“The fact is, in order to avoid exacerbating climate change, the amount of cultivated land should not increase. No new piece of rainforest should be cleared to make way for new fields, according to the UN's plan. Every additional calorie must, therefore, be created on existing fields and pastures. It may sound counterintuitive, but according to the UN, in order to produce food sustainably in the long term, more intensive agriculture will be needed.
New technologies may offer a way out of this dilemma, helping farmers to bridge the gap between high yields and environmentally friendly processes. Three scientists provide examples for how this could be achieved:
- Donald Ort wrote his doctoral thesis about plants' biochemical processes. Today, he is a professor at the University of Illinois. According to an evaluation by the firm Clarivate Analytics, he is one of the most influential researchers worldwide.
- Rebecca Bart heads a group of researchers at the private, non-profit Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis and specializes in plant diseases that can destroy entire harvests.
- Jean-Michel Ané has a PhD in cell and molecular biology and is a professor at the University of Wisconson-Madison. His focus is on understanding symbiotic relations between plants and microbes that could replace fertilizer.“ Plant researchers brace for population explosion