Tech of the future:
Messenger For decades, American agriculture has been a paragon of productivity, churning out record crops at a steady clip. We have exported both our farm products and our way of farming around the world, and global production has risen relentlessly. Yet now there is concern that even this is not enough.
The United Nations projects that the global population will increase from 7.
Food availability is higher in wealthy countries than in developing nations. This claim is often coupled with calls to reduce impacts on the environment even as food production ramps up. But do we really need to double food production?
And what will it take for agriculture to be sustainable? In an analysis published in BioScience, my coauthors and I offer a recalibrated vision of sustainable intensification.
We conclude that food production does not need to double bywhich would require unprecedented growth, but instead needs to continue increasing at roughly historical rates. Lower food production targets Our analysis updates the two most widely cited projections of food demand, one by U.
Both of these studies used a baseline year aroundwhich made sense at the time they were published, but global cereal production jumped 24 percent between and So, we updated the baseline to We also factored in the most recent U.
Based on our projections, the world will need only 25 percent to 70 percent more crop output in than was produced in This includes grain used to feed livestock and, to some extent, grain used for ethanol production.
Strips of corn and soybeans on a northwest Iowa farm. Food production will still need to keep growing to meet our updated goal of a 25 percent to 70 percent increase, but at an annual rate that is closer to the historical average.
Hitting these lower targets will put much less strain on the global agriculture system — and the land, water and air that supports it — than doubling production. To double output, we would have to boost food production more rapidly than ever before, driving increases in soil tillage, fertilizer and pesticide use, and water withdrawals for irrigation.
For instance, worldwide greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are crawling steadily upward. Scientists have called for reducing these emissions by at least 80 percent by to avoid temperature increases greater than 2 degrees Celsius.
Nutrient pollution, mainly from farms, forms a huge dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico every summer. Similarly, nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin creates a massive dead zone every year in the Gulf of Mexico, suffocating aquatic life and impacting commercial and recreational fishing.
Reducing the dead zone will require cutting this pollution — which predominantly comes from agriculture — to about half of its historical baseline. Despite decades of effort by farmers and conservationists, annual nutrient loads remain stubbornly high. The path forward Our revised food production and environmental goals are just the beginning of a new approach to sustainable intensification in agriculture.
More research is needed to refine the projections of food demand in and identify options for flattening the demand curve while enhancing human health. Regional studies are also needed, so that areas poised for rapid population growth can plan for their future food needs. And new research can draw clearer links between environmental impacts and ecosystem outcomes, so that farmers and the public can make informed decisions about the costs and benefits of different ways of farming.
Meeting both production and environmental goals will be a monumental task, especially in the face of new challenges such as water shortagespesticide resistance and the changing climate. However, clear targets may help farmers, researchers and policymakers focus on the right long-term challenges.
Congress has just begun hearings on the farm bill, which will set policy for five years of agricultural production, conservation and research.
Just as important, it can begin transforming farm subsidy, crop insurance and conservation programs to help farmers make changes on the ground. With our lower food demand projections in mind, there is an opportunity to start providing incentives for farming practices that keep soils covered with living plants year-round, store more carbon in the soil and prevent nutrients from entering waterways.
More broadly, these lower targets create space for a new conversation, one focused not on doubling production, but on developing a new food system that keeps people fed while focusing just as much on keeping ecosystems healthy.In demographics, the world population is the total number of humans currently living, and was estimated to have reached billion people as of May It took over , years of human history for the world's population to reach 1 billion; and only years to reach 7 billion..
World population has experienced continuous growth since the end of the Great Famine of –17 and the. A conversation about the airport’s future began towards the end of , with a consultation set against the backdrop of our distinguished past, presenting a window on the busy airport of today, and a glimpse into an exciting future.
2 Executive Summary By the world’s population will reach billion, 34 percent higher than today.
Nearly all of this population increase will occur in developing countries. The World in is a series of Global Summits hosted by Diplomatic Courier, in collaboration with private and public sector partners.
The series was conceived in when the world reached 7 billion people, with the purpose of convening multi-stakeholders . "[The World in ] is a lively and impressive book, among the first in what promises to be an important publishing category, the explication of how the human landscape will .
This paper is a re-make of Chapters 13 of the Interim Report - World Agriculture: towards / (FAO, ). In addition, this new paper includes a Chapter 4 .