An increasing world population coupled with increasing incomes will pose agriculture with some major challenges over the next three decades, as the world puts greater and greater demands on farmers to meet the world’s food and energy needs.
Farm Foundation has released a new report this morning at The Food and Agriculture Policy Summit the group is hosting in Washington, D.C. that outlines those challenges that agriculture will face over the next 30 years. Entitled “The 30-Year Challenge: Agriculture’s Strategic Role in Feeding and Fueling a Growing World,” the report was put together with input from a diverse set of agriculture and agribusiness leaders, government agency representatives and academics:
“Global population is expected to increase by one-third by 2040. Increasing incomes, particularly in developing countries, may bring changes in dietary preferences and greater demand for agriculture to provide food and energy,” says Farm Foundation President Neilson Conklin. All this will increase pressure on and competition for natural resources at a time when the impacts of climate change on production systems are not yet fully understood, he adds.
The report breaks down the challenges into six major categories: 1. Global financial markets and recession; 2. Global food security; 3. Global energy security; 4. Climate change; 5. Competition for natural resources; and 6. Global economic development.
Conklin points out that American farmers alone cannot feed the growing world, but they can play a key leadership role in helping meet these daunting challenges. And he adds that Farm Foundation is not intending this report as his group’s solution to what agriculture is facing but rather as a catalyst to start debate as to how best to meet these challenges.
You can hear my conversation with Neil by clicking here: Conklin1.mp3
Download the audio here. (mp3)
You can read the entire report by going to Farm Foundation’s web site: www.FarmFoundation.org.