The world's future holds some pretty dark clouds, but from former president Bill Clinton's perspective these are challenges that can be met with the innovations and ideas of agricultural and biological engineers. Clinton stopped at the annual meeting of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and charged those in attendance to meet the challenges ahead.
During a short presentation to ASABE, Clinton talked of the promise, and need, of innovation to tackle the opportunities offered in the 21st Century.
Clinton, whose foundation is doing work in Africa, tells the story of helping farmers in Rwanda boost production. Through the foundation the farmers were able to get fertilizer, good seed and improve their agricultural practices. "They increased their production 384%," Clinton says.
He notes that there are three key challenges ahead - global climate change, resource depletion and the need for potable water. "Engineers will meet those needs," he says.
Given the need to keep boosting productivity to meet rising world population needs, Clinton notes it will take innovation. "Will Brazil and Argentina be able to meet the growing demand for food?" he asks, and doubts the answer is positive.
"The 21st Century will be the most exciting time in human history," he predicts. "We need to make the transition to a better tomorrow."