The Buffett name is undoubtedly one of the most widely recognized and well-respected forces in the industries of business and finance today. And thanks to the longstanding international efforts of Howard G. Buffett, you can now add agriculture to the list. A member of Lindsay’s Board of Directors since 1995, Buffett is leading the charge in promoting more efficient, sustainable farming methods globally in an effort to fight the war on hunger.
So, why the push and why now? According to Buffett, the majority of us fall into a category he refers to as the “Global One Percenters” which represents anyone with an annual income that exceeds $34,000. To the surprise of many, the other 99 percent of the world lives on less than that amount. Locally in the U.S. we have an estimated 50 million people struggling to obtain regular sources of food, with one in six in our country going to bed hungry each night. Globally the impact is even more concerning, with one in six struggling to survive on just $1.00 per day.
For Buffett, this means growers both locally and internationally must take their jobs seriously and be flexible if they expect to impact the four billion people who are falling short on food and water. Through his global work at the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, he’s helping to address hunger, improve agriculture, secure water resources and decrease conflict relative to farming. The goal is to help growers worldwide learn and adopt smarter, more efficient farming strategies that will help them keep up with the increasing needs of the world population.
According to Buffett, this can be achieved in several ways:
Tens of millions of acre feet of water could be conserved by halting the use of flood irrigation and implementing pivot or drip irrigation practices. Updating current pivots with more advanced sprinklers and using soil moisture technology will also help.
It’s a simple matter of efficiency. Combined with “advanced” technology options, today’s pivot is a highly sophisticated system that can include everything from soil moisture probes to variable rate application – helping to conserve diminishing water supplies while maximizing crop yield and quality.
Have Foresight and Act on It
Growers only have about 40 seasons before planting is handed off to the next generation. Therefore, it’s critical that they are open to change and ongoing improvement so they can leave their farms, communities and environment in a better condition than when they started. Doing all they can to make a difference now is something they will never regret later.
“Hunger & Poverty Statistics.” Feeding America. http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx.