A majority of consumers and growers agree that modern agriculture can feed a growing population and demonstrate responsible stewardship, according to a recent survey sponsored by BASF.
More than 80% of the growers and nearly 70% of the consumers who participated in the survey were confident that growers will be able to strike a balance between producing enough food and preserving the land for future generations.
Technology and knowledge advancements were cited by both groups as the primary reasons for their confidence.
"Technology is and will continue to be the number one driver behind our ability to meet the demands of a growing population in a way that stewards resources," said Paul Rea, vice president, BASF U.S. Crop Operations. "We know there is no room for failure—we have to make it happen."
According the growers surveyed, these capabilities are growing. When asked if stewardship efforts in agriculture have improved over the last few years, 85% of the growers surveyed agreed. That's nearly a 10% increase in positive responses from a BASF survey conducted two years ago.
The survey indicated also that stewardship is an intrinsic belief that is a constant among growers. Every one of the 350 growers surveyed agreed that their peers care about the environment.
"The land is my livelihood," one participant said. "If I ruin it, I am out of business."
Consumers also believe that high quality crops and more output should be a farmer's top priority.
Rea said his company contributes with advancements that help control diseases and improve efficiency. "All of these things work together to maximize yield potential and quality, in ways that will continue moving forward to meet the challenges of feeding a growing population," he said.
The survey was conducted among 400 consumers and 360 growers in 2012.