We need solutions, not restrictions

The looming water crisis demands more than just limitations – it requires innovative solutions. Read what Peter Blezard has to say about navigating the challenges ahead in this insightful article from the Mexican online Agriculture Magazine, 2000Agro.

We need solutions, not restrictions, in the face of the water crisis, warns agricultural businessman.

The world must produce 56% more food by 2050 to equalize population growth.

With Catalonia in Spain declaring a drought emergency and farmers and producers facing a strong reduction in water use, a veteran agricultural businessman has questioned the “short-term” approach of continuously rationing water and says that new agricultural solutions are urgently needed to ensure that we can feed a hungry population.

Agriculture is the largest consumer of water on the planet and, therefore, is under constant scrutiny.

However, Peter Blezard, of Engage Crop Solutions, is challenging decision makers in Spain and around the world to focus on finding solutions available now that allow us to use more land to grow without using more water, instead of focusing on imposing stricter restrictions than impacting food production and further increasing food prices.

The world must produce 56 percent more food by 2050 to match population growth and Peter says that stakeholders, investors and producers must look for new technologies, data and artificial intelligence, improved irrigation systems, new drought-resistant crops and smarter agricultural input technologies to overcome the challenge.

Peter has worked for more than 25 years in agriculture around the world, but he has been working to find a solution to the agricultural water crisis during the last decade.

He warns that water is becoming a critical issue not only in southern Europe and the Middle East, where it is known as the new “Blue Gold”, but also in the United Kingdom and northern Europe.

He says:

“The water situation in Catalonia and throughout Spain is critical, but this crisis has been growing for years. It is a problem that is being seen not only in the arid regions of the world, but in all countries, since record temperatures challenge everyone to pay attention to the use of water. Water impacts us all, both socially and economically.

“Spanish producers are already facing restrictions on the amount of water they can extract, but the proposed new restrictions will seriously affect their ability to produce food. This is a short-term solution that will affect food prices throughout the country and throughout the world.

“Obviously, we have to increase and maintain agricultural production to feed the growing population, but that will come at a high cost to our water reserves, even if water withdrawals are allowed.

“It is already expected that many countries will run out of fresh water and Spain is also seeing its reserves depleted.

“Much of what we see focuses on the problem, but now we must focus our attention on finding solutions. There is no simple solution, but we must adopt a series of new technologies to make a much more efficient use of water in agriculture.

“Farmers must produce more food and that means that they must unlock more land for agriculture. However, the key to achieving this is to make sure that they don’t use more water.”

Engage Crop Solutions produces a key technology for water saving called Aqualatus that allows producers to reduce their water use by half while maintaining the quality of the crops, and this is already being used by several producers in Spain and around the world.

Aqualatus has been used for several years in Almería and is proven, sustainable, environmentally friendly and guarantees that producers can continue to be productive and profitable during the water storage crisis.

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