70% more food needed to feed the world by 2050*
from upi: Land degradation and shortages of farmland and water resources means feeding the global population by 2050 is daunting, a U.N. report concludes.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, in a new report, said agricultural production since the 1960s increased 150 percent while cropland grew 12 percent. That, the FAO said, means there are significant trends in land degradation and water system depletion.
Farming systems, the report adds, "face the risk of progressive breakdown of their productive capacity under a combination of excessive demographic pressure and unsustainable agriculture use and practices."
Meanwhile, it's expected there will be more competition between urban and industrial land users as this breakdown continues, the FAO said.
Only 10 percent of the world's land mass was characterized by the FAO as improving while roughly 25 percent was listed as highly degraded.
FAO Director General Jacques Diouf said in a statement that a subsequent loss in soil quality will translate to biodiversity and water resource losses.
"These systems at risk may simply not be able to contribute as expected in meeting human demands by 2050," he said. "The consequences in terms of hunger and poverty are unacceptable."