London’s food supply is on the brink of un-sustainability due to a variety of reasons. Population growth, climate change, and even its recent exit from the European Union will make it more difficult to feed the British people in the near future. The good news is, they’re preparing for this eventuality through bold developments in food technology.
At Syngenta, a top global crop protection firm, heated greenhouses are growing a new strain of resilient wheat seeds. The Standard reports that London’s daily demand for bread requires almost 300 acres of land – this is just for the current population. Syngenta is keen on innovating food technology rather than have the people suffer supply shortages and steep prices.
Syngenta’s head of technology scouting, David Hughes, explains: “The idea of achieving a doubling of food supply by doubling the amount of land that is used to produce food would be a disaster for the environment.”
Among the things they’re working on are resilient seed varieties which can better stand rain, drought, pests and even humidity. Other bold concepts being explored are genome-editing which can alter a grain or plant’s genes to make it better yielding and resistant to parasites. Scientists have been experimenting with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for years, but this is being worked on at a much faster pace at Syngenta’s labs.
“Farming as it currently stands is not going to be good enough to rise to the challenges that we can foresee. It’s about using technology to be more efficient with resources to feed everybody,” Hughes said.
Other than developing a more resilient type of seed, the London firm is also finding ways to control weeds and toxic organisms which attack seeds and plants.
Discussing Food Technology and Sustainability
Farming and food sustainability is a hot topic in the city. Organic farmers and purists are still opposing developments such as genome-splicing as a means to solve the issue of food supply. An open debate was held at the Somerset House on March 22 and was well attended by industry experts and representatives. This was the first in a series of discussions that touched on sustainability, genetic manipulation, obesity, food consumption and food supply.
“It’s about using technology to be more efficient with resources to feed everybody”
Majority of the panelists were advocating for a marriage of sustainability, concern for the environment, and bold ideas in food technology. No matter what people say, the population is growing larger by the minute and more and more resources are needed to continue putting food on tables.
In Africa, where food sustainability is as big a problem as ever, they have embraced digital transformation in the agri-business sector as the solution to safeguarding their food supply, IT Web reported.
Lawrence Kandaswami, Managing Director of digital firm SAP South Africa had said: “Smart Farming solutions will become the cornerstone of global food production over the next decade. By using cloud-based computing, big data, analytics, and IoT devices, and bringing together key industry players, we are able to deliver new innovations across the entire agricultural ecosystem to boost food production in a sustainable manner.”
Accepting developments in food technology will make a bold impact not just among the Brits, but the global population as well. The advancements have been adapted and improvements can be seen in different industries such as dairy farms, poultry production, fisheries, and even food manufacturing processes.