Member of the team awarded the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize
On behalf of the organizing committee of first International Conference and Expo on Agriculture & Horticulture by the Scientific Federation, I am honoured and delighted to welcome you to ICEAH-2018, which will be held on August 13 and 14, 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
The globalisation of food, the policies pursued by the richer countries of the world, and the international agreements dictated by richer corporations are all reducing the amount of space available to developing countries to pursue policies necessary to produce more food to feed their own people. The United Nations have recently warned us that our soils might be able to carry no more than 60 harvests.
Poorer countries in the world need to stand up to the forces that are being driving to ever greater poverty and starvation. This demands that they should make sure their governments are able to set their own policies, not follow the diktats of the vested international parties. Private corporations think short term. Governments can and must think over long-term horizons. Profits in the short term are demanded by shareholders and managements of private enterprises. In many walks of life, this contradiction has been solved; the government provides a framework within which there genomics and cancer research are studied long-term and the short- term profitability of private companies is not jeopardised - it is enhanced by the right framework. The great Indian Economist, Amartya Sen, told us some 25 years ago that access to food was a matter of political will. There is enough in the world to feed everyone. But only the poorer and weaker members of the international community are prevented, by circumstances and political conditions which they cannot control, from having access to that food.
Great advances have been achieved in all fields of plant biology, agriculture, food production and food processing. But the advances have not been shared equally by all who need the benefits from that research. We all contribute to the research, the studies, and the production - through our taxes and our work. But we do not all benefit from it. The opposite has been achieved - in many fields of agriculture and horticultural research, as such GM, the benefits have accrued to very small numbers of people and the vast majority have had to receive the results without the right to challenge the process. Here is the challenge for all of us who are involved in agriculture and horticulture. We need to ensure that research is undertaken not in the most obscure realms - including even the sort of plants that might grow on Mars - but on every area of daily need for our daily bread. We need to learn to make better use of arable land - itself a rapidly decreasing commodity. We need to know how better to harvest water - another commodity that is becoming scarcer. We need above all to ensure that everyone in the world has access to food. If they are not able to acquire food, food should be available and at reasonable cost. If they cannot acquire it, they should be able to grow it themselves.
The second decade of the 215' century is the decade during which the world has been moving from being primarily a rural to an urban society. It is a process that has taken us around humankind 10,000 years. It presents new challenges which we must solve in order to survive. This is the agenda for this conference. I believe that Scientific Federation have chosen a location that will guarantee us a successful technical and scientific conference, as well as offering us some time to enjoy some cultural and tourist events. The success of the conference depends ultimately on the many people who have worked on planning and organising both the technical programme and the supporting social arrangements. In particular,
We thank the Programme Chairs for their advice and suggestion on the technical programme; the Programme Committee for their timely reviewing of the papers, the Local Organising Committee, and our sponsors who have helped us to keep down the costs of ICEAH-2018 to all participants.
ICEAH-2018 offers a platform for presentations and discussions by both professional researchers and other academic staff as well as different members of different professions involved in both agriculture and horticulture. It aims to offer an opportunity to both scholarly specialists and practitioners through information sharing and exchange of ideas. It will offer opportunities to specialists from all over the world to learn and exchange information on to latest Sustainable Agricultural Practices, recent advancements and latest investigations cover different aspects of agriculture and horticulture, as well as related fields. Well-known speakers from various parts of the globe will be joined by scientists working in agriculture and related fields.