Greater collaborations needed to promote global food security


The challenges in improving global food security are so daunting that no one country or one company can solve them by itself, so the resolution really needs to be collaborative, Dupont Pioneer Vice President Daniel Jacobi said Monday.

In an interview with Xinhua over phone, Jacobi, who isresponsible for the leading U.S. seed producer's Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa commercial business group, said that everyone can see the demand for agricultural output is to continue to increase over time.

"So regardless of what has happened in short term, there is going to be ongoing need for greater and greater agricultural productivity."

To meet these growing challenges, Jacobi believed that "we have to take full advantage of our global science... Then we have to work with local governments, with academics and with other players in the private sectors to bring that global sciences and local solutions."

Jacobi said he is quite happy for Chinese agricultural companies to "go global" and learn more about how to boost agricultural productivity.

"I think everyone is going to have to be involved if we are going to meet the challenges of feeding another 2 billion people on the planet."

He praised the accomplishments made by China in improving agricultural production, citing that the world's most populous country feeds 19 percent of the world's population on 7 percent of the arable land.

But at the same time, Jacobi said China is going to have to do better in the future as more and more migrant workers are moving to the cities of China and are going to have more reliable sources of food.

He said that the most important thing for China to address the challenges is improving agricultural productivity.

"If we could find ways to improve corn average yield in China to the level they are today in the United States, you would be doubling the amount of corn produced in China," Jacobi said, noting that farmers in China on average get about one half the yield of farmers in the United States.

"That would have a huge impact on food situation in China," Jacobi said.

He also made a recommendation not only for Chinese agribusinesses but also for other agricultural companies in the world that focus should be put on improving seed genetics, producing higher quality seeds and providing agronomic services and support to farmers.

"I think if everybody focuses on those three things, we would help improve productivity for farmers," Jacobi said.

Moreover, Jacobi expressed his belief that an expanding urban middle class and increasing imports of agricultural products for China mean a lot of opportunities for U.S. companies since China has become the largest market for U.S. agricultural exports.

Operating for more than 15 years in China, Pupont Pioneer is running two joint ventures with two Chinese seed companies.

Jacobi said that China's seed companies can understand the value of high quality seeds using modern seed production methods and the value of protecting intellectual property since fake seed is a huge problem for Chinese farmers.

Chinese companies are going to play a critical role in meeting the increasing demand for food in the country, Jacobi believed.

DuPont's Pioneer subsidiary, based in Des Moines, Iowa, is the second-biggest seed company in the United States after Monsanto Co.

Daniel Jacobi

Dupont Pioneer Vice President