The latest FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) report, published on September 23, estimates that world agricultural production will have to increase by 70% between now and 2050 to feed the world’s population. According to UN estimations, the population is expected to increase from 6.8 billion to 9.1 billion in 2050 – a third more mouths to feed than there are at present. To face this exponential demographic growth, around a billion extra tons of cereal will be needed, as well as 200 more tons of meat. The FAO considers this increase in world agricultural production as feasible thanks to major investments, particularly in developing countries, where most of the demographic growth will occur.
In commenting on the report, if the FAO is displaying what its Assistant Director-General Hafez Ghanem, calls “prudent optimism”, it must be highlighted that a simple increase in production will be necessary, but not sufficient. The current situation, where over a billion people are suffering from hunger even though the world produces sufficient food resources, bears witness to this.
In addition to the necessary investments aimed at increasing production, a market regulation framework needs to be implemented to ensure the distribution of foodstuffs to the world population at a relatively stable price. Let’s hope that the upcoming High-Level Expert Forum which will be organized by the FAO on October 12 and 13, and to which momagri has been invited to participate, will advance the debate on the issue, and that it will result in the implementation of concrete solutions.