Sustainability and the Needs of 2050 AgricultureFebruary 16th 2018Danna RazalAuthor NoteTerry Stone is currently a Vice PResident at Agrinos. He has over 30 years of experience in plant biotechnology, and he currently directs all regulatory affairs initiatives for Agrinos.
Reading #13Sustainability and the Needs of 2050 AgricultureTerry StoneNotes●Food security is not only a matter of supply. Even where there is an adequate food supply, there is not always adequate food access because of income limitations.●In developed countries, half of those over age 75 and in hospitals are thought to be nutrient deficient, as are, ironically, many obese people.●Demand increase is coming not just from population growth, but from a growing global middle class that is moving up the food chain, consuming more grain-intensive products such as meat, milk and eggs.●The coalition notes that one in ten Minnesotans run out of resources before the end of every month, missing an average of ten meals every 30 days.●Despite steady improvements in agricultural productivity, enabling food security on a global basis will be more challenging in the next 40 years.●By 2050, there will be an estimated 2 billion more people to feed as the global population grows from the 7 billion it is expected to reach this October to more than 9 billion.●To ensure food security for the global population at mid-century will require producing twice as much food as we do today. ●As often-cited World Wildlife Fund research points out, continuing with business-as-usual in food production will require the resources of three planet Earths to support human activities.●Agriculture already uses an estimated 40% of the globe’s arable land, with some 3.75 billion acres in production. ●In May, 2011, in a letter to the House and Senate agriculture committees, groups representing grain and feed traders, livestock producers, fertilizer manufacturers, meatpackers and others urged Congress to put back into production millions of acres of farmland that are now enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.●It is expected that any effort to put these acres back into production will face ferocious opposition from environmental and wildlife advocacygroups.●Of the freshwater utilized by man, which is a fraction of what is available on earth, 70% is used by agriculture.●In India and China, groundwater withdrawals are increasing at an unsustainable pace.●It is incorrect, though, to juxtapose intensive farming against organic, small scale or locally grown options in ways that suggest intensive operations are not also sustainable.
●That means thinking about sustainability in the context of growing more from less through the smart use of proven practices and a suite of agricultural technologies.