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Site by Dr Jodie Richardson

Why Is It Critical to Invest in Agriculture Now?

We have an increasing population and by 2050 the world population is likely to rise by approximately 2 billion.

(Created from data collected by the United Nations Population Division)

We have an increasing population and by 2050 the world population is likely to rise by approximately 2 billion.  This will mean we will have a higher global food requirement. The CGIAR estimates based on current trends that 60% more food will be needed by 2050.

(CGIAR Annual Report 2013)

We have an increasing population and by 2050 the world population is likely to rise by approximately 2 billion.  This will mean we will have a higher global food requirement. The CGIAR estimates based on current trends that 60% more food will be needed by 2050.

(CGIAR Annual Report 2013)

Ray et al (2013) project that the current rate of yield increase for the major global crops maize (~1.6% per year), rice (~1.0% per year), wheat (~0.9% per year) and soybean (1.3%) will be insufficient.  The article estimates that globally we will require a minimum of 2.4% per year increase from the major cereal crops (75% of human calorie intake) to double food production by 2050.

Increased urbanisation and climate change will also impact the quantity and quality of agricultural land.  The increased food requirements and urbanisation will mean that we will need to grow more food on less land.  Increasing productivity may also require greater external inputs and therefore cost thereby impacting sustainability.  The CNA Military Advisory Board developed a visual representation outlining how factors like water, energy and food are inextricably linked.

(CNA Military Advisory Board)

The increased urbanisation may shift agriculture to less desirable locations.  This can mean dealing with poor soil nutrition, soil structure and composition and negative qualities like increased salinity and water-logging.

We will likely to be also struggling with environmental impacts like high heat, drought, low temperatures and high rainfall.

(CGIAR Annual Report 2013)

Maintaining legume productivity against the challenges of climate change and the need for increased food production is important to the future of Australian agriculture.

CGIAR is a useful source of information about agriculture now and in the future:

Climate Change, Food and Farming: 2010s

The Future of Food and Farming: 2030s

The Future of Food and Farming: 2050s

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Why research should be focussed on legumes?