Nelson Chikowa, Malawi potato and groundnut farmer (photo credit: ILRI/Stevie Mann).
‘. . . The United Nations projects that the global population will increase from 7.3 billion in 2015 to 9.7 billion in 2050. This growth will be concentrated in the world’s poorest countries, where standards of living are set to rise rapidly, increasing demand for resource-intensive meat and dairy products. Together, these trends are heightening fears that the world’s cupboards may run bare in the coming decades.
‘This scenario leads to the nearly ubiquitous assertion that we must double world food production by 2050, which is widely repeated by agribusinesses and scholars alike. This claim is often coupled with calls to reduce impacts on the environment even as food production ramps up. The common prescription is for a ‘sustainable intensification’ of agriculture that both increases yields and reduces the harmful side effects of tilling and fertilizing billions of acres of land.
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