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Food Prize: Re-imagine agriculture

Watch the film and discover what he means by a “treasure chest of primitive wheat”. 

Perhaps more than any other sector, agriculture faces huge environmental and social challenges that are interlocked and complex.

Climate change is impacting crops, yet agriculture is a large cause of Greenhouse Gas emissions. On top of this we need to increase food production by 70% on a calorific value basis and double it on a crop production basis to feed a growing population by 2050. All the while using fewer resources to ensure the planet can sustain us.

The world cannot continue with the same agricultural systems that we have today. That’s why our corporate purpose is to Re-imagine Global Agriculture within our ethos of Growing Responsibly. We need to put the farmer first, help him or her protect the environment, and create thriving rural communities where people want to live and farm.

Some of these solutions might involve ground breaking technology, while others may involve small changes but when replicated could have a momentous impact.

But we need others to re-imagine with us.

As part of our 25th Anniversary celebrations in 2014, we launched the Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security in partnership with the international scientific organisation, Agropolis Fondation.

In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Prize is open to both research teams and individuals globally and rewards research that carries a significant potential impact on the four As of food security: availability (is there enough), accessibility (in the right place), affordability (for the whole population) and adequacy (for a nutritious, balanced diet). The winner receives an unrestricted US$50,000 grant for the scaling up of research.

Our 2017 winner is Dr Bassi of ICARDA. His team have developed a super heat tolerant wheat for farmers in the Senegal Basin. You can also read his plea to the COP 23 Committee on the Huffington Post.

In 2015, the inaugural prize was awarded to a research team based at Cornell University who are revolutionising the way rice is grown. Read Professor Uphoff’s blog on the invisible life in soil systems.

10 examples of how Olam is Re-imagining Global Agriculture: