Increased productivity and a more sustainable food system will improve global food security
The importance of agricultural science and technology in meeting the world’s burgeoning demands on food, feed and fuel have been highlighted in a major international report.
The latest OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook report, released earlier this week, concludes that agricultural production must increase by 60% over the next 40 years to meet the rising global demand for food. This equates to an extra 1 billion tonnes of cereals and 200 million tonnes of meat per year by 2050 compared with 2005/07 levels.
Additional production will also be required to provide feedstock for an expanding biofuel market set to consume an estimated 16% of oilseed output, 14% of cereals and 34% of sugar cane by 2021. But with less than 5% more arable land available to bring into production, and 25% of existing farmland already degraded, the OECD-FAO report concludes that increasing crop productivity on existing farmland will be essential to contain food price rises and reduce food insecurity.