argylesock says… Here’s good thinking.
Global food production must increase if we are to meet the rising demand for food, feed and fuel brought about by growing populations, incomes and western diets. It must increase in the face of severe natural resource constraints. Current production growth, however, will not meet the world’s food needs, as a recent article by Ray et al, entitled Yield Trends Are Insufficient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050, attests.
To achieve food security we need to increase food production between 50 and 100% by 2050. Ray et al, however find that for four key global crops, maize, rice, wheat, and soybean, which currently produce nearly two-thirds of global agricultural calories, yield increases between 1961 and 2008 were only 1.6%, 1.0%, 0.9%, and 1.3% per year. To put this in perspective, a 2.4% per year rate of yield gains is needed to double crop production by 2050.
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