Report Details Future Challenges Meeting Food and Biofuel Needs
In the decades ahead, farmers, ranchers, and foresters around the world will be challenged to produce enough food, feed, fiber, and fuel to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and rising standards of living. That alone is a tall challenge. They will also need to accomplish this in a way that is ecologically sustainable, and they will have to succeed in the face of new diseases and pests, increasing extreme weather variability, and a shrinking global land base due to the changing climate.
On September 23, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released a report entitled “Climate Change and Bioenergy Challenges for Food and Agriculture.” FAO predicts that the world population will increase by 2.3 billion people by the year 2050. Food production will need to increase by 70 percent to meet the needs of this growing population. This will put unprecedented strains on the agricultural sector at a time when many countries are also increasing production of biofuels. The report explores the pros and cons of increased biofuel production and its effects on food security. Acknowledging that biofuels can promote energy security, help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support farmers by increasing the prices of crops, the report also notes that the higher prices will have significant negative effects on food accessibility for consumers.