“Food for All – the Role of Science and Technology”
On March 24, the second Food for All Talk (#FFATalks) under the WBG-Netherlands Partnership took place. Louise Fresco, Chair of the Executive Board of Wageningen University & Research, and Shenggen Fan, Director-General of IFPRI on “Agriculture – Food – Biosciences” were interviewed by Juergen Voegele, Senior Director, Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank Group.
- Digital and sensor technologies will soon connect the entire food chain from pre-production inputs to the consumer, enabling large scale precision agriculture.
- Genetics will be able to trigger dormant genetic traits within the existing genetic make-up, dramatically changing production cycles and health and nutrition impact of food without the need of old fashioned GMO technology.
- Robotization will facilitate the outflow of labor from agriculture in developing countries. The food system jobs of the future will be found in the bio-based economy, in food services and in personalizing the food system.
- Cities are the units of the future. “We can do away with countries and national governments and nothing will happen, apart from a few frustrated politicians; cities are the units we will have to work with.” (Louise Fresco). Cities can be healthier environments and through citizen driven research we can find new ways of addressing food and nutrition challenges for lower income groups and urban poor.
- As the internet is scale-neutral it will help democratize the food system in a more bottom-up approach that does not leave out small farmers and poor consumers.
- Universities will look very different – lifelong learning will be available in “education supermarkets” where you will be able to learn what you want – students will co-define the curricula. Could we experiment with student vouchers that support learning on a 20 year timeframe? Could be create such a new smart university in Africa as a model?
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