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ADM Chairman and CEO Woertz to Outline New Framework for Agricultural Growth at World Economic Forum in Davos

January 29, 2009

DECATUR, Ill., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Agriculture can help meet
growing needs for food, feed, fiber, and clean, renewable fuels, if industry
and governments work together to stimulate productivity and improve the
infrastructure that connects crops with global markets.

That is the central message Patricia Woertz, Chairman, CEO and President
of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), will share with global business
leaders, government officials and other leading authorities in remarks to the
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week. Woertz will participate
in the Consumer Industry Governor’s private dinner discussion on “A New Vision
for Agriculture” on Friday, Jan. 30, and will speak on a public panel,
“Unlocking the Food Chain,” on Saturday, Jan. 31.

“Those in attendance at Davos may differ on some issues, but we can all
agree that agriculture — a 10,000-year-old human innovation — must play a
vital role in addressing some of our most pressing modern challenges,” Woertz
says.

Observing that the developing world has lagged far behind developed
nations in agricultural productivity, Woertz will call for a comprehensive
framework for growth to help narrow the gap. That framework would include
policies and programs aimed at supporting best agronomic practices –
including the adoption of efficient, environmentally sound and regionally
appropriate farming, irrigation and fertilization methods, as well as the use
of advanced seed technology.

The framework would also entail significant new public- and private-sector
investments in agricultural infrastructure. “Both sectors must continue
developing critical transportation, processing and storage assets to ensure
we’re able to handle tomorrow’s larger crop yields, collect and store food
crops and biomass, and continue delivering crops from surplus to deficit
regions in a timely and efficient way,” she says. Woertz notes that ADM has
committed more than $3 billion in recent years to building or expanding its
processing plants and to growing its elevator and transportation networks.

In order to demonstrate the large-scale productivity gains that could
result under these favorable conditions, Woertz points to calculations derived
from a recent global acreage survey.

“Taking into account the fact that growing conditions and other factors
vary greatly from place to place, we looked at what would happen if all 15 of
the world’s top producing nations or regions were able to achieve somewhere
between 70 and 80 percent of the best yields on record. The results were
illuminating: on lands currently in production, we would see an increase of up
to 50 percent in global maize production, growth of up to 52 percent in
worldwide wheat production, and an increase of as much as 41 percent in
rapeseed production,” she says.

She notes that past gains in agricultural productivity support such
ambitious targets: between 1981 and 2007, world maize production grew 56
percent, while farmland dedicated to maize grew less than 10 percent. “That’s
the equivalent of creating 61 million ‘virtual hectares’ of arable land,”
Woertz says.

And in the past 10 years, she adds, farmers were able to meet sharp
increases in demand for maize, meat and soybeans with just four percent growth
in crop area.

“We have perhaps a once-in-a-generation opportunity to usher in a new
‘Golden Age’ for agricultural growth,” Woertz says. “We can’t let current
conditions derail innovation and investment.

“Both history and our assessment of the vast potential today tell us we
can meet the world’s growing need for food, fiber and energy in a sustainable
way. I believe the world community is up to the challenge and I look forward
to advancing this vital work with industry, government and civil society
leaders.”

About ADM

Every day, the 27,000 people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM)
turn crops into renewable products that meet the demands of a growing world.
At more than 230 processing plants, we convert corn, oilseeds, wheat and cocoa
into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses. We operate the
world’s premier crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops
and markets in more than 60 countries. Our global headquarters is in Decatur,
Illinois
, and our net sales for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008, were $70
billion
. For more information about our Company and our products, visit
http://www.adm.com

SOURCE ADM


Source: newswire



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