The United Nations is calling for a new global “green agricultural revolution.” In the latest World Economic and Social Survey, it says the world must incorporate new sustainable agricultural practices to increase food production.
If the global agricultural sector is to increase production by 70% – 100% by 2050 – which is necessary to meet the nutrition demands of a predicted global population of 9 billion – energy, water and natural resources must be utilized more efficiently.
The survey focused on short and medium term solutions to global hunger and recommended significant innovation and investment in small scale farming. “Large-scale agriculture is the way ahead,” remarked Sha Zukang, U.N. Under-Secretary General. “But to get started on the way to sustainability you have to invest in small-scale farming.”
Such investments would help solve the staggering food scarcity problems in much of the developing world. It is estimated that close to one-seventh of the world’s population, or 925 million people, are undernourished. Of this group, 98% lives in developing nations, with 578 million in Asia and 239 million in sub-Saharan Africa, two of the fastest growing regions in the world population-wise. Demand for food is only going to increase.
Immediate action is necessary to avoid the future food crisis situations witnessed in 2007-2008 and earlier this year prior to the Arab revolutions. These events, the authors state, “have revealed deep structural problems in the global food system and the need to increase resources and innovation in agriculture so as to accelerate food production.”