Liam Condon, head of Bayer’s CropScience Division, gave the breakfast keynote speech at the 2016 Borlaug Dialogue International Symposium in Des Moines on Friday, bringing the future of farming to the overall theme of the event this year “Let Food by Thy Medicine.”
“Food needs to be nutritious, abundant in supply, safe and affordable,” said Condon. “We all need to stand up and fight for the importance of innovation in agriculture if we are going to meet this challenge.”
An Irishman, Condon talked about how innovations in agriculture have helped ensure that potato blight will never again devastate a nation, as it did to Ireland in 1845. “The research we’re investing in today will mean a whole new world of promise for agricultural food production to improve people’s lives in the future,” he said.
However, Condon added, “It’s not only about innovation, it’s about our responsibility to smallholders and our responsibility to the planet.” He talked about how digital farming will “help accelerate our ability to increase crop yields in a sustainable manner.”
Condon wrapped up with a quote from Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, “For he who has health, has hope and he who has hope, has everything.”
Be sure to read Condon’s op-ed in the Des Moines Register about the importance of cultivating an interest in agricultural innovation in today’s bright young minds.