Princeton welcomes Mauritian president to explore challenges facing global food systems

Thursday, Nov 2, 2017
by Chris Lentz

Princeton University welcomed Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, president of Mauritius, on Oct. 5 for a day of discussion with students, faculty and staff about the state of global food systems.

“Biodiversity is the basis of life and central to human existence,” she said during an afternoon lecture in McCosh 50. “Over millennia, humans have depended on plant diversity, both wild and cultivated, to meet their needs. Biodiversity is a critical resource not only to address sustainable agriculture, but also for sustaining our ecosystems.”

Yet today the delicate balance of food ecosystems is under threat as the human population grows to an expected 9 billion people by 2050.

“Food production will need to increase at least by 50 percent and more in the populous parts of Africa and Asia,” she said. “Today, according to the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization], over 812 million people go to bed hungry every day. Sadly, hunger amid plenty is the tragic leitmotif of our times.”

Read the full article at Princeton.edu.