Viewpoint: Agricultural Research Fights Global Food Shocks
By Bram Govaerts
Twenty months into a global pandemic, we are still grappling with the enormity of death and loss that has touched all 8 billion of us. We were caught off guard by COVID-19 and most governments and societies struggled to respond. And yet, the global toll would have been much worse without the public health and disease monitoring and surveillance capacity that was built through decades of scientific investment.
Pandemics are just one example of a global shock that can cause massive hardship and loss in real time while unleashing long-term repercussions for people and economies. We saw this with the 2008 global food price crisis, which was triggered by trade barriers and high energy prices. As farming costs rose and food crops were diverted to biofuels, progress toward food security, health and prosperity all over the world was reversed.