Food for the future: How the University of Arizona is stepping in to help agriculture and food production

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:07 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Climate change is threatening the future of food production in Arizona and around the world. Now, the University of Arizona wants to find solutions with a new commission.

This new advisory commission will spend the next six months researching the future of agriculture and food production. From there, the panel will figure out how the university can turn certain climate threats into opportunities.

“We’re in Arizona. We legitimately are the place that needs to solve this problem of how you keep the people who are producing our food and agriculture productive even in the face of a drying climate and water cut backs,” Paul Brierley, Executive Director of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture said.

Brierley and the other advisers will look at what challenges are we are facing in Arizona. And what resources are out there that the University of Arizona can eventually help with.

Some of the goals the commission has during their six month project is: to summarize the threats of drought and climate change to Arizona’s agricultural production systems. The team will also conduct a comprehensive and constructive review of the expertise and resources of what can be done to solve these problems. They will also provide actions for the university to address as well.

In a press release about the commission, University of Arizona President Robert Robbins said, “As a rapidly drying climate threatens food and agriculture systems around the globe, Arizona’s agriculture industry will need innovative solutions to continue producing food and other goods year-round for the state and beyond.”

“From leveraging transformative agricultural practices to enhanced data tools for rapid analysis of challenges and changes within agricultural and food production, research-based solutions will be critical. Our ability to be agile and resilient in the face of this challenge affects not only agricultural production and food security, but also the economic vitality of our rural communities,” Robbins continued.

Brierley said if the panel can find solutions here in Arizona, then they will be able to help all places with dry climates across the globe.