From ‘Global agriculture towards 2050;’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations

 

Key quotes:

 

“World population is expected to grow by over a third, or 2.3 billion people, between 2009 and 2050.”

 

“The projections show that feeding a world population of 9.1 billion people in 2050 would require raising overall food production by some 70 percent between 2005/07 and 2050. Production in the developing countries would need to almost double.”

“Feeding the world population adequately would also mean producing the kinds of foods that are lacking to ensure nutrition security.”

 

“Ninety percent of the growth in crop production globally (80 percent in developing countries) is expected to come from higher
yields and increased cropping intensity, with the remainder coming from land expansion. Arable land would expand by some 70 million ha (or less then 5 percent)…”

 

Note that this indicates the state of land scarcity. All this is assuming the land currently under cultivation is sustainable. This is a questionable assumption, to say the least.

 

In addition to this “…much of the land not yet in use suffers from constraints (chemical, physical, endemic diseases, lack of infrastructure, etc.) that cannot easily be overcome or that it is not economically viable to do so.”

It is important that humanity avoids any further net deforestation.

 

“The pressure on renewable water resources from irrigation would remain severe and could even increase slightly in several countries in the Near East/North Africa and South Asia.”

 

Note that even basic hydroponic growing techniques are able to reduce water usage by at least 70%.

 

“…with an increasing number of countries or regions within countries reaching alarming levels of water scarcity. This is often the case in the same countries in the Near East/North Africa and South Asia that have no land resources left. A mitigating factor could be the fact that there are still ample opportunities to increase water use efficiency…”

 

Increasing water use efficiency through the use of highly targeted technology is imperative.

 

 

 

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http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/wsfs/docs/Issues_papers/HLEF2050_Global_Agriculture.pdf