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CropLife International Highlights Plant Science’s Role, Impact in Agriculture at World Food Prize

November 22, 2016

CropLife International Highlights Plant Science’s Role, Impact in Agriculture at World Food Prize 

By Victoria Broehm, Communications Manager, Plant Biotechnology, CropLife International

 

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During the week of October 9, CropLife International (CLI) participated in the 2016 World Food Prize (WFP) in Des Moines, Iowa, hosting several events and launching two communications initiatives. CLI hosted a joint networking reception with the Global Farmer Network, where farmers from across the world taking part in the 2016 Global Farmer Roundtable met and shared their personal stories and perspectives with more than 100 stakeholders and WFP attendees. During the reception, Argentinian farmer Maria Beatriz “Pilu” Giraudo was recognized with the 2016 Kleckner Global Farmer Network Award for her work in promoting innovation and technology in agriculture.

 

CLI also organized a side event with more than 100 attendees as part of the official WFP program, which focused on the past 30 years of scientific innovation in plant science and examined what the future holds for modern agriculture. Panelists included two WFP Laureates, Professor M.S. Swaminathan (1987 Laureate) and Dr. Howarth Bouis (2016 Laureate), as well as two farmers from Zimbabwe and India.

 

In conjunction with the WFP, CLI also hosted a dinner dialogue which brought together 20 thought leaders in agriculture to celebrate 20 years of plant biotechnology as part of the association’s Table for Twenty campaign occurring this year. The dinner included a thought-provoking discussion on the evolving science of plant biotechnology, the challenges with communicating the technology’s benefits to the public, and the regulatory and trade barriers that inhibit plant biotechnology from reaching farmers worldwide. Guest speakers included Dr. Marc Van Montagu, a pioneer in biotech; Bill Horan, one of the first farmers in the U.S. to embrace biotech; Dr. Sarah Evanega, a professor at Cornell University who recently taught a massive online course on GMOs; and Dr. Jerry Flint, who offered an industry and regulatory affairs perspective from DuPont Pioneer.

 

In addition to the events happening at WFP, CLI debuted its #FoodHeroes campaign, a photo exhibition that celebrates farmers and plant scientists from 20 countries (see press release). The launch kicked off a year-long social media campaign in which CLI will showcase that “behind every farmer is a plant scientist” to key audiences. Immediately following the conference, CLI and the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) worked with the global plant science network to join in the online conversation surrounding World Food Day (Oct. 16). For more information on CLI, contact Victoria Broehm.