On Giving Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
Over the next decade, the world’s population is expected to increase by nearly one billion, reaching 8 billion people. By 2050, it may pass 9 billion. Conservative estimates suggest an increase in global food demand over the same period of at least 50%. Feeding our growing global population is not optional, however hard. Global food production faces unprecedented challenges due to rising temperatures, more severe floods and droughts, and new pests and plant diseases.
Thus we must increase food production, primarily through higher plant productivity as we cannot count on adding arable land. Historically, half of the increase in crop yields has come from conventional genetic improvement: Breeders identify useful genes in existing varieties of food plants and recombine them to develop new varieties that are more productive, more nutritious and more resistant to stresses – like higher temperatures or less water.
We know that conserving the vast diversity within crops globally is the only way to guarantee that farmers and plant breeders will have the raw material needed to adapt to whatever the future brings. And while securing the world’s food supply will require much work beyond crop diversity conservation – such as further advances in crop science, building efficient markets, and reducing the waste of food – none of this can be effective if the genetic base of our food supply is lost.
Our common challenge is to produce more – and more nutritious – food on less land, with less water and less energy, and in an increasingly unpredictable weather. A greater diversity of genetic plant resources, stored in genebanks and available to all through an efficient global conservation system, is required to secure the future food supply at stable and affordable prices. Ensuring biodiversity in agriculture is a prerequisite for food security.
On #givingtuesday you can help the Crop Trust to ensure that crop diversity is safeguarded, forever.
There are many ways you can help the Crop Trust on #givingtuesday. For example, just USD 50 can ensure the conservation of one variety of maize for an entire year. Every share, like, follow on Twitter and Facebook brings the importance of the conservation of crop diversity to another person. So on #givingtuesday, help the Crop Trust give the world the foundation of our food.