as a full-fledged fighter and was subsequently elected a member of the Party's Politburo at the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth National Party Congresses.
He is the first senior Vietnamese communist leader who was born after the August Revolution in 1945 and the youngest Vietnamese Prime Minister (57 years old when he assumed the office). He is also a native southerner and remained in the southern region throughout the Vietnam War (he was only 5 when the country was divided in 1954).
He was reelected by the Communist Party on July 25, 2007. In 2009, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made a two day visit to Russia where he signed a multi-billion dollar arms deal.
Bill H. Gates
Bill Gates III is chairman of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. In July 2008, Gates transitioned out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates continues to serve as Microsoft's chairman and an advisor on key development projects.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (born October 7, 1950) is a Tanzanian politician and current President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Kikwete was born in Msoga, Bagamoyo District, Tanganyika in present day Tanzania. Kikwete was also the Chairperson of the African Union from 31 January 2008 to 2 February 2009.
Ellen J. Kullman
Ellen J. Kullman, 53, is chief executive officer of DuPont. Kullmanis the 19th executive to lead the company in more than 205 years of DuPont History. She became president on Oct. 1, 2008, and CEO on Jan.1, 2009.
Prior to her appointment as DuPont president and CEO she served as executive vice president and a member of the company's office of the chief executive. Kullman was responsible for DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies; DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies; DuPont Performance Materials; DuPont Safety & Protection; Marketing & Sales; Pharmaceuticals; Risk Management; and Safety & Sustainability. In March 2008, Kullman was tapped to lead the dynamic planning process for the company's growth in emerging international markets.
A native of Wilmington, Del., Kullman began her career at DuPont in 1988 as marketing manager in the Medical Imaging business. Following two years as business director for the X-ray Film business, she moved to Printing & Publishing as global business director, Electronic Imaging. In 1994, she joined White Pigment & Mineral Products as global business director and was named vice president and general manager in 1995. She assumed leadership of two high-growth businesses, DuPont Safety Resources in 1998 and Bio-Based Materials in 1999.
Kullman was named group vice president and general manager in 2000 with the addition of Corporate New Business Development and Intellectual Assets Licensing. In 2001 she assumed responsibility for DuPont Flooring Systems and DuPont Surfaces. She was named group vice president - DuPont Safety & Protection in February 2002. In June 2006 she was named executive vice president until her appointment as DuPont President and CEO.
Kullman is on the Board of Trustees at Tufts University, serves on the board of overseers at Tufts University School of Engineering. She is also on the Board of Trustees, National Safety Council.
Prior to joining DuPont, Kullman worked for General Electric in various business development and marketing positions. She holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a masters degree in management from Northwestern University.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a director of the World Bank, was Nigeria's Finance Minister and then briefly Foreign Affairs Minister from 2003 to 2006, the first woman to hold either position.
During her tenure as Finance Minister, she worked to combat corruption, make Nigeria's finances more transparent, and institute reforms to make the nation's economy more hospitable to foreign investment. The government unlinked its budget from the price of oil, its main export, to lessen perennial cashflow crises, and got oil companies to publish how much they pay the government.
Since 2003 -- when watchdog group Transparency International rated Nigeria "the most corrupt place on Earth" -- the nation has made headway recovering stolen assets and jailing hundreds of people engaged in international Internet 419 scams.
Okonjo-Iweala is a former World Bank vice president who graduated from Harvard and earned a Ph.D. in regional economics and development at MIT. Her son Uzodinma Iweala is the celebrated young author of Beasts of No Nation.
Dr. Prannoy L. Roy is the founder and the Executive Chairperson of New Delhi Television (NDTV). He is also an economist, accountant, author, psephologist and has served as economic adviser to the ministry of finance.
Patricia A. Woertz
Patricia A. Woertz is chairman of the board of directors, chief executive officer and president of Archer Daniels Midland Company.
She was named CEO and president in April 2006, and assumed the additional role of chairman of the board in February 2007. Since joining ADM, Woertz has led the Company to record financial results while growing its sourcing, transportation and processing networks through select acquisitions, strategic capital investments, and a number of global joint ventures and partnerships. She has also worked with ADM's board and senior leadership to strengthen the Company's strategic focus and planning, and to promote safety, continuous learning and sustainability initiatives companywide.
Woertz began her career as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Ernst, later Ernst & Young, in Pittsburgh. Attracted to the complexity and opportunity of a global company, she joined Gulf Oil Corporation in 1977, where she held various positions in refining, marketing, strategic planning and finance. Following the merger of Gulf and Chevron in 1987, Woertz led international operations and a global workforce as president of Chevron Canada and, later, Chevron International Oil Company. With the merger of Chevron and Texaco in 2001, she was named executive vice president in charge of the company's global refining, marketing, lubricant, and supply and trading operations.
She serves on the board of directors of the Procter & Gamble Company, the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and The Business Council. She also serves on the board of trustees of the University of San Diego and the board of visitors of Pennsylvania State University, which awarded her its highest recognition for alumni.
She holds a B.S. in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.
Extreme and protracted shortage of food, resulting in widespread hunger and a substantial increase in the death rate. General famines affect all classes or groups in the region of food shortage; class famines affect some classes or groups much more severely than others; regional famines affect only a particular region of a country. Causes may be natural or human. Natural causes include drought, flooding, unfavourable weather conditions, plant disease, and insect infestation. Human causes include war, overpopulation, faulty distribution systems, and high food prices. Several severe famines occurred in the 20th century, including those in China (192829, at least 3 million dead; 195961, 1530 million), the U.S.S.R. (1921, more than 5 million; 193233, 68 million), India (194344, 1.5 million), Cambodia (197579, 1 million), and North Korea (199599, 2.5 million), and continued into the 21st century, as in sub-Saharan Africa.
A fascinating video. A few points. The gentleman and the woman from Africa made some of the most emphatic points - both in terms of the truths they detailed as well as the reasons why their suggestions cannot be taken seriously.
-Free, open trade with no tarifs and no government subsidies of any kind is needed. The end consumer should be able to get the best food at the best prices, regardless of where it comes from, provided it is safe to eat.
-Using food as fuel is, in my opnion, immoral, decadent and irresponsible. We have countless alternatives that are more efficient sources of potential energy, cost less and pollute less. Corn based ethanol is the worst, as many poor countries are forced to pay more for maize - a staple for many of them.
-The goal that in 15 years there will be no malnourished children in the world is silly. It is not insignificant that this goal came from the mouths of the intellectual and the bureaucrat on the panel. This goal is not meaningful, measurable or specific. The business people on the panel came up with goals that are measurable, meaningful and specific and most importantly, will help accomplish the ends desired.
-Until there is a stable, established and enforced Rule of Law, enforceable private property rights and societal stability and an educated work force, no large scale investment in Africa will occur. Why would anyone make a significant infrastructure investment in a country where the dictator or tribal paramilitary groups can expropriate the property at any time? The only answer to Africa's perpetual poverty, injustice and hunger is Individual Liberty, free markets and Rule of Law.
-Agricultural (actually all business) subsidies must end. These protections harm the poorest among the world's citizens and make it harder for them to work their way up.
-All of the problems that lead to hunger - production, subsidies, unfair trade, lack of private property rights - are caused by GOVERNMENTS. The idea that an unelected "Global" body could solve the hunger problem or specifically any of the issues raised is absurd and dangerous. Keep governments out of this with the exception of meeting the legitimate purposes of government (establish and enforce the Rule of Law, enforce private property rights and nurture societal stability) and trust in the ability of a free citizen to pursue excellence and prosperity.
Atom299--the reporters worked for FOX news...I saw their interviews in the documentary film The Corporation...might have been on the extra features disc.
The media is weak...they don't report the truth...news is cosmetic across the board, designed to distract and dilute.
"Please post the reputable news source from which this was derived. (If it happened, even once, media would jump on this kind of front page story)."
I don't know what planet you live on but there's no way such incidences would be jumped on or even mentioned by the media.
The media are wholly in the pockets of the GM and other major companies to the extent that virtually nothing in the main stream media is true.
The case of animal growth hormones which cause cancer, made by Monsanto, which wasn't allowed to be broadcast on (I think) CNN. Instead, the journalists who wanted to report it were sacked.
This is just one of hundreds of cases which should alert you to just how the mainstream media works.
Don't expect this to change any time soon.
It is my understanding that this earth now supports over 6 billion people. The earth is a populous place right now. But another 1 million humans are being added every four days. This birth rate is far in excess of what the earth can support. Most of the forests have been chopped down for cultivation now. Until the disastrous population policies of the world are totally changed to zero population growth there is no hope. That is why population growth reduction needs to be on top of the agenda, not food production.
Increasing food production alone will only serve to, once again, increase the birth rate and set the earth up for an inevitable future disaster of which there are countless micro-examples from the past.
Let's look at this logically--wheat, for example, is not an ancient grain. It is a modern grain that has been created by humankind over several thousand years ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat ):
Gluten is found in wheat. If many people the world over have gluten allergies and sensitivities because of an inability to process gluten, then it stands to reason that GMO crops being developed in a far shorter period of time (decades) may also lead to health issues.
ANOTHER WAY TO LOOK AT THE ISSUE:
In 2006, the Food & Agriculture (FAO) division of the United Nations conducted an exhaustive study ( Livestock's Long Shadow ) on global livestock production and its numerous highly negative effects on our one and only home planet. The FAO estimated that global livestock pollution accounted for 16% - 18% of all greenhouse gas sources in 2006, which put it at the top of the global pollutant list at that time...!!!
Livestock's Long Shadow: http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM
I recently attended a Q&A with NY Times best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer, who wrote Eating Animals, and he stated in the Q&A that global livestock pollution (as of the end of 2009) is now projected at 51%, making it more responsible for global greenhouse gases than all other global emission sources combined.
I view livestock production to be the predecessor of GMO produce crops, because animals have, since the onset of factory farming, been fed unnatural amounts of corn/grains to fatten them up for slaughter. If this approach to livestock farming has led to such an undesirable result--being responsible for HALF of the world's greenhouse gas emissions--then it stands to reason that excessive GMO farming of produce crops may also have dire and drastic negative effects on our world.
TO TIE IT ALL IN:
I seriously doubt all GMO foods are being grown to be fed directly to humans, as a vast amount of grain production IS FED TO LIVESTOCK to fatten them up for slaughter...which means that GMO farming will only further livestock pollution and harm our bodies and planet!!!
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Mr. Gates--With all due respect, as one of our brightest and most influential individuals, I urge you to reconsider your stance on GMO food development. Organic farming methods can work at the local community level very successfully, and the world is nothing but local communities spread out across the earth. There is no reason a local, organic approach should be dismissed when GMO approaches in produce/livestock are likely to produce myriad negative effects on the human body and the earth's ecosystems.
The fact is that there are too many people to feed.
Nature, itself, could not sustain us earlier in history...that's what lead to the agricultural revolution.
Everyone is trying to stop global starvation, but currently the only way to even start to do so is to expand GMOs. Being a biologist, I know the benefits and consequences. I personally believe that the GMO business is incredibly dangerous and that stricter guidlines (especially ecological) should be introduced.
If GMOs are about helping to feed the world, then why are the companies creating GMOs also creating terminator seeds?
Clearly, GMOs are not going to help feed the world if the plants grown with them have seeds that in turn will not yield new plants.
GMOs are about profits for corporations. Very sad to see Bill Gates supporting this with his non-profit.