DuPont Chairman and CEO Charles O. Holliday, Jr., today told participants at the World Food Prize that biotechnology will enable the world to keep pace with the rapid growth in global demand for food, feed, fuel and materials.
"Biotechnology is the most powerful tool available to secure a safe, sustainable food and energy future," Holliday said. "It holds the promise to deliver the world more, higher quality grain with less environmental impact."
The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.
Holliday said, "Global population growth is driving increased demand not only for food but also for renewable energy and materials, for greater safety and security, and for increased connectivity." Holliday said that as a market-driven science company, DuPont is working on solutions to meet needs in all of those areas. He underscored that DuPont science includes capabilities in chemistry and biology, as well as in emerging fields such as nanotechnology.
"In the process, DuPont will maintain its strong commitment to sustainability," Holliday said, outlining DuPont's 2015 sustainability goals which encompass market-facing objectives - such as increasing the number of environmentally smart products from research and development - as well as continuing the company's progress in reducing the environmental footprint of its products and operations.
Holliday said that DuPont is using biotechnology to improve farmer productivity and profitability, increase grain quality and yield and enhance biofuels production. "The DuPont research pipeline is full of biotech traits that will increase yields, enhance nutrition, improve biofuels production, tolerate drought and require less nitrogen," he said.
He noted that plant biotechnology has been adopted faster than any other technology in the history of agriculture. "Farmers around the world have recognized the significant value of biotechnology and have adopted its use at an amazing pace," Holliday said.
DuPont also is developing new technologies for the growing renewable fuels market, such as improving biofuels production through improved seed and crop protection products; developing new technologies to allow conversion of cellulose to biofuels; and developing next-generation biofuels.