Robert Saik’s address to the FAO_UN Committee for World Food Security at the High-Level Special Event, Rome (Virtually), Oct 15, 2020
Honorable delegates – greetings from the Private Sector Mechanism on this Rural Woman’s Day.
COVID 19 creates an opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together in new ways to address global food security.
My work as an agronomist and agriculture entrepreneur has been to help farmers increase soil health while increasing profitability; for without farm profitability you have NO sustainability. I personally know of many families who have been farming the same land for 100 years or more. To me, these are shining examples of sustainability and I do not know why these modern farms are being misunderstood as somehow being unsustainable.
Sustainability is a moving target and is achieved by us learning and un-learning and re-learning what works and does not work on the farm. It is about recognizing that in each farming philosophy there are scientific principles that should be adopted and others that should be left behind.
We need to recognize that practices that have fed a population of past will not be adequate to feed the population of the future.
Soil cultivation for example leads to soil degradation. Soil health is key to agriculture resilience and food security. In Canada, the US, and especially Argentina, I have witnessed the implementation of zero tillage techniques that result in increased yields, profitability, carbon sequestration and soil health.
Well managed farms and ranches implement a wide variety of technologies that increase sustainability including soil testing, sensor integration, digitization of data, remote sensing, precision application of crop inputs and even robotics.
Passionate private sector people work every day to collaborate with farmers to leverage technology to solve problems. For example, my company has created a platform to provide instantaneous connectivity between farmers and agronomic experts who can now be on the farm without being on the farm.
It is through the implementation of sound agronomics that we can address issues of malnutrition.
Issues such as Zinc and Mycotoxins.
Soils deficient in zinc result in stunted crops and stunted human beings. There is no philosophy that will create more zinc in soils. Only by adding zinc will you grow better crops and healthier humans.
Speaking of health, mycotoxins are organic toxins produced by molds and fungus that ravage crops. Mycotoxins are the #1 Food Killer and a major cause of liver cancer in humans. Mycotoxin infected foods affects billions of humans and are attributed to the death of millions of people annually.
COVID has put a spotlight on agriculture. As public and private partners let us concentrate on science-based outcomes by agronomically addressing issues that will increase farm prosperity and food security for all.
Published by rsaik
ROBERT SAIK, PAg, CAC
ROBERT SAIK has forty years of experience as a Professional Agrologist, entrepreneur and an international consultant who's worked with a wide variety of agriculturalists from Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture to Bill Gates. He was one of only 3 private citizens to address the October 2020 FAO_UN High Level Special Event (Rome) organized by the Committee for World Food Security to address agriculture sustainability.
His latest book, “FOOD 5.0 How We Feed the Future” is a pragmatic look at the five iterations of agriculture, culminating in an examination of how technology convergence is reshaping the farm and the consumer.
Robert, an outspoken champion of agriculture, is a Distinguished Agrologist, Professional Agriculture Consultant, a veteran entrepreneur and has been hailed as an agriculture futurist with unparalleled insight into where the industry is headed.
He has leveraged these strengths to found over 15 companies in the areas of Farming, Agri-Retail, Distribution, Media and Ag Tech including He was the founder and CEO of The Agri-Trend/Agri-Data Group of Companies which was acquired by Trimble. He also served as CEO of DOT Technology Corp (Autonomous Farming) through the acquisition of DOT by Raven Industries.
Robert is the founder and CEO of award-winning AGvisorPRO, a technology platform that connects those seeking agriculture advice with trusted experts who can provide answers now. The goal is to leverage knowledge to increase agriculture sustainability using AGvisorPRO to shrink time and space.
Through Saik Management Group Inc he facilitates the PowerFARM peer group for progressive farmers.
His first book, “The Agriculture Manifesto – Ten Key Drivers That Will Shape Agriculture in the Next Decade” was a 2014 Best of Amazon Books and this TEDx Talk “Will Agriculture be Allowed to Feed 9 Billion People?” has been viewed over 170,000 times. Robert is a passionate keynote speaker and is executive producer of the Know Ideas Media a science based multi-media company addressing issues such as GMO’s and their use in food production.
He has financed both the Rob Saik Bar None Scholarship at the University of Alberta that provides support for two rural first year students entering the faculty of agriculture and the Robert Saik Ag Tech Award that supports two urban students entering the Ag Tech program at Olds College.
He serves on several Boards including the Canadian Agri-Food Autonomous Innovation Network (CAAIN) as well as Proteum Energy. Rob is an advisor to Olds College, is a member of the A100 (Alberta Tech Entrepreneur Network), a student of Strategic Coach and Singularity University and a member of Abundance 360. As a partner in Perigro Venture Partners he participates in early-stage technology investments.
He has been recognized for agriculture leadership by the Alberta Institute of Agrologists (Provincial Distinguished Agrologist of the Year 2006) and in 2016 was awarded Canadian Agri-Marketer of the Year by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association.
Twitter - @RSaik | www.RobertSaik.com | www.AGvisorPRO.com
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