Enlighten your mind and embrace sustainable agriculture

At the end of the International Seed Federation World Congress, it is customary for the host country to organise a Thematic Day whereby participants can get a perspective on national issues through the contribution of local stakeholders. As the 2019 event was held in France, NOWMORE was invited to facilitate the Thematic Day discussions.

After an introductory presentation by Dr. Nathalie de Noblet on the mechanics of climate change, Jean-Paul Judson moderated a panel on the impacts of climate change on agriculture and how research & innovation provides solutions for sustainable agriculture. Different views were expressed from the academia side (Dr. Mathilde Causse from INRA, Rémy Cailliatte from Plant2Pro), the farming sector (Arnold Puech d’Alissac, FNSEA) and the breeders (Franck Berger, UFS). But several times, the French model of public-private partnership was highlighted as a positive avenue for speeding up access to market of new innovations.

At the same time, when it comes to breeding and selection methods, the regulatory framework is not satisfactory and the whole agricultural value chain was invited to defend cleaer regulation on access to market for new varieties derived from new breeding techniques.

Following from the panel, Jean-Paul did a cross-interview with Xavier Leprince from Syngenta and Enock Chikava from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They discussed sustainable agriculture in the context of the sustainable development goals, and what is required for small-scale farming and technological development in agrarian societies.