| |JUNE 20209higher education in the US and in In-dia to help foster and enhance linkages between them. The multi-sectoral cooperation between India and US though has agri-culture and agriculture education at its agenda, but cooperative output in this sector is still at its fancy. The world's population, at seven billion people to-day, is expected to reach nine billion by 2050 and may exceed 10 billion by the end of the century. The vast majority of this growth will occur in developing countries, especially in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa ­ regions already too familiar with chronic hunger. Much of the expansion will also occur in ur-ban areas, where most people buy food, not grow it. Keeping into consideration the global trends of food consumption, meeting the food needs of billions will not be easy. We (India and US) must at once work together to enable farmers around the world to produce higher yields and get those crops to market efficiently, while also tending to a frag-ile environment and conserving the valuable resources of land and water. The issue of water scarcity and climate variability also needs concerted cooperative efforts. The challenge of climate change is ex-pected to have a dispro-portionate impact precisely on those regions where demand growth is ex-pected to be greatest and the capacity to adapt the weakest. Climate change is predicted to affect precipitation rates and patterns, resulting in both more droughts and increased catastrophic flooding in various parts of the world. The next crucial issue before both the countries is to bring reduction in their post-harvest waste for meeting the challenge of feeding nine billion peo-ple. Although there are few reliable es-timates of the magnitude of food lost between harvest and consumption, ex-perts believe the volumes are huge: 15-50 percent worldwide. In the high-income countries like US, most losses are at retail and post-con-sumer waste stages. Whereas in the de-veloping countries like India, the most proportion of post-harvest losses occur before retail. Thus, both the countries have a lot to learn and share for mitigat-ing their postharvest losses. Therefore, agriculture and allied sectors require the participation of not only our gov-ernments, but our businesses, farmers, NGOs, scientists and economists in the future to come. Agriculture cooperation has played an increasingly important role in our relationship. In India, over 60 percent of the population's economic activity is agriculture-based. And just last year, bilateral trade in agriculture, fish and forestry products between our two countries reached $3.4 billion. But trade is only one component of this relationship. US-India agricultural re-search has already been initiated for strengthening our bilateral partnership to help address the twin challenges of hunger and under nutrition. And it is not for the first time, over 47 years ago, an American scientist, Norman Borlaug and an Indian scientist, M.S. Swamina-than, took the first step. Their research on an obscure range of dwarf varieties has resulted in many fold increase in food production throughout Asia and Africa in the recent past. Funded by the Rockefeller foundation and other Climate change is predicted to affect precipitation rates and patterns, resulting in both more droughts and increased catastrophic flooding in various parts of the world
< Page 8 | Page 10 >