With technology we will manage
One cannot attend a conference in the food or feed producing arena without hearing the pressing need to produce more in order to cater to the demand of the ever growing world population and the per capita increasing consumption as well.
More than 9 billion people by 2050 would need, in some estimates another planet earth to be fed. That sounds alarming, or at least as a challenge, or chance for that matter. Some doomsday thinkers would say, if we are not able to supply enough food, there won’t be 9 billion people by 2050, because many will die from starvation. However, that is not an acceptable outcome. The goal is to grow food production, limit hunger in the world, all without exhausting the planet’s resources.
One thing that is clear is that if we calculate with the parameters of today’s world food producing abilities, we will not cope with the extra demand. That said, currently the world produces more than the demand. The stocks of grains, corn and soy are larger now, than in the past decade or so. Good harvests, less usage of raw materials for biofuels due to low crude oil prices and more land for production, brought us to this situation. It will not be enough for the distant future, but for now there is enough. Local or regional shortages are a question of shortcomings in distribution and/or food wastage.
To meet long term demand, technology will get us there, this was the message from industry experts during the recently held Global Forum of Innovation in Agriculture. Technology, ranging from tools for improvements in breeding, production, (feed-) efficiency, storage and distribution will supply us with the food we need. Or as one expert stated at the GFIA: “We don’t have to go to Mars, why not start doing it efficiently on Earth.” There is a world to win with precision (livestock) farming. The real innovators can achieve up to 20 times more production than those at the lower end of the spectrum. Sharing information, making data driven decisions, made possible by technology, will make a world of difference.
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