How can we meet the future food needs

Food security - Wikipedia

how can we meet the future food needs

The world's agricultural system faces a great balancing act. To meet different human needs, by it must simultaneously produce far more food for a. The Challenge of Meeting Future Demand for Food. How Much More Food Will Be. Needed? A key question in preparing for the growing demand is, how much. KANSAS CITY — A synthesis report from World Resources Institute released Dec . 5 titled “Creating a Sustainable Food Future” proposes a.

Both of these studies used a baseline year aroundwhich made sense at the time they were published, but global cereal production jumped 24 percent between and So, we updated the baseline to We also factored in the most recent U. Based on our projections, the world will need only 25 percent to 70 percent more crop output in than was produced in This includes grain used to feed livestock and, to some extent, grain used for ethanol production.

Strips of corn and soybeans on a northwest Iowa farm. Food production will still need to keep growing to meet our updated goal of a 25 percent to 70 percent increase, but at an annual rate that is closer to the historical average.

We don't need to double world food production by – here's why

Hitting these lower targets will put much less strain on the global agriculture system — and the land, water and air that supports it — than doubling production. To double output, we would have to boost food production more rapidly than ever before, driving increases in soil tillage, fertilizer and pesticide use, and water withdrawals for irrigation.

For instance, worldwide greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are crawling steadily upward. Scientists have called for reducing these emissions by at least 80 percent by to avoid temperature increases greater than 2 degrees Celsius.

Nutrient pollution, mainly from farms, forms a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico every summer. Similarly, nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin creates a massive dead zone every year in the Gulf of Mexico, suffocating aquatic life and impacting commercial and recreational fishing.

Reducing the dead zone will require cutting this pollution — which predominantly comes from agriculture — to about half of its historical baseline. Despite decades of effort by farmers and conservationists, annual nutrient loads remain stubbornly high. The path forward Our revised food production and environmental goals are just the beginning of a new approach to sustainable intensification in agriculture. More research is needed to refine the projections of food demand in and identify options for flattening the demand curve while enhancing human health.

Regional studies are also needed, so that areas poised for rapid population growth can plan for their future food needs.

Is There Enough Food for the Future? - Environment Reports

But unfortunately there are no free lunches, and whatever strategy we will adopt to satisfy global food demand, food production will inevitably have adverse impacts on our environment. Between and Latin America has lost over 1 million of km2 of tropical forest, becoming the second largest deforestation hotspot in the world, only preceded by Southeast Asia.

CIFOR In some regions people will suffer from water scarcity or water bodies will be polluted from overuse of chemical fertilizers.

how can we meet the future food needs

In other regions increasing food production will have negative consequences for biodiversity and the provision of many other ecosystem services that we rely on.

So maybe we should be a bit less ambitious. We could, for example, ask ourselves what options we do have for feeding the world in the years to come at the lowest environmental cost.

Fortunately, it is possible to provide some insights into this question. The study describes different future agricultural production pathways in one of the most important food baskets of the world: Latin America is the region with the greatest agricultural land and water availability per capita in the world. This environmental resource richness has fueled rapid export growth of primary goods.

On the one hand, such exponential growth has fueled agricultural and economic development in the region, and gave Latin America a pivotal role in meeting global food demand.

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On the other hand, food exports have also brought about important adverse environmental impacts. This deforestation might contribute to a gradual drying up of southern Brazil and northern Argentina. If we want to maintain a livable planet for our grandchildren, we cannot continue down this path. Population growth and rising living standards accompanied by dietary shifts throughout the world are increasing the demand for food.

how can we meet the future food needs

The growing desire to consume animal products, but also oils, sugars and vegetables rather than sorghum or millet, for example, is particularly resource-use intensive. It is therefore important that Latin America continues to contribute to feeding the world in the future, but that it does so in a more sustainable way than in the past. The issues are assessed looking at various future agricultural production scenarios for Latin America, including a business-as-usual scenario BAUagricultural intensification, sustainable intensification, agricultural extensification and further, global removal of price and marketing distortions.