How can we reliably feed a growing and increasingly urbanized global population to 2050 and beyond?
Just to put this challenge in perspective, it requires a doubling of current food production on less land under a changing climate, ideally without further compromising the environment.
Put this way, it sounds like a ‘man on the moon’ sort of challenge that has inspired many a seemingly impossible human achievement. And given human ingenuity, tenacity and eye for opportunity, there is no doubt that global food security is possible.
Here are 10 big things that we must have to make it happen.
We will need…
- Stable, shorter, food supply chains that resist environmental and economic shocks.
- Phasing out of some agricultural production methods for more resilient and diversified systems closer to the innate capacity of soils and available water.
- Science that informs the market about what can be grown, where, when, how, and how often, so as to bound production risk, even as the climate changes, market volatility increases and the cost of inputs change.
- Big data converted to evidence to prospect opportunities, monitor efficiency, and provide reassurance for production and environmental values.
- Investment capital in finance vehicles that align with current and future risk appetite of producers as well as investors.
- New economic thinking to diversify and shorten supply chains whilst at the same time encouraging trade and viable agricultural commodity markets.
- Testable, reliable, and marketable agricultural innovations that are readily deployed at scale.
- Producers knowing about new innovations and how they can be financed together with help to overcome their uptake inertia.
- Better understanding of the social barriers and opportunities of changing food production systems and supply chains.
- Everyone knowing more about the food they eat, from provenance to price.
At afterbefore we think that all 10 big things are achievable with current skills, technology and market systems.
And they can even be done without breaking the laws of nature.
Leave comments. Let us know if you agree or not, maybe add to the list, or tell us about a much better one.