Feeding the world - one great idea at a time
Finding innovative solutions to feed a hungry world in the future will be the task of UWS student Justin Whittle, one of 100 young leaders in agriculture from around the world who were selected to attend the Global Youth Ag-Summit in Canberra next month.
Justin is in his second-year of the Bachelor of Natural Science (Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security). He was one of 22 Australians chosen to attend the conference which includes delegates from 33 countries.
The goal of the conference is to share perspectives and create an open dialogue on how the global agricultural community can feed an estimated population of more than 9 billion people by the year 2050.
To be considered for selection, potential delegates wote a 1500-word essay about food security and were selected based on their ability to present original ideas while conveying passion for their chosen subject.
Thinking innovatively about solutions to feed the world is as much about changing perceptions. It's not just about farming, Justin says.
"Everyone has this misconception about Agriculture but it has turned into such a diverse and innovative industry and I see so much potential to do anything you want," he says.
For Justin, an overriding interest is the potential for edible insects as a food source. It's a topic he wrote about in his essay for the conference.
He notes that over two billion people around the world eat insects as part of their diet yet it's something that no one really talks about. He's hoping he can spend a semester next year studying the topic further in Thailand and one day hopes to apply his knowledge working for an NGO or government organisation.
"In Thailand, they are the largest consumers of edible insects in the world so I'd like to do my research there," he says.
In the meantime, the Youth-Ag Summit offers the opportunity to meet with other students who are similarly passionate about their ideas and inspired to help find sustainable agricultural solutions to meet the growing global need for safe, nutritious food.
The Youth-Ag Summit movement started in Canada in 2013 with a goal to share perspectives and create a dialogue on how to meet the looming challenge of feeding the planet. The conference includes a week of presentations, tours, debates and collaboration which will lead to an array of personal localised actions that are implemented by the attending delegates and their mentors.
23 June 2015
Media Contact: Lyn Danninger
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