Les gens mangent nourriture tous les jours, mais beaucoup d'entre eux ont aucune idée d'où vient leur nourriture. Even fewerunderstandhow farmersare challengedtoproduce it.

Thats especially true here in Uruguay,where I grow a variety of crops and also raise livestock.The population in my country is« Mal distribuée’:About 60 percent of our populationlives on less than5 percent of our land.For everysinglepersonlike mewho lives in a rural area, 19 live in a city.

Many ofthe urban populationthinkthattheir food just shows up in grocery stores, comme si elle provient d'une ligne d'assemblage dans une usine.

This can lead tobadpublic policies, written bypoliticianswho rarely set foot onafarmeven as they demand food security for themselves and their families.

So Im thankfulthatUruguay anda dozenothercountiessignedan agreementearlier this monthto supportfarmers whostrive to innovate.The titleof the agreementislongla déclaration internationale sur les applications agricoles de la biotechnologie de précision.but the principle is simple. It calls for farmers toenjoyaccess to products that increase productivity while preserving environmental sustainability.

Parmi les signataires, nos voisins Argentine et le Brésil, ainsi que les États-Unis, Canada,Australia, Colombie, La république Dominicaine, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguayand Vietnam. Le Secrétariat de la Communauté économique des États d'Afrique occidentale a également leur soutien.

Theyve now pledged to supportthe gene-editing techniques that promise to harness the powers of sound science and revolutionize our farms.The statementencourages countries to cooperate as they begin to take advantage of precision biotechnology, rather thantobuildtheregulatory hurdles and trade barriers thatso oftenget in the way of progress.

Ive seen what can happen whena country doesntembrace safe technologies.In Uruguay, nous avons été lents à accepter les OGM. pendant ce temps, Argentina and Braziladopted them quickly, right across the border fromus. Ils ont récolté des récompenses immédiates. Tout ce que nous pourrions faire est de regarder.

The problem wasntwithfarmers:From the start, nous voulions les OGM végétaux. We hoped to gaintheir special ability to fight weeds and pests. Yet we faced oppositionthatcame fromurban residentsand theirtremendous misconceptions about farming.

Some of themassumethat all farmers are millionaire landowners. Rien ne pouvait être plus loin de la vérité. I happen to be a farmer who doesnt evenowna farm: Je loue le travail I de la terre. J'aide aussi mon père et participe à deux sociétés que les cultures soulèvent.

Not a single acre of this land ismine. Im an excellent example of how technology can help farmers of all types. Just as it can helpthelargelandowners who depend on massive sales, it can also helpthe smallholders who simply want to feed themselves. Ensuite, il y a les agriculteurs ordinaires, comme moi, qui sont quelque part entre.

We all need technologyandnow that includesaccess to precision biotechnology.

Uruguayan farmers have been plantingRoundupReady soybeans andBtcornsince 1998 mais, un changement de gouvernement 2008 apporté un moratoire sur tous les nouveaux traits OGM. That ban on new technology was finally lifted in early 2017. We missed out on all the new technologies for 8 ans et demi!Today, I cantimaginegrowingcorn and soybeanswithout this technology.Theyve transformed our business.Yetin many ways were still catching up to our competitorsand were still fighting the old myths and misinformation that drive skepticism about GMOs.

We cant take anything for granted. Lots ofcountries continue to ban GMOs, even as theirsafety isproven and their advantages areobvious.

Uruguaysimplycantsuffer the same fate with gene editing. Nous en avons besoin dès que nous pouvons avoir. Perhaps becauseour governmenthasjoined the statement on precision biotechnology, we wonthave to wait.

Plutôt que de regarder nos voisins et d'autres pays avec l'envie,Im looking forward to a series of remarkable advances that will make farming less risky and more predictable.We need crops that can withstand drought, Les cultures qui peuvent survivre à la dégradation, et les cultures qui peuvent se développer dans les sols acides. And that means we need what gene editingcan deliver.

Imhopefulabout the future of farmingin Uruguay and elsewherebut onlyif we stick to the values of the International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology.