Importance of Technology in Feeding the World

Cindy ZimmermanAudio, Equipment, Events, Monsanto, seed

Biotechnology and precision agriculture technology are twin advancements in farming that are working together to help increase productivity to feed the world.

Monsanto‘s executive vice president and chief technology officer Dr. Robert Fraley addressed the topic of game changing innovations that are shaping the future of green technology during the 2012 World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue last week in Des Moines.

“What’s exciting is the explosive amount of new technology that’s possible,” said Fraley, noting that while biotechnology is important – and in fact is the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of agriculture, there is so much more. “The advances in science and technology, across plant breeding, across equipment, across information technology – and biotechnology – are going to be part of that systems approach that will allow us to meet and exceed that need” for increasing food production to meet a growing population.

“It’s clearly possible for us to achieve doublings or triplings in crop yields as we are fully able to deploy and use technologies to meet that need,” Fraley noted.

Fraley had a really interesting observation about technology advances in farming equipment. “There’s more computational power in today’s tractor than there were in the first spaceships,” he said. “And that’s giving farmers literally the capability to farm meter by meter and use that information technology to be more precise in the positioning of seeds and chemicals.”

And did you know that every Indian farmer now has a cell phone? “The ability now to prescribe agronomic recommendations, to warn in the advance of insect flights, has become a global part of the incorporation of those tools,” said Fraley.

Listen to Fraley’s comments at the World Food Prize here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Monsanto’s Robb Fraley”]

View the World Food Prize Photo Album here.

Read more about the 2012 World Food Prize on AgWired.