Innovation: cause for optimism amid the global food crisis
How long will food prices keep rising? Will food itself become scarce? There's a lot of doom and gloom these days about the global food crisis, made even worse by Russia's war in Ukraine.
But there are some reasons to be hopeful, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Mark Suzman said during a livestream conversation about the global food crisis hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with the organization he leads.
The Gates Foundation, he explained, has long been investing in innovations that can massively increase productivity by smallholder farmers across the developing world. Think drought-tolerant seeds or flood-resistant rice.
What's more, new tools like apps to customize fertilizer use and digitally map soil are becoming available to smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The goal is to double smallholder productivity.
Still, Suzman points out, none of that will matter without investing more in climate adaptation — especially better use of water.