Food Demand is Rising Faster than the World’s Population
The global population is surging. There are currently 7.3 billion people and this number is expected to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050. All over the world, people are living longer lives. In the coming decades, we will need more food to nourish both today and tomorrow’s families.
The challenge is that the projected food demand does not match the increase in population. There are positive trends that are expected to continue. For example, incomes are rising and there are fewer people living in poverty now. We have made significant progress in reducing hunger and raising the amount of calories that the average person consumes. However, these trends also result in shifting diets and added pressure on the food demand.
These charts would not be so alarming if food production hadn’t slowed down. As we reported earlier, the latest USDA census shows that agricultural production hasn’t grown in the past decade. To get production improving again, we need more agricultural research funded by the US government, previously the largest provider of grants around the world. Today, China funds more agricultural research than the US.
By reinvigorating US federal investments in cutting-edge agricultural research and inspiring our scientists to focus on these challenges, we have the opportunity to create vital scientific advances and solutions so that food production keeps pace with demand.