Strong Partnerships Vital to Driving Sustainability Breakthroughs

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Strong Partnerships Vital to Driving Sustainability Breakthroughs

By Kerry Preete, Executive Vice President, Global Strategy, Monsanto
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Blog by Kerry Preete @MonsantoCo on recent @TheEconomist World #WaterSummit in London #econenviro @EconInsights
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 8:10am


On Nov. 6, I attended the World Water Summit in London, an event hosted by The Economist for the purpose of bringing together representatives from the private sector, NGOs and governments to discuss challenges related to global water use.

I was proud to share with the attendees some of the work we’re doing at Monsanto to help farmers produce enough food to nourish a growing planet while also freezing the footprint of agriculture.

But at the same time, I left London fully aware that there is so much left to do in confronting water challenges that are compounded by industrialization, climate change, and an increasingly prosperous population that wants high-quality and nutritious food.

Agriculture consumes about 70 percent of the world’s freshwater, which means our industry has a significant obligation to meet when it comes to water conservation. At Monsanto, that’s driven our focus on making rain-fed farm acres more efficient, flattening or reducing the amount of irrigated water used in farming operations, and improving water quality.

This spring, for instance, we announced a commitment to improve our irrigated water application efficiency by 25 percent by 2020. This applies not only to the land Monsanto owns and leases, but also to the land of third-party contractors who produce seed for us.

That’s a good start and it’s encouraging to know others – in agriculture and beyond – are setting measurable goals of their own.

But now as we at Monsanto pursue our 2020 goal, our challenge is to continue thinking about ways we can collaborate with other stakeholders to do even more.

How can we share efforts and knowledge to drive greater water use optimization?

What else can we do to help freeze the footprint of agriculture so farmers can produce the food our planet will need on the farmland we already have?

We’re making steady progress. Now we must continue building and strengthening partnerships to ensure the breakthroughs we all need can be achieved.

Keywords: Environment & Climate Change | Environment & Climate Change | Ethical Production & Consumption | Kerry Preete | London | Monsanto | Partnerships | The Economist | World Water Summit | farm | farming