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DuPont Pioneer: Megatrend is Driving Global Business

DuPont Pioneer: Megatrend is Driving Global Business

11 July 2012

ANALYSIS - The familiar megatrend that says we're going to have 9+ billion people on the planet by 2050 is causing DuPont Pioneer to look at and adjust how they do business, writes Sarah Mikesell, TheCropSite senior editor.

Between increasing urbanization, rising incomes and uses of crops for other purposes besides just food on a flat base of arable land, DuPont Pioneer believes one part of the solution to feeding our growing global population that they canimpact is to double agricultural productivity.

The BIG Picture


Dan Jacobi, DuPont Pioneer VP for ACEA (Asia Pacific, China, Europe, Africa)

Dan Jacobi, DuPont Pioneer VP for ACEA (Asia Pacific, China, Europe, Africa), said to him, that is the big picture and it's forcing DuPont Pioneer to look at how they're currently doing business.

"We see that of the population increases, 90 per cent will come from Africa and Asia," he said. "But today, food production doesn't match that - so in effect, populations are moving east, but food production has not. That's the prime challenge and opportunity we have in front of us."

Jacobi said DuPont Pioneer is organized to get ahead of the population explosion by driving prioritization of capital, people, resources, and research priorities toward the anticipated shift in population consumption over the next 40 years.

How Can We Feed the World?

As for doubling agricultural productivity, Jacobi said that doesn't mean we're going to see 600 bushel an acre corn in the US.

"I think it means we're going to see 100+ bushels per acre in Africa, and we're going to see 150 or 160 bushels per acre in China," he said. "We're going to need all that to get where we're going, plus we are going to have to address waste."

He said the percent of food that is wasted in the developing world and the developed world is the same: 30-50 per cent. The difference is that in the developing world, two-thirds of that waste is due to post-harvest losses from pests, deterioration in quality, or even theft, prior to reaching processors or consumers. Conversely, in the developed world, two-thirds of the waste occurs at retail, foodservice and consumer sites.


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"In both rich and poor countries, about 30 to 50 per cent of all food that is produced rots or goes uneaten."
Advisory Committee on Agricultural Innovation and Productivity for the 21st Century's Report

According to the Advisory Committee on Agricultural Innovation and Productivity for the 21st Century's report, in both rich and poor countries about 30 to 50 per cent of all food that is produced rots or goes uneaten. So it either gets thrown away off grocery shelves or out of the refrigerator.

"We don't believe that we can feed the world enough food, and the right kind of food in 2050, by simply improving our yields per hectare," he said. "We're going to have to increase yields, of course; but we're also going to have to improve infrastructure, sustainability and food quality; we're going to have to address food waste. The philosophical piece is that none of these are mutually exclusive. There's no choice to be made, and it would be a false choice if someone offered it to you. You have to do them all."

This is the first article is a series on DuPont Pioneer's global seed business. Watch for future articles discussing DuPont Pioneer's opportunities in China, Africa and the Pacific Rim as well as global biotech acceptance, business challenges and their business platform.

Sarah Mikesell, Senior Editor

Sarah Mikesell, Senior Editor



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