This article is the first in a new blog series in which we will address a different news topic each month. Today, to coincide with World Food Day, we're dedicating our first blog to talking about how efficiency in agricultural and livestock farming has improved in recent years.
In 2011, the world's population exceeded 7,000 million, thus exacerbating one of the most serious problems of our times: food security. Experts predict this figure to rise to 9,000 million by 2050. According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, the middle class is set to grow by 3,000 million more people than the current figure of 1,800 million. This will mean an increase of up to 60% in the demand for meat, milk and eggs compared to today. Therefore, more products of animal origin will be needed. In short, there will be more people to feed with less resources, due to over-exploitation of the Earths resources, which take 1.5 years to regenerate sufficiently to meet annual consumption.
Despite this, experts are optimistic and believe there will be sufficient food for everyone. They are convinced that food security has a solution if immediate measures are taken in the areas of innovation and trade. In terms of innovation, scientific researchers and analysts consider this to be a major part of the solution. According to data obtained from studies conducted in the United States, it is thanks to innovation that today seven cows produce the same amount of meat as 10 cows did in 1977; that cows produce four times as many litres of milk as in the mid-1940s and that farmers today produce the same quantity of pork as farmers in 1959, despite a 38% reduction in the number of pigs.
As regards trade, removing the obstacles to international food mobility is another important measure for eradicating hunger and improving the lives of millions of people.
Although we live in an increasingly globalised world, we too can contribute our grain of sand to improve efficiency in agriculture and livestock farming by thinking globally and acting locally.