21st Century Challenges

The sustainable and profitable maximization of societal and individuals benefits derived from renewable resources:

  • Feeding a population of 9 billion without undermining the viability and long-term sustainability of natural resources
  • Applying the best science and management techniques available to traceability
  • Alienation of urban citizens (consumers) from producers of feedstock for food, renewable fuels, plant-based materials, phyto-pharmaceuticals, etc., resulting in:
    • disinterest in farming as an occupation
    • reduction in number of students and researchers of agricultural production
    • polarization of views (i.e. not very nuanced, not very accepting of alternate views) around the use of advanced science in the use of agricultural resources (e.g., the GMO debate)
    • paving over of farmland
  • Attracting human and financial investment in intellectual capital required for profitable and sustainable primary production
  • Challenge to¬†maintain the size of the arable land base, let alone its health, in the face of urban and suburban growth.
  • Decreasing health costs by increasing prevalence of healthy diets, use of functional foods and nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals based on agricultural derived ingredients
  • Employing waste or previously unused byproducts to meet individual or societal needs
  • Building bridges, crossing barriers between government policy departments¬† (silos) and between governments
  • Producing energy for economic growth
  • Profitability along all parts of the various value chains or “food systems”
  • Adaptation to climate change
  • Harnessing the best science available
  • Tackling biodiversity, invasive species and emerging diseases
  • Producing sufficient food, fuel, fibre and pharmaceuticals to meet needs of growing urban and affluent consumers
  • Food security globally
  • Fostering interest in the agro-economy before it is too late
  • Fostering multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral collaboration in problem solving