Feeding the future has become more difficult than ever. In the next forty years, agricultural productivity will have to increase by 70% to meet global demand. The magnitude of this rise is equal to the cumulative improvements provided by all technological advancements in agriculture since its advent 10,000 years ago.
We will also need to produce this food under increasingly adverse conditions. Arable land and fresh water have decreased annually due to urbanization, over farming and increasing climate volatility. The confluence of these social and environmental pressures is also coming at a time when new innovation from chemistry, which drove the previous wave of the “Green Revolution”, will be limited. Today, not only is the efficacy of existing products decreasing, the pipeline of new solutions is scarce. Furthermore, consumers are demanding higher productivity and a smaller environmental footprint with crops that use less chemical pesticides and other inputs. In other words, yield is not the only requirement — it will have to be both economically and environmentally sustainable.
As daunting as these challenges are, technology can be equally powerful in solving them. ZeaKal is looking to the biology of the plants to create the next generation of biotech solutions.