A new research finds that the world will need 70% more food, as measured by calories, in order to feed a global population of 9.6bn in 2050. It is possible to close the food gap through improvements in food production and consumption.
The findings were unveiled in the new interim report of the “World Resources Report: Creating a Sustainable Food Future,” produced by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank.
The report was released at the Third Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change being held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
It finds that boosting crop and livestock productivity on existing agricultural land is critical to saving forests and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but that the world is unlikely to close the food gap through yield increases alone.
It says crop yields would need to increase by 32% more over the next four decades than they did in the previous four to avoid more land clearing.
The report recommends to close the food gap by reducing excessive consumption, such as reducing food loss and waste, shifting diets and achieving replacement level fertility.
To improve food production, the researchers suggest that soil and water management system needs to be
developed, pasture and grazing land utilised, use of degraded lands increased, shifting of agricultural land from one place to another stopped and leaving no farmer behind the efficiency level. The final version of the report will be released in mid-2014.