Results of a new survey released Wednesday at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, show a majority of U.S. consumers and farmers believe that farmers are responsible for feeding the world, and new technology are critical to their success.
The data, collected as part of the BASF Farm Perspectives Study, compares farmer and consumer viewpoints on agriculture-related issues. It was conducted in early 2014 with the participation of more than 9,000 people from the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, India and China.
BASF's AJ Woodyard, technical crop production specialist, and Brady Spangenberg, market intelligence & research manager, presented the study's findings.
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Nearly all farmers – 95.6% -- in the seven surveyed countries agree they have a shared responsibility to feed the growing population, and they're held to high expectations when doing so.
With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, BASF says production will need to increase by 70% while still retaining top quality.
Although farmers feel prepared for this tremendous responsibility, only 40% of U.S. farmers feel respected by the general U.S. population. Despite this feeling, farmers look forward to new innovations and technologies to help them increase production.
Most U.S. farmers (78.6%) and consumers (67.9%) agree that innovations are necessary to help farmers with the challenge of feeding a growing population. Survey respondents noted that feeding the world will require sustainable food production, possible through innovations in precision agriculture, machinery, fertilizers and chemical developments.
"The agricultural industry has made significant strides in innovation to improve food production methods over the years," Woodyard said. "Farmers and consumers understand the importance of new technology in agriculture and the role it plays in feeding a growing world population."
"BASF recognizes the need for innovative solutions and continues to develop new tools and technologies to meet this important challenge," he added.