Future of food – Feeding billions by 2050

April 5, 2017

Increasing agricultural productivity will help address the food security challenge for Asia.

A Murdoch University researcher has responded to a sobering report warning of drastically rising global food demand.

Associate Professor Christopher Vas, co-authored articles about the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) most recent report, which warned of the need too significantly increase investments in agriculture to meet the anticipated 50 per cent increase in food demand by 2050.

Issued in February, the FAO report titled The Future of Food and Agriculture – Trends and Challenges, said rising food demand would be driven by population increases and rising incomes, fostering diet changes towards higher consumption of protein and processed food.

Professor Vas, along with co-author Professor Paul Teng, Senior Fellow (Food Security), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), commented on the actions areas essential to sustain current food availability, which importantly may also add new supply sources. Their articles appear on the RSIS website.

“The challenge of having to increase food production by an estimated 50 per cent by the year 2050 is becoming real. Government policies need to be recalibrated if this challenge of feeding many billions of mouths and addressing nutritional challenges are to be realised,” the authors said.

“For Asia’s leaders, the latest FAO report reinforces the importance of longer term planning and implementation, far beyond the terms of most political leaders. Most politicians desire short-term visible improvements that they can be associated with.

“The reality, however, is that increasing agricultural productivity and food production require long-term commitments and stable policies. But there are avenues where action can be taken.

“Pursuing these avenues is in no way a comprehensive approach that will address the food security challenge for Asia. It only forms one part of the solution as a necessary but not sufficient condition.  In any case, the time for action is now if positive outcomes are desired by 2050 to help Asia avert the food crises of the 1960s.”

To read the full articles click the links below:

Future of Food – Securing the Feeding of Asia: Policy Recalibration Needed

Future of Food – Feeding Asia: How should the region respond to production challenges?

Professor Vas is Director of Murdoch University’s first offshore Research and Development Centre, the Singapore Centre for Research in Innovation, Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT).

He recently attended the Peel Development Commission’s Transform Peel initiative and its innovative Peel Food Zone.

Print This Post Print This Post

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published.

Thanks for commenting!