CropLife Asia Lauds Role of Plant Science this World Environment Day

CropLife Asia Lauds Role of Plant Science this World Environment Day

Singapore, 05 June 2017 – As the world observes World Environment Day. CropLife Asia took the chance to highlight the important role plant science plays in ensuring environmental conservation.

The challenge to provide sufficient, sustainable food is particularly pronounced in Asia, home to the world’s smallest-sized farms and the largest number of smallholder farmers. Figures indicate that 85% of the world’s 525 million smallholder farmers live and work within Asia – around 100 million in ASEAN alone.

Through an increasing number of advancements, the plant science technologies of crop protection and plant biotechnology are better enabling farmers around the world to engage in water use efficiency. It is estimated that 50% of global food production would be lost to pests and disease if not for crop protection products.

In particular, by reducing weeds’ use of moisture, herbicides are helping farmers produce higher yields with the same amount of water. Another specific benefit supported by crop protection is the water conversation it promotes by helping reduce the need for tillage. No-tillage farm techniques, where the soil remains undisturbed, aids water conservation by retaining moisture in the soil. Research has shown that no-till weed control with herbicides increases soil moisture by 25% and production by 16%.

A report released by PG Economics earlier today indicated that crop biotechnology has significantly reduced agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions by allowing farmers to decrease the burning of fossil fuels. This is achieved through reduced tillage, which minimizes the consumption of fossil fuels and allows the soil to retain more carbon. The cultivation of biotech crops in 2015 prevented an additional 26.7 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of 11.9 million cars – from polluting our atmosphere.

Dr Siang Hee Tan, Executive Director at CropLife Asia, shared, “The plant science industry remains committed to working towards ensuring a safe and sustainable food supply. There is no reason for us not to embrace the latest in agricultural technologies. The agricultural community strongly encourages our regional leaders to make a strong commitment to agriculture and to the food security and economic development of Asia and rest of the world.”

World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1972 and is commemorated annually on June 5, to stimulate worldwide awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and action. The theme this year is ‘Connecting People to Nature’.

 

 

About CropLife Asia

CropLife Asia is a non-profit society and the regional organization of CropLife International, the voice of the global plant science industry.  We advocate a safe, secure food supply, and our vision is food security enabled by innovative agriculture.  CropLife Asia supports the work of 15 member associations across the continent and is led by eight member companies at the forefront of crop protection, seeds and/or biotechnology research and development.  For more information, visit us at www.croplifeasia.org.

 

For more information please contact:

 

Duke Hipp                                                                                                   

Director, Public Affairs                                                                            

CropLife Asia                                                                             

Tel: (65) 6221 1615                                                                                                                    

duke.hipp@croplifeasia.org