Have you heard, by 2050 the world’s population in estimated to reach over 9 Billion people! That is a 34 percent increase! Places most affected will be urban areas in developing countries. To feed this ever growing population food production will have to increase by 70 percent. Cereal production will need to increase to 3 billion tons vs the 2.1 billon tons today and meat production will need to increase by over 200 million tons.
With so many people struggling with food insecurity today (1 billion people), how will it be possible to feed a growing world?
To put it simply the world needs: To increase food production and have policies in place to enhance access to healthy foods and support farmers to increase their agricultural investments.
Population growth, increase in urbanization and rising incomes all contribute to an increase in food demand. By 2050 more than 70 percent of the world’s population is expected to be urban. The increase in urbanization will change people’s lifestyles, consumption patterns, income and diversification. At the same time, staple grain crops will decrease while production of fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy and fish will increase. This means it is possible to meet the future food and demands but what that looks like will change. To meet such needs, countries need to either increase imports, increase production, or a combination of both.
To have 9 billion people food secure strong economic growth, global expansion of food supplies by ~70 percent, higher production grow through growing capital stock and greater global trade along with affordable food prices are required. However, under certain conditions including high oil prices, production of biofuels, and government support will all impact prices changes in the food and feed markets. To help counter this, countries need to have political stability, good governance, strong economic growth and growth in agriculture. In developing countries, agriculture needs to increase by at least 60 percent. In addition, more research and development needs to be spent on agriculture research in order to achieve greater yield.
With so much change needed to prepare for 9 billion people, understanding where your food comes from, sustainability practices as well as the research and development side of food production are all important. These questions will all be addressed in the next blog. Until then, I encourage you to do a little research of your own through the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)