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Population Growth and Food Challenges

Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-

With such buzzwords floating around like sustainability, sustainable agriculture, food supply, and food demand, many get lost in the words and forget how they relate to agriculture, the world as a whole and the challenges of feeding the growing population.

As projected by a report released by the United Nations, the world’s population will reach nearly 9 billion by 2050. Now, time for the buzzwords…Just think, that means sustainable agriculture is a must in order to increase and sustain the food supply to meet the food demands of 9 billion people. In other words, the demand for food will be off the Richter scale and an enormous challenge for farmers. For instance, currently there are one billion farmers (mostly rural) worldwide and half of them cannot feed themselves. The other half of farmers are responsible for feeding 10 people each, according to Dr. Marty Strauss, Principal Consultant, Kahn, Strauss & Associates. It gets no better by 2050; three-quarters of farmers will not be able to feed themselves, while the remaining farmers will be responsible feeding 20 people each.

Another impediment farmers are facing, as well as our food supply is the decrease in available agricultural land per person globally. This coincides with predicted increase in incomes, in addition to population growth. By 2050, the world’s per capita income will raise 2.9%, which is forecasted by the World Bank. More money to spend equals a stronger demand for food, particularly meats. Animal agriculture requires more land than growing crops, due to the need of animal grazing.

A third threat to sustainable agriculture and our food supply are cost and regulations.  Progress is being made every day to develop new agricultural products and services, but as explained by Julia Wheeler, director of research and development for DuPont Crop Protection, “The challenge is the cost required to successfully develop the product and the resources required to bring it to market.” Wheeler goes on to stress the need for collaboration from all stakeholders in order to combat the issues facing agricultural advancements.

I too, think collaboration, communication, and sharing information and resources will be important in affording new opportunities and innovation in food sustainability.

What are your thoughts? Share them with us below in the comments area.

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