70% more food needed

Agriculture must become more productive if it is to feed a much larger world population while responding to the daunting environmental challenges ahead, FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf said in his openings address at a 2-day 'High-Level Expert Forum - How to Feed the World in 2050' in Rome.

Diouf told the 300 delegates that over the next 40 years the combined effect of population growth, strong income growth and urbanization is expected to result in almost the doubling of demand for food, feed and fibre.

"Agriculture will have no choice but to be more productive," said Diouf, noting that increases would need to come mostly from yield growth and improved cropping intensity rather than from farming more land, despite the fact that there are still ample land resources with potential for cultivation, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa and Latin America. He also noted that while organic agriculture contributes to hunger and poverty reduction and should be promoted, it cannot by itself feed the rapidly growing population.

World population is projected to rise to 9.1 bln in 2050 from a current 6.7 bln, requiring a 70% increase in farm production.

In addition to a growing scarcity of natural resources such as land, water and biodiversity "global agriculture will have to cope with the effects of climate change, notably higher temperatures, greater rainfall variability and more frequent extreme weather events such as floods and droughts," Diouf warned.

Climate change will reduce water availability and lead to an increase in plant and animal pests and diseases. The combined effects of climate change could reduce potential output by up to 30% in Africa and up to 21% in Asia, the FAO Chief noted.

"The challenge is not only to increase global future production but to increase it where it is mostly needed and by those who need it most," he stressed. "There should be a special focus on smallholder farmers, women and rural households and their access to land, water and high quality seeds... and other modern inputs."

The above text has been taken from the FAO media centre’s press release. The FAO underlines clearly the need for the global farming community to think about what to do.

What answers might the poultry industry have? It cannot sit aside and be proud about what has been established and how well poultry products are received by the consumers.

Can the poultry industry take a lead in paving the road for a sustainable growth in food production without jeopardizing animal welfare and environment issues? Here is a challenge…who takes the first step?


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    Christophe Pelletier

    According to the same FAO, roughly 40% of food is wasted and does not reach the plate. If we produce 100 today, only 60 is eaten. By increasing food production by 70% we get 60 x 1.70 = 102, which is about the same as eliminating all waste. Feeding 9 billion people is already within reach! Where should we start? Reducing waste or intensifying agriculture?
    The same FAO has estimated that if weeds were eliminated (by non herbicide ways mind you), the yield increase worldwide would correspond, expressed in wheat equivalent, to a doubling of the 2009 world wheat production, which could feed about 1 billion people!
    Further, in Western countries, we eat about 100kg of meat per capita per year. Nutritionally speaking, 30kg would cover our needs for protein and other essential amino acids and fatty acids. So, roughly 600 million people saving 70kg each per year is 42,000 milion kg that other people somewhere else could eat at a level of 30 kg per capita, can cover the protein needs of an extra 1.4 billion people (= whole of China, where they already eat some meat). And there is no need to increase meat production for this, just sell into different markets but at possibly different prices.
    Since meat production uses animal feed which contains grains and other vegetal raw materials, the least impact would be caused by the most efficient animal production (FCR)... like chicken and eggs... which by the way are also water efficient, and produce good manure...
    ;) voila!

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    Yes, As a agriculturist, He spoke in a such way to warn leaders, politictian ,NGO,s, and Scientist. Unfortunately, the world moves towards war and by high expenditure to produce latest models of arms and amunitions, do not undrestand by using of arms in different shape will leave lands improductive as man will be same. We should blame modernizations which moves wrong direction. If scientist produces modern tools to produce more, believe me most of them are harmfull to mankind. Because, the number of deaths due to many types of desease, like cancer and so on. Or freenhouses with its polutions. Moreover, wastage of food is high in the modern countries, which will enhance the hunger and mulnutrition in the backward (underdeveloped one) and poverty countries. I propose to Director General of FAO, in one of Important meetings with leader of no use in some countries, to invite leading scientist to give proposals of how to combate this issues, then with the budges of all members to run field projects.
    Best Wishes for Director
    Dr. Mehdizadeh

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