A recent commentary piece by Norman Borlaug in the Wall Street Journal explains how empowering farmers can help them feed the world and improve their own livelihoods.
Borlaug, a Texas professor and winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize, helped drive the first green revolution in countries such as Mexico and India by increasing the development and access to technologies which help boost farmers’ productivity.
In his article, Borlaug praises the recent decisions of world leaders to begin “focusing on growing food versus giving it away” as a “giant step forward”. He argues that farmers, especially those in developing countries, need better and more inputs such as better seed and fertilizer:
Given the right tools, farmers have shown an uncanny ability to feed themselves and other, and to ignite the economic engine that will reverse the cycle of chronic poverty. And the escape from poverty offers a chance for greater political stability in their countries as well.
Doubling food production over the next half century to meet global demand will be made even more difficult with a fixed or shrinking supply of land, he argues, as well as the present and future impacts of climate change.