On-line article from ‘Farmers Weekly Interactive’, UK

OFC 2010: Business as usual will not feed the world

A “business as usual” approach to increasing food production would be useless against the challenge of feeding a growing world population, the conference heard.

John Parker, globalisation correspondent for The Economist, told delegates that agriculture needed to achieve the kind of technological breakthroughs in plant breeding and livestock development last seen in the 1960s and 70s.

“The UN predicts a world population of around 9bn by 2050 – that’s about 30% more people to feed. And for a 30% population increase, world wheat yields will need to increase by the same amount over the next 20 years.”

That was without accounting for the 1bn-odd undernourished people in the world today, he added. “So therefore we need about 40% more cereals by 2050.”

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