Jan. 24, 2013 - Can Global Agriculture Feed 9 Billion People?



The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization projects that 40 years from now 3 billion new people will inhabit the world. Most will live in metropolitan areas and not have the resources for food self-sufficiency. They will require an additional 1 billion tons of cereals and 200 million tons of meat which will require a 70% increase in food production. Whether these projections will hold up over the years is a moot question.

Aiden Connolly and Kate Phillips-Connolly, Irish economists with the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, have surveyed producers, agribusiness firms, policy makers, consultants, researchers, and academics and posed the question,
"What are the biggest barriers facing agribusinesses ability to feeding three billion more people?"

Most of those queried agreed that the private sector will be a critical part of finding ways to get more food to more people more sustainably. The most commonly listed barriers are listed below.

• Government bureaucracy, policies, and regulations that act as barriers to growth contribute substantially to the challenge of feeding the 9 billion. Some government policies support the waste of resources and destroy the environment. Another part of the problem with government is corruption and the requisite bribes to engage in business.

• Loss and waste of food occur up and down the line from production to consumption. The UN’s FAO estimates one-third of food produced in the world is lost or wasted and tis loss is higher in developed societies. Here in the U.S. we waste almost half of our food. (Dana Gunders - visit site listed below)

• Science and innovation may help create higher yields and more food, but it runs headlong into societal concerns, such as the backlash to genetically modified organisms.

• Environmental resources, such as land and water are in short supply, and more is needed to produce a unit of food, or so it seems.

Read more Here and Here

ABC Comments:

I would like to draw your attention to the last sentence which states that it seems that more land and water is needed to produce a unit of food. It seems to me that this is a tacit admission that the highly touted GMO based Green Revolution has failed. Not only does it not help feed the world but it has resulted in environmental degradation that has actually resulted in a net loss of the production of real food!