DuPont Leader: Agriculture is a Key Driver to Meet UN Millennium Development Goals

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2010 — Increasing agricultural productivity and food availability are essential factors in meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals by 2015, said DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borelin remarks delivered to attendees of the UN Summiton the Millennium Development Goals held this week in New York.

 “Agriculture is the primary driver to abate hunger and reduce poverty,” said Borel. “Throughout history, agricultural prosperity has led to successful economies, and food security has a direct impact on national and political security.”

 Borel emphasized that agricultural production must be considered at the local level. While advances in technology are currently delivering significant increases in food production in the developed world, similar advances must be extended to the developing world.

 “Today, approximately 85 percent of food never crosses an international border. When we discuss the challenge of increasing agricultural productivity to close the looming food gap, we often overlook the potential mismatch between the location of production and the location of people.”

 Increasing agricultural productivity at the local level requires a farmer-centered approach, said Borel. 

“We must ensure that farmers have access to the things they need to produce a crop – such as the best seed technologies, land, water, knowledge, inputs and credit. Infrastructure needs to be in place to allow for market access and farmers to sell their products,” he said. “Working closely with farmers is critical to understanding their needs and developing products best suited for their local environments.”

“The challenge of meeting the Millennium Development Goals will require even more public-private partnerships and other global initiatives,” said Borel.

“It will take all of us, working in a concerted effort, to collectively deliver impactful results that improve the lives of people everywhere.”