Increasing competition for natural resource and emerging resource bottlenecks mean that global agriculture can no longer operate using a ‘business as usual’ approach – the input-intensive agricultural development model used for the past 40 years is no longer sustainable, and a paradigm shift in food production is needed.
This was the key message delivered by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture taking place this week in Berlin as part of Green Week observances.
“Business as usual would mean a huge and simultaneous increase in the need for food, energy and water in the next decades: 60 percent more food, 50 percent more energy and 40 percent more water by 2050," Graziano da Silva said during his remarks.
FAO estimates point to the need to increase food production by 60 percent by 2050 to feed a population that will top the 9 billion mark.
To address the challenge of feeding more people while using less land, water and energy, concerted efforts and investments are needed to support a widespread, globe-spanning transition to sustainable farming systems and land management practices, the Director-General further says.