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President Obama addresses Seeds & Chips food innovation summit

Obama says climate change and the global food system intersect

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Climate change could play a large role and have a significant impact on this century’s global food system, according to former President Obama.

“Our changing climate is already making it more difficult to produce food,” he said during his keynote address on May 9 at Seeds & Chips, a global food innovation summit happening in Milan, Italy.

“We’ve already seen shrinking yields and spiking food prices that, in some cases, are leading to political instability.

 “With the world’s population expected to reach nine billion by the middle of the century, now is the time to act,” he said during his remarks. “The path to a sustainable food future will require unleashing the creative power of our best scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs … to deploy new innovations in climate-smart agriculture.”


Agricultural innovations in crop production and precision agriculture could help manage climate change within the sector, Obama said.

“(Farmers need) better seeds, better storage, crops that grow with less water, crops that grow in harsher climates (and) mobile technologies that put more agricultural data including satellite imagery, weather forecasts, and market prices into (their) hands so they know when to plant, where to plant, what to plant and how it will sell," Obama said.

Creating a food culture that demands healthier and more sustainable food can also help reduce medical costs, Obama said.