Hugh Grant from the Monsanto company, delivers a compelling and eye-opening agriculture sustainability keynote during which he introduces the apple analogy. To show the audience how much arable land exists in the world today, he cuts an apple into 32 pieces, and removes the piece of skin from one of those pieces. That piece of skin represents the only arable amount in the world today. It takes over 100 years to grow an inch of top soil, which can be swept away from one weekend of rain.
Agriculture today finds itself in the middle of a very interesting debate -- water scarcity, food security, climate change, energy and world hunger. Agriculture takes up 70 percent of the fresh water in the United States and 95 percent in the majority of African nations, which still experience extreme droughts and hunger.
Monsanto is dedicated to reducing consumption by one third while also reducing the amount of resources used.