Food Security Public Event - 9th February, JIC Auditorium
The 'Friends of JIC' event on Food Security was attended by over 200 members of the public and opened by Steve Rawsthorne, science operations manager at the John Innes Centre.
- More food and feed - presented by Simon Griffiths, Project Leader, Department of Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre (JIC)
- Fighting pests and diseases - presented by Sophien Kamoun, Head of the Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL)
- Reducing agricultures carbon footprint - presented by Giles Oldroyd, Deputy Director, John Innes Centre (JIC)
Food Security - What Next?
Read the JIC/TSL brochure on food security (Published December 2009)
Have your say
Food Security Questionnaire Results
Of the 211 people who attended the Friends of JIC Food Security event 75% responded to a questionnaire to determine people’s opinions on the issue before the talks.
- Unsurprisingly 94% said food security was an issue which concerned them but only 19% said that it was the issue they were most concerned about, out of a choice of climate change (26.5 %), oil shortages (24.5%) or terrorism (16%), and 4% stated they were not concerned about any of these issues.
- From a list of contributory factors people thought that increasing populations (89%), availability of water (82%), politics and the global economy (69%) and climate change (66%) were the most significant but only 39% considered the carbon footprint of agriculture as a contributory factor.
- Increasing population was considered by 54% of the audience to be the single most important contributory factor to food security, 14.5% felt that politics and the global economy was, 12.5% thought it was water availability, 4.5% climate change, 4% the availability of land and only 2.5% felt that the carbon footprint of agriculture would affect food security the most.
- Scientists (90%), Governments (79%) and farmers (67.5%) were thought to be the main groups who could help solve food security, whereas individuals (38%), NGOs (36%) and retailers (36%) were not expected to have so much of an effect. Educators and faith leaders were also cited as groups who could help.
- When asked which areas of the world were thought to be most prone to food security issues 81% said Africa, 58% Asia, 40% the Middle East, 29% Europe, 23% Australasia and only 12.5% thought that North America would be affected.
- Only 26% felt that consumer responsibility would help resolve food security, whereas 54% thought that the availability of drought resistant crops would help. 52% thought that crops able to withstand extremes of climate would help, 44% increased yields and 40% increased disease resistance. Global political stability was thought to be an important factor by 43% and 34% said that GM crops had a role to play. Several people stated that population control should be enforced.
- 59% of respondents said they aware that there had been food riots recently but only 9% thought that food riots would happen in Europe in the next 50 years. 8% thought that it was extremely unlikely to happen, 40% that they would possibly happen and 36% thought they would probably happen.
The average age of the respondents was 60, with an age range from 13-84, of which 55% were male.