How Will the World Feed Itself in 2050?

In 2050 I’ll be dead, but that doesn’t mean feeding the world’s population isn’t my concern today. The United Nations predicts 9.7 billion people will be housed on planet earth by 2050. That’s 2 billion more than today. And we can’t feed the people on earth right now. At any given day, there are food wars occurring. Food is a basic life need, and there is a shortage now.

Agricultural production has increased and become remarkably efficient in the past 50 to 100 years. The green revolution helped India doubled its wheat harvest between 1965 and 1972. In the last 40 years of last century, the world doubled its food production. But even with that, how will all the people be fed? Current estimates are that world farms will have to produce more food in the next 50 years that has been produced in total. Ever. Tall order.

So how are twenty percent more people going to be fed? Well, simply, more food. As well as a shortage of food, there is a shortage of agricultural scientists skilled in improvement in crop production. Agricultural scientists involved in making farming more efficient includes preventing plant diseases, optimizing inputs, and breeding more efficient and productive crops. More agricultural scientists are part of the solution needed to help feed the world.

Some want to step back in time and produce food “organically” (there is no organic food, but food produced under organic standards — the production, not the food, is certified). This is not resource efficient production. Some say we have a population crisis and cast blame on productive agriculture. Easy to say when one is comfortable and well fed. But not everyone is.