University of Tasmania
My belief is that education is one of the key limiters to agriculture production in many underdeveloped countries. As such, education is one of the key areas that I desire to put my skills and education to use.
Prior to attending the Crawford Fund 2012 Annual Development Conference I had high expectations of what I would see and learn and the conference not only met my expectations, it went above and beyond. The conference only served to grow my interest and passion for the world of international food and fibre production.
The conference provided a good understanding of the current state of international agriculture. It not only delved into the assessment of the issues arising in current and future times, it also looked into the potential solutions and efforts to be undertaken to face such problems.
One of the main themes that the conference focused on was the issue of feeding the world’s rapidly growing population which is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. It was estimated that a 70% increase in food production will be required to meet the needs of the abovementioned population. With demand for food exceeding production levels, unless drastic measures are undertaken, many areas will be left in famine. Several speakers addressed this issue by discussing a revolution in agriculture in various parts of the world to increase food and fibre production to feed the ever growing world population.
One of the things that interested me the most was the comprehensive plan for the future of agriculture that many of the speakers discussed. Agricultural systems in developed countries, with access to technology and fertilisers, are already peaking in production. The potential for greatly increasing yields in these countries is very low. On the other hand in developing countries the potential for yield increase is much greater. It was said that much of the increase in food production to meet the growing demand (approximately 70%) will come from developing countries.
50% of the systems in developing countries are at 50% production capacity; underlying the need for investment to be placed into these systems as they have the potential to double their capacity of production.
The area that I found of greatest interest was the potential to close the gap between production and consumption if systems in developing countries were invested in. For every 1$ invested, at least 9$ worth of additional food is produced in developing countries. Furthermore, an investment into technology and education will slowly empower the people and communities to sustain themselves in the long run.
The conference in many ways has opened my eyes to the key areas of development that is needed to boost the production capacity of agriculture as a whole around the world. My belief is that education is one of the key limiters to agriculture production in many underdeveloped countries. As such, education is one of the key areas that I desire to put my skills and education to use. Around the world, there is a need for volunteers to aid the less fortunate and under educated and organisations such as the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) provide such assistance. I believe that upon completion of my degree, I would engage in an AYAD program as a stepping stone into the world of international development.