2701 Global Food Security to 2050: Trade-Offs and A Food Production Road Map

Friday, February 18, 2011: 3:00 PM
140A (Washington Convention Center )
Mark W. Rosegrant , International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, DC
Future agricultural growth and food security will be driven by both demand and supply factors. On the demand side, demand for and prices of food, feed, fertilizer, energy, land, and water; emissions mitigation and carbon sequestration; population and income growth; urbanization; and non-market ecosystem services (biodiversity) will influence agricultural markets and food security. From the supply side, climate change; water and land scarcity; science and technology policy; investment in agricultural research; and management and governance reform that affect agricultural outputs will be critical factors.

This presentation examines the new realities of the global food system through scenarios of alternative futures for agricultural supply and demand and food. The assessment indicates that real world prices of most cereals and meats are projected to increase in the coming decades, reversing trends from the past several decades. Price increases are driven by the following demand and supply factors. Rapid growth in meat and milk demand is projected to put pressure on prices for maize and other coarse grains and meals. Bioenergy demand is projected to compete for land and water resources. Growing water and land scarcity are projected to increasingly constrain food production growth, adversely impacting food security and human wellbeing goals. The scenario analysis shows that climate change is projected to significantly contribute to higher prices and slow improvement to food security.  Climate change is projected to most adversely impact developing countries, particularly South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Tightening food markets indicate that a business-as-usual approach to financing and implementing agricultural growth cannot meet the development and sustainability goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving rural livelihoods and human health, and ensuring equitable and environmentally-sustainable development. Increased investments and innovative policies are essential to building natural, human, and physical capital for social and environmental sustainability, which will require more investment in agricultural research, science and technology

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