Six Pieces of the Innovation Puzzle: Part 1 – Population Growth

ag_one There will be 9.6 billion of us by 2050. While farmers are growing 17 percent more food per person than 30 years ago, farmland is decreasing. Within the next 30 years, farmers will need to grow 60 percent more food because of our growing population. The bottom line is that more people means more food. Agricultural innovation can help in at least two ways. First, agricultural innovations can help farmers grow more food. Currently, production levels struggle to keep pace with growing populations. New fertilizers and other technologies will increase crop growth. Dr. Norman Borlaug introduced better seeds and practices to farmers in Latin America and South Asia. His innovative work sparked the Green Revolution. If population estimates are correct, the world will need another one by 2050. Bringing innovations to farmers can make that happen. Second, agricultural innovations can get more food to market. Growing more food does no good if we lose one-third before it reaches peoples’ plates. Insufficient storage and transportation systems cause massive food losses. Innovations such as the inventory credit system reduce losses, feeding more people and increasing farmers’ incomes. If we are to feed this growing population, innovation must continue. Nearly one million people still experience chronic hunger. Agricultural innovation brings hope to these people and to future generations. We can have a world with Zero Hunger. Continue to follow IFDC Perspectives as we piece together the remaining pieces of the innovation puzzle. Up next week: Climate change threatens farming as we know it. How can innovation change that? Join the discussion on Twitter with @IFDCNews.

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