From the boardrooms and research plots of agribusiness companies and the halls of governments to the tiny farms of the developing world, collaboration is key to making progress toward the goal of feeding a world with a growing population and limited water.

“Some people describe this as a crisis,” said Jeff Raikes, chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at the global Water for Food Conference Thursday (May 31). But it’s also “an opportunity to come together and really work in new ways that will produce … new approaches” to create more sustainable agriculture that uses less water.