Connor, D.J. and Minguez Tudela, Maria Ines
Evolution not revolution of farming systemswill best feed and green the world.
"Global Food Security", v. 1
The challenge to properly feed a world population of 9.2 billion by 2050, that must be achieved on essentially currently cropped area, requires that food production be increased by 70%. This large increase can only be achieved by combinations of greater crop yields and more intensive cropping adapted to local conditions and availability of inputs. Farming systems are dynamic and continuously adapt to changing ecological, environmental and social conditions, while achieving greater production and resource-use efficiency by application of science and technology. This article argues that the solution to feed and green the world in 2050 is to support this evolution more strongly by providing farmers with necessary information, inputs, and recognition. There is no revolutionary alternative. Proposals to transform agriculture to low-input and organic systems would, because of low productiv- ity, exacerbate the challenge if applied in small part, and ensure failure if applied more widely. The challenge is, however, great. Irrigation, necessary to increase cropping intensity in many areas cannot be extended much more widely than at present, and it is uncertain if the current rate of crop yield increase can be maintained. Society needs greater recognition of the food-supply problem and must increase funding and support for agricultural research while it attends to issues of food waste and over consumption that can make valuable reductions to food demand from agriculture