Research and Education in Agriculture and Food Production Are Essential for Food Security
[Article Summarized by Meridian Institute] In this commentary, Dr. Roger Beachy, the President Emeritus of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, and a professor of biology at the Washington University in St. Louis, argues that agriculture will not be successful without concentrated and sustained investments in education and research.
"Why is research important to achieve food security? Agriculture is a knowledge-based economy and always has been. In our history farmers were the first to employ knowledge-based solutions: they cross bred varieties of local plants and selected animals that survived and were productive in local environments, and developed ponds to collect water and canals for irrigation to meet the needs of their families and their neighbors. Today, as the demands to increase productivity, to protect natural resources, and to ensure economic sustainability for both the farmer and the market all continue to grow, research has become increasingly important. And, as new technologies for seeds, cultivation, irrigation, preservation, and distribution of farm products are developed, the need for a strong community of agricultural researchers and educators is more critical than ever before."