Several of the speakers at the Future of Food Summit last June said it’s important for the U.S. to encourage rural development in emerging regions, such as Africa and Asia. In Africa, many farmers just need the same basic technology that farmers in the U.S. have used for a long time, Glickman said.
Yet, on the heels of the Iraq and Afghanistan military engagements, many Americans may be weary of continuously pushing resources overseas, said U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-Ark.).
Water is another factor. The world’s water supply is finite and could prove to be a huge impediment to agriculture development. “We’re already in a water crisis in some parts of the world,” Policinski said.
As nations become increasingly urbanized, cities will be in a position to out-bid rural areas for available water supplies.
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), summed up the problem of finite land, limited water and a growing population this way:
“At some point in time, the earth is just going to say ‘no’ — too many people.”