Dr Tony Fischer AM ‘Feeding the Billions: Can Crop Yield Increase Continue to Meet Growing Demand?’

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Thursday, 18 April 2013 - 12:30pm

Crop yield increases since 1960 have permitted the world to feed more than a doubling of its population at an improved per capita calorie level with only a very modest increase in arable land. The question is whether yield increase can continue to cover growing demand, and indeed eliminate the persistent hunger, without recourse to acceleration of land area expansion. Future yield growth possibilities will be discussed, in the light of new challenges, and the need to check, and hopefully lessen, the environmental impact of agriculture.

Tony Fischer is an agricultural scientist, who has worked as a researcher in crop science both in Australia and overseas, in particular the developing world. His interests range from physiology through agronomy and breeding, to agricultural development. For 7 years he headed the Wheat Program of the International Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat (CIMMYT) in Mexico. For his contribution to agricultural research over the years, he has been honoured as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology and of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, as well as receiving an Order of Australia. Currently he is an Honorary Research Fellow at CSIRO Plant Industry.