Future evolution of genetic engineering

By Christophe Pelletier Via: http://hfgfoodfuturist.com Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are one the most, if not the most, controversial aspects of modern food and agriculture. So far, the focus had been on offering farmers alternatives to pesticides and herbicides. The proponents of GMOs praise the progress made and they claim that agriculture production benefits from this. Opponents warn about all sorts of potential disasters in health and environment. The reality is that GMOs have been around for about a decade and a half, and they are here to stay. There is currently no sign that they would be banned from the Earth, especially since genetic engineered traits have been found outside of farm fields, as I had mentioned in a previous article. At his juncture, and to think of how this technology –and business- will evolve, it is worth asking a few questions. Has the use of GMOs been successful for agriculture and food production? There are several...
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Heat map

Via: http://www.economist.com The world is warming ON NOVEMBER 29th representatives of countries from around the world gathered in Cancún, Mexico, for the first high-level climate talks since those in Copenhagen last December. Incremental progress is possible, but continued deadlock is likelier. What is out of reach, as it was at Copenhagen, is agreement on a plausible programme for keeping climate change in check. The world warmed by about 0.7°C in the 20th century and by the end of the 21st century temperatures will be 3°C warmer than at the beginning of the industrial revolution. Increases in average temperature will be less noticeable than those in extremes. According to a 2009 comparison of over 20 climate models by David Battisti and Rosamond Naylor, by 2050 there is a 10-50% likelihood that the average summer in much of the world will be hotter than any summer recorded...
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Organic Romania – Sibiu, November 22 – 23 2010

Organic Romania - International Meeting on Organic Food, Non-Food and Commodities in Sibiu, Romania 22-23 November 2010 Organic Romania is a high professional meeting for traders, processors, famers and organisations who work with organic food, non-food and commodities. Focussing on the Romanian domestic market and its sustainable development as well as on organic import and export markets participants from Romania and from other European countries will take part. The event took place in the beautiful city of Sibiu, which is very much in the middle of Romania and which was the Culture Capitel of Europe in 2007. The languages of the event - Romanian and English. More details: http://ekoconnect.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=110&lang=english ...
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Global AgInvesting Europe – Geneva, Nov 9 – 10 2010

Global AgInvesting Europe 2010 was held on November 9-10, 2010 at the Intercontinental Geneva Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. Following the success of the second annual Global AgInvesting conference (May 6-7, 2010 in New York, NY), this program presented actionable intelligence on the outlook for global agriculture and the range of investment opportunities available to investors with varying return objectives and and risk tolerances. "The global investment community has recognized that our Global AgInvesting conference series offers unique insight into the complexities of investing in agriculture,” says conference Co-Chair Hunt Stookey, Managing Director at HighQuest Partners. “Our goal is to provide investors with an understanding of the wide variety of private agricultural investments available to them, from farmland to private equity and specialist public equities managers." The whole event had a great success and here I had the opportunity to have a speech on Romania. More details on: http://events.soyatech.com/conferences/GAIEurope_proceedings.htm...
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Organic farmers get green light for feeble financial support

Via:http://www.business-review.ro Romania’s intensive agriculture is still performing below capacity, but ironically enough it is exactly this weakness that makes it a good candidate for organic farming. Up until 2010 there was little financial aid from the state and no European subsidies but from 2011 the authorities have promised a change. Simona Bazavan Romanian agriculture to date is a story of lost opportunity. The country has an arable land capacity of approximately 9.4 million ha, 40 percent of which, if not more, is languishing unused. More than 60 percent of the used arable land is divided up into small plots owned by individuals, making intensive farming difficult. And to give a glimpse of productivity, the lack of investment led local agriculture to generate only 5.8 percent of the GDP last year, despite employing 20 percent of Romania’s total workforce. But it’s not all bad news, as some of these failings are valuable assets...
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Follow the water!

By Christophe Pelletier Without water, there is no agriculture, there is no food, and there is no life. It is obvious, and yet the water question is too often neglected. The quantity and the quality of water available are absolutely crucial for the future production of food. It will influence where and what type of food we can produce. It will define food security and world politics. Since 70% of fresh water use is for agricultural purposes, it is clear that water will soon be power. The need to preserve water and use it efficiently is going to be one of the main challenges to overcome for the decades to come. This will stimulate innovation and the development of new technologies and new techniques. Field sensors that measure the level of humidity in the air and in the soil connected with “crop per drop” irrigation systems can allow the distribution of the...
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The business opportunity in water by McKinsey

Monday November 15th 2010 Paul Alsteem, Phd have sent us this interesting study by McKinsey on how water scarcity can become an opportunity for many companies and a threat for many others. McKinsey expects that by 2030, (almost 20 years from today!) water supplies will satisfy only 60 percent of global demand on average. For many companies, water efficiency is a long-term requirement for staying in business, a big commercial opportunity, or both. In 2004, for instance, Pepsi Bottling and Coca-Cola closed down plants in India that local farmers and urban interests believed were competing with them for water. In 2007, a drought forced the US Tennessee Valley Authority to reduce its hydropower generation by nearly a third. Some $300 million in power generation was lost. Businesses everywhere could face similar challenges during the next few years. A larger global population and growing economies are placing bigger demands on already-depleted water...
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