Professor named scientific advisor to Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
More than one billion people in the world are chronically undernourished, according to the United Nations. It’s a statistic that Herbert Kronzucker wants to see changed.
Kronzucker, who is director of the Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research at UTSC, was recently invited to Seattle to speak at an international conference hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“It was an honour to be the only researcher from Canada among some of the most eminent scientists who are dedicated to addressing the challenges of world hunger,” says the UTSC professor. His talk was on the root microbiomes of crops.
The conference focused on how to help small-scale farmers in impoverished regions improve their agricultural yields, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. The researchers advise the Gates Foundation on promising root, soil and micro-organism research.
“It’s incredibly challenging because many of the places dealing with the most abject poverty also suffer from significant agricultural obstacles because the soil in these areas is so poor,” he says.
Kronzucker also gives public lectures on world hunger. He says we must address the wasteful practices associated with raising livestock, beef in particular. Livestock require large amounts of food and water, and cause significant greenhouse gas emissions.
“Important efforts to alleviate world hunger may be nullified simply by our eating habits,” says Kronzucker. “Our farming and agricultural practices are inextricably connected to the challenge of world hunger.”