"Using resources more efficiently is what it will take to put agriculture on a path to feed the expected future population of 9 billion people," said Nina Fedoroff, Penn State professor of biology and life sciences.
"We especially need to do a better job using the nutrients, water and energy needed to produce food," she said.
"We should ask how we can grow food with a minimum of water, maximum of renewable energy and closest to where people are living," Fedoroff said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington Friday.
"Meeting the food needs of a still-growing human and domestic animal population with less water while preserving remaining biodiversity is, arguably, the most profound challenge of the 21st century," Fedoroff said.
MAVEN now orbiting Mars