During 9-11 March, scientists from 90 countries gathered at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture in Abu Dhabi to discuss the looming topic of feeding nine billion people by the year 2050.
Population is rising and natural resources are fading. Innovations in agriculture that use less of the world’s natural resources and address global warming, improve nutrition, ensure global food security and reduce poverty are critical, according to Jon Hellin, value chain and poverty specialist for CIMMYT’s Socioeconomics Program. Hellin presented his research on crop index insurance and its effect on farmers’ adoption of climate-smart agricultural technologies.
“Climate change leads to crop losses,” said Hellin. “Drought-tolerant varieties are available but the risk of drought constrains farmer adoption. Index insurance allows farmers to purchase coverage based on an index that is correlated with losses. Scaling out of index insurance will contribute to greater farmer adoption of climate smart agricultural technologies.”
The forum comprised five major conferences: The Global Climate-Smart Agriculture Summit, Food Losses and Waste Initiative: From Prevention to Valorisation, Edible Cities: Building Resilience with Urban Agriculture, ICT for Sustainable Agriculture and the Innovation Programme.
In the opening address on 9 March, John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, stressed the importance of finding solutions to the world’s most critical issues: food and water security and climate change.