Monday, November 28, 2011

The World's Land and Water Resources, Food.

New ways needed to grow food
DURBAN, 28 November 2011 (IRIN) - In another 40 years, many parts of the world will have run out of water for farming and people will probably need to have enough money to buy food, says the first-ever authoritative analysis of the state of the world's land and water resources.

"It is now estimated that more than 40 percent of the world's rural population lives in river basins that are physically water scarce," said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, which looked at land and water from a food security perspective. That is a lot, considering 75 percent of the population in developing countries is poor, lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture for income and food.

The report, the most comprehensive take on the health of the planet's land and water resources, contains plenty of bad news.

To feed a burgeoning global population, estimated to hit nine billion by 2050, we will have to produce another one billion tonnes of cereals and 200 million extra tonnes of livestock products every year. "The imperative for such agricultural growth is strongest in developing countries, where the challenge is not just to produce food but to ensure that families have access that will bring them food security," the report noted.

To do that we will need to increase agricultural water consumption by 10 percent until 2050. This might not sound like much, but it is "incredibly difficult" for water-stressed countries like South Africa, which can only dream of another one percent increase in the water channelled to agriculture, said Jean-Marc Faures, a water specialist with FAO. read more>>>

Agricultural Outlook 2010-2019 - OECD-FAO - PDF

This is an earlier summary of another report, not finalized till later in the year, then the one just above.
Summary: Managing the Risks of Climate Change

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