Food crisis looms, warn scientists
By Stuart Gary for ABC Science Online
Feb 12, 2010
A new report by Australian researchers claims far more needs to be done if we are to feed the estimated 9 billion people who will be living on the planet by 2050.
The report, by Professor Mark Tester and Professor Peter Langridge of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Adelaide, appears today in the journal Science.
"The simple fact is while food production has increased by 32 million tonnes a year, an annual increase of 44 million tonnes a year is what's actually needed to meet the food targets for 2050 set down by the World Summit on Food security," Professor Tester said.
"But this represents a 38 per cent increase over historical improvements in food production and it needs to be sustained for the next 40 years.
"This scale of increase is unprecedented and will require huge changes to current food production methods."
"India, which has more undernourished people than Africa, is a real challenge," he said.
"Especially with their government's hard stand on genetically modified foods."
Professor Tester believes new breeding technologies are needed to increase crop yields by quickly identifying the best genes for any given conditions.
"This is the way forward if we are to feed the world in the future." Read More
We continue to hear food production experts stress the importance of using technology to meet demand. Just like Norman Borlaug used all the resources and technology at his disposal to stave off world wide famine, we will need to do the same. It would be unethical at this point in time to do anything less. We can’t turn our back on the ability to produce more food when we have hungry people in this world. We can’t let the Michael Pollan’s of the world decide who will eat and who won’t.