Sustaining Global Food Security

The Nexus of Science and Policy

Edited by Robert S. Zeigler
November 2019
More details
  • Publisher
    CSIRO Publishing
  • Published
    6th November 2019
  • ISBN 9781486308088
  • Language English
  • Pages 560 pp.
  • Size 6" x 9"
  • Images color plates, illus, photos

Population growth alone dictates that global food supplies must increase by over 50% in coming decades. Advances in technology offer an array of opportunities to meet this demand, but history shows that these can be fully realized only within an enabling policy environment. Sustaining Global Food Security makes a compelling case that recent technological breakthroughs can move the planet towards a secure and sustainable food supply only if new policies are designed that allow their full expression.

Bob Zeigler has brought together a distinguished set of scientists and policy analysts to produce well-referenced chapters exploring international policies on genetic resources, molecular genetics, genetic engineering, crop breeding and protection, remote sensing, the changing landscape of agricultural policies in the world’s largest countries, and trade. Those entering the agricultural sciences and those who aspire to influence public policy during their careers will benefit from the insights of this unique set of experiences and perspectives.

  • Up-to-date assessment of how modern plant and agricultural science, economics and policy may interact to affect global food security
  • Contributors are internationally recognized experts in their fields
  • Includes international case studies on major crop species that will determine sustainable food production in areas where food security challenges remain the most serious (e.g. Africa and Asia)
  • Ideally suited to those who look to apply science or policy to improve global food security over their careers.

"Providing a safe, nutritious, affordable diet for an increasingly urbanized world of 10 billion people – under a changing climate and with fewer natural resources – is a task of mammoth proportions. Ending hunger can only be achieved through a determined and sustained commitment to smallholder agriculture, underpinned by appropriate technologies and policies. This fascinating book sets out to tackle these subjects and their interdependency, in a comprehensive and thought-provoking way. Through a crop lens, and with contributions from academia, industry and government, the authors have done a masterful job of combining exciting new science with real world policy pragmatism. Drawing from history, the book explores the intricate interplay between technological and policy innovation, and the way in which the upsides of technological breakthroughs can be balanced against the inevitable downside risks, while maintaining the pace or scale of adoption needed to achieve and maintain global food security."

Nick Austin, Director, Agricultural Development, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

List of contributors
An introduction to the global food security, technology and policy nexus

Part 1: Tapping and creating genetic resources
1: Systematic assessment for conservation and utilisation of crop genetic resources
2: Crop species origins, the impact of domestication and the potential of wide hybridisation for crop improvement
3: Technological and policy challenges to utilisation of plant genetic resources
4: Oryza genome diversity: discovery, management and utilisation

Part 2: Redesigning crop plants
5: Reducing mineral and vitamin deficiencies through biofortification: progress under HarvestPlus
6: Delivering biofortified crops in developing countries
7: Fatty acids and pharmamolecules
8: Resistant starch, large bowel fermentation and human health
9: Redesigning crop photosynthesis

Part 3: Modern plant breeding
10: Modern plant breeding: a perspective from the public sector in the United States
11: Improving the regulation and social acceptance of crop-protection and seeds products produced using new technologies: an industry perspective

Colour plates

12: Plant phenome to genome: a big data challenge
13: Incorporating stress tolerance in rice

Part 4: Managing the crop
14: Closing crop yield gaps around the world
15: The soil microbiome and crop nitrogen nutrition in anaerobic systems: a case study in rice
16: Manipulating molecular interactions between hosts and pathogens for enhancing resistance and disease management
17: Sustainable rice pest management: the role of agricultural policies
18: A view of water management: from river basin to farm

Part 5: Sustainable intensive systems
19: Remote sensing for sustainable agricultural management
20: A new public–private interface for staple crops: the Sustainable Rice Platform
21: Linking public goods with private interests: investing in performance at scale with smallholders and the private sector

Part 6: Major agricultural regions in transition
22: Agricultural growth, transformation and policies in China
23: Modern plant and agricultural sciences and public policies in India: creating a sustainable global food supply
24: Unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential
25: Sub-Saharan agriculture in transition: the case of rice

Part 7: Globalisation of food supply
26: The rapid transformation of food supply chains in developing and emerging economies (DEEs) with implications for farmers and consumers
27: Social change and policies driving the transformation of consumption in the food systems
28: Trade as a means to meeting global food needs

Some closing thoughts

Robert S. Zeigler

Robert S. Zeigler devoted his professional career to sustainably improving cereal production, primarily rice, in developing countries. Originally trained as a plant pathologist, Bob led increasingly complex multidisciplinary research programs, culminating in his appointment as Director General of the International Rice Research Institute in 2005, a position he held until his retirement in 2016. He has worked closely with policy makers and senior government officials in rice-producing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia to link the potential of new technologies to political and economic realities. He now lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.

agronomy, genetic resources, molecular genetics, genetic engineering, crop breeding and protection, remote sensing, agricultural policy, developing countries, plant breeding