ISI Invited Session Showcase

Presented Thursday, 14 July

Time Room Showcase
14:30-16:00 Saanich 1-2 ISI Invited Session

Global Food Security: the role of statisticians and statistical science

Chair: Professor Kaye Basford (Australia)


Dr. Linda Young (US): Statistics, statisticians and climate challenges

Dr. Ross Darnell (Australia): Biometricians in Research for Development (R4D)

Dr. Abraham Lagat (Kenya):  Addressing food security challenges in developing countries

Discussant: Professor Raul Macchiavelli (Puerto Rico)

By 2050, the world will have to produce 50 to 80% more food (Keating & Carberry, 2010) and this will need to be achieved in the face of increasingly constrained and contested land, water, nutrient and energy resources. The threat of dangerous climate change also means the food security challenge has to be met whilst reducing the greenhouse gas load on the atmosphere. This implies an “eco-efficiency” imperative for global agriculture – producing more food and fibre with more efficient use of natural resources with less impact on the environment.

Agriculture and forestry are entering an era where rapidly changing global markets for commodities, changes to water allocations, rising input costs, skills deficiencies and environmental pressures are paramount. Meeting needs and consumer expectations across the diversity of economic and social contexts involves basics of supply and delivery, along with sustainable land management as well as healthy, ethical food production. Land use goals and consumer driven demands cannot be simply traded off against each other.

To address climate change, global agricultural systems need to achieve productivity growth and realise improved greenhouse gas abatement opportunities. Managed and native forests play an increasingly important role in the land use mix on account of their role as a carbon sink (or source in the case of land clearing or forest disturbance) and the interactions with agriculture, water and biodiversity.

Various speakers will consider the role of statistical sciences and statisticians in tackling these challenges now and in the future.