The 'Great Debate' held during the Alltech 28th Annual International Symposium focused on the challenges surrounding feeding a global population of 9 billion people by 2050.

Presented in front of nearly 3,000 delegates from 72 countries and 42 U.S. states, the topics debated were: Feeding 9 billion people; Is Africa the new Brazil? What are the implications of the African land grab? What’s next for biofuels? Other topics included: Water — the fight for natural resources; protecting the rainforests; educating urbanites about agriculture; dealing with groups hostile to agriculture; solutions to obesity; organic labels; malnutrition; what ‘Local’ really means; what does the future hold for the four year-olds of today’s world.

Tom Arnold, CEO, of Concern Worldwide; Sean Rickard, senior lecturer in business economics, Cranfield University, United Kingdom; Dr. Marcus Vinicius Pratini de Moraes, former Minister of Agriculture and Food Supply of Brazil; and Tom Dorr, CEO of the U.S. Grains Council in Washington DC, each took to the stage to discuss their ideas on what the future of agriculture and food supply will look like.

Experts at the debate all agreed that the agricultural industry is here to stay, and that demand for its output will continue to grow. “Modern agriculture needs to continue to embrace technology, innovation and place an emphasis on education," said Alltech Vice President Aidan Connolly. "We must recognize that we are going to face critical issues, particularly with regard to water shortages, and focus on the need for transparency.”