Bloomberg News

Africa Farms Need Crop Aids Tailored to Local Needs, DuPont Says

February 03, 2012

Feb. 2 (Bloomberg) -- International agriculture companies need to work more closely with farmers in poorer countries to tailor products that will help boost crop production, DuPont Co. Chief Executive Officer Ellen Kullman said.

Companies including DuPont, the world’s second-largest seed maker, must be mindful of what farmers in Africa and other developing regions need so that agricultural products are used effectively, Kullman said today in a speech during a forum on global food needs in Washington.

“Innovations have to be tailored to solutions that are truly local,” Kullman said today at a world food event sponsored by Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont. The company outlined goals for improving agriculture and alleviating poverty worldwide, including making food more available and nutritious and protecting the environment.

Investment in agriculture must rise by $90 billion a year to meet the world’s growing food needs, according to a 2011 study sponsored by companies including Dupont, Archer Daniels Midland Co., Deere & Co. and Monsanto Co., the biggest seed producer. Global productivity growth is now keeping pace with food needs, according to a separate report issued by the group last year.

Global food prices fell 9.6 percent in the second half of 2011 after reaching a record in February, according to United Nations estimates. Rising food costs in late 2010 and early 2011 contributed to unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

--Editors: Steve Stroth, Millie Munshi

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Bjerga in Washington at abjerga@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net


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