JCU's Grassroots Club Attends FAO Symposium
On February 16, JCU’s environmental club Grassroots was invited by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to take part in an interactive student session regarding “The Role of Agriculture Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition.” The conference provided a platform for discussion between students and young experts regarding possible solutions to problems related to agriculture and world hunger.
In attendance were Grassroots President Asia Guerreschi and events coordinator Kateryna Umanets, along with university students from the University of Ghana, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (Ghana), Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, American University of Beirut, Cornell University, as well as Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
The panel of renowned professionals and scientists, connected to the symposium via Skype, was composed of economist Gunter Pauli, chair of the CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) Margaret Gill, FAO Deputy Director-General Coordinator for Natural Resources Maria Helena Semedo, Dutch scientist Louise Fresco, and Ethiopian-American plant breeder, geneticist, and Professor at Purdue University, Gebisa Ejeta.
The students posed questions to the panelists who in turn expanded on various concerns about agriculture, as well as the need for policy-makers, scientists, and farmers to collaborate with the aim of finding concrete solutions to overcrowding, the absence of technology, and the ignorance of its use.