Els Versluis (Lely Group) about How to feed the world in 2050

Els Versluis is a Marketing Director of the Lely Group, an innovative agriculture company that supports dairy farmers with the best machinery that allows them to be more effective. Think about milking robots, feeding systems or harvesting machines. Check out this video about Lely Milking Robots:

I talked with Els about the upcoming agricultural innovation in relation to “How to feed the world in 2050”. The Lely Group is one of the 4 initiators.

The world population is expected to reach 9 to 10 billion people by 2050, and we understand that in order to organize the production and distribution of food supplies for all these people will be a challenge that needs to be addressed very soon. The agricultural sector is facing both challenges and opportunities, says Els Versluis.

Not only is the rising global population putting a strain on our world’s resources, climate change is threatening farmers’ ability to produce enough food to meet this growing demand. The Lely brand is just one of the many great brands that come from the Netherlands, the tiny country by the North Sea.

Despite agricultural advancements that have significantly increased already production, demand for food currently is growing so fast that is outpacing gains in productivity. It is expected that in the next 30 years food needs to increase by 70%! To meet this need, it will take technological breakthroughs in food production along with improvements resulting from ongoing research.

It’s not the first symposium about feeding the world in 2050 but the first one where farmers are engaged. Guest speakers will discuss how farming efficiency can be improved, what are best practices, and how the agriculture sector can be prepared for 2050, says Els.

Nearly 400 international farmers, leaders from business and higher education will gather for a day of discussion about maximizing the agricultural output while ensuring the safety and security of our food supply in relation with climate change and World Water Day in the Netherlands

The invited farmers have a vision and are influential. The idea is to show them new opportunities for their enterprises so they can spread a message to others. This strategy of targeting farmers to act as liaisons has been used successfully in several programs around the world.

Farmers are essential to the development of a strategic plan and education, including the technological developments that transform the education environment, will play an increasingly important role as well.

It is important to engage with the farmers from the beginning of the process, and to recognize the value of their knowledge and advice, says Els Versluis.

One of the main challenges for the agricultural business is to renew the entrepreneurial spirit across generations and spread it! The organizers hope that this symposium in the Netherlands will contribute to this goal. Check out also this post on more Dutch ground-breaking innovations.

Farmers around the world are familiar with Lely products from revolutionary milking robots to feeding systems and forage harvesting equipment. The Lely Group is continually surprising their customers with new and innovative products that happen to be beautiful as well.

The other 3 initiators are ABN AMRO, ForFarmers and Wageningen UR (University & Research Centre). This interview was earlier posted in 2013 but still highly relevant.