FAO says innovation critical to eliminating hunger
December 14,2016   By:Xinhua
HAIKOU, Dec. 14, 2016 -- A senior Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official on Tuesday called for investment in agricultural science and technology to eliminate hunger.
FAO Assistant Director-General Kundhavi Kadiresan said the UN agency estimates that 60 percent more food will be needed by 2050 when the world's population grows to 9 billion.
"We need scientific and technological advances more than ever before," Kadiresan said, adding that efforts must involve everyone from a country's leading researcher to the farmer's family working in the field.
A recent FAO report warned that investment in agricultural research is not increasing, particularly in Asia, home to 60 percent of the world's hungry people, and global efforts to eliminate hunger by 2030 could fall short.
Kadiresan was speaking to a group of scientists in south China's Hainan Province for the 5th Global Forum of Leaders for Agricultural Science and Technology.
In addition to increasing yields, the forum heard how genetic research can lead to more resilient and nutritious food production like the high zinc and iron varieties of rice developed in Bangladesh and India, and high zinc and iron wheat developed in India and Pakistan.
Kadiresan said these developments prove that investment in agricultural research pays off, and they can help to address some of the most damaging micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamin A, iron and zinc.
She added that agricultural research and extension systems need to bring these new crops to market by making sure they are profitable and safe. 
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