NEW ISPP JOURNAL
- Food Security:
- The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to
Peace Laureate Norman Borlaug writes:
- In 1998 I spoke at the 7th International Congress of
Plant Pathology in Edinburgh, UK, in a public forum on the role of plant
pathology in food security. My talk addressed the question "Can
the world produce the food and fiber needed in the 21st
century?". In the ensuing discussion, the International Society for
Plant Pathology (ISPP), sponsor of the Congress, was challenged to take
action concerning global food security.
- The outcome was the
establishment by ISPP of a small Task Force on Global Food Security, which
has established programmes, regrettably limited by the small resources of
the Society, to address some challenges presented by plant diseases that
limit food security, especially in developing countries. These have
included, for example, a project in Ghana to show farmers how cassava
production is limited by disease, and to help them recognize different
diseases and learn how to alleviate them.
- I commend plant pathologists
for taking a lead, through practical actions, in the battle for food
security. But of course the challenge goes far beyond pathology and indeed
far beyond plants. ISPP's Task Force on Global Food Security is to be
further commended for taking the matter many steps further in the launch of
Food Security - the
science, sociology and economics of food production and access to food.
It should not forget the importance of politics in moving all these issues
- In the 10 years since the
Edinburgh Congress, the challenge of global food security has sharpened
greatly. I said in 2005 that we will have to double the world food supply by
2050. Meanwhile the term food security has passed into ordinary vocabulary.
In recent months, hardly a day passes without the media focusing on the
availability of food, the price of food, food safety and so on, in a global
context. It is therefore particularly timely that ISPP and Springer are
launching, as a joint venture, this journal with its topical title and with
the breadth of coverage indicated by its subtitle.
The strength of Food Security is that it encompasses not only plant
pathology but also the science of all kinds of biotic and abiotic stresses of
plants and animals important for human nutrition. Still better is its parallel
coverage of global food needs and food potential, alongside nutrition and food
quality, and especially the socio-political and economic factors that impinge on
the satisfaction of global food needs.
I wish this new journal well. In the words of its developers, "By
focussing on these issues in a single publication, it is intended that the
journal will provide a spur for the initiation and promotion of policies which
will co-ordinately address the spectre of hunger".
- Norman Borlaug
- Texas A&M University
- July 2008