WWF vice president backs intensification and GM

Source – Horticulture Week

By Gavin McEwan

Date – Dec 20, 2012

Website – www.hortweek.com

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) senior vice president for market transformation Jason Clay has told the Dutch media that intensive agriculture and genetically modified crops can better meet the world’s food needs while preserving habitats.

“Business as usual isn’t enough any more,” he said. “The productivity of land will need to increase dramatically while at the same time waste production and the burden on the environment will need to fall.”

He added: “I’m convinced that modern genetic technology could help get better yields from local and regional crops in Africa and South-East Asia.”

Clay appeared to support remarks by Wageningen University & Research centre (WUR) board chairman Aalt Dijkhuizen that intensive agriculture is more sustainable than extensive farming. The remarks caused some controversy as WUR runs an MSc course in organic agriculture.

Clay praised Wageningen as being “among the world leaders” in furthering the sustainable intensification of farming.

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