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Food and Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability

Food and Agriculture: The Future of Sustainability
For the first time at a global level, food production faces multiple limiting factors for key resources such as land, water, energy and inputs. We must use this challenge to stimulate creative innovation Our population trajectory means that from now to 2030, the world will need to build the equivalent of a city of one million people in developing countries, every five days! There is widespread consensus that, going forward, farmers must produce more food per unit of land, water, and agrochemicals. To do so, however, they simply cannot continue producing in the same way. They will have to do this while facing climate change, volatility, shifting nutrition needs, and the increasing scarcity of most of the physical factors of production. Agriculture is at the threshold of a necessary paradigm shift. This paper illustrates how leading thinkers imagine our future food and agriculture world. It eschews positions and instead invites reasoned discussion. It cuts across the thought silos intrinsic to different world views and partisan values to identify consensus and also disagreement. We solicited input from leading experts in different dimensions of agriculture, representing the perspectives of the natural and social sciences, developing and developed countries, policy and academia, public and private. Respondents were asked about most significant trends and the most important priorities in the next 20 years to ensure sustainable food and agriculture systems. There are many who advocate a profound re-thinking of our current models and, to better serve our coming needs, would re-imagine and transform the world’s major agriculture and food systems, not just tinker at the margins or modify them incrementally. Recent decades have seen such re-imagining result in radical and world-changing innovations in every field from politics (social network media) to healthcare (nanotech-based diagnostics and drugs) and communication (mobile telephony).
Publié en
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
21/01/15 - Introduit par: Daniele Giovannucci