The East of England Co-operative Society hosts a lecture by Professor Tim Benton, looking at the growing human population, the rise in the global demand for food and ways that this can be addressed.
Professor Tim Benton said:
"The human population is growing, adding about 35% more mouths to feed by mid-century. At the same time, economic development in emerging economies means that people will become richer and want to eat both more food and more food that is from animals (meat, dairy). Between these factors, global demand for food may rise up to 70% in the next 40 years or so. This presents very large challenges given the impact of climate change and the limited ability for the expansion of agricultural land. In this talk I will outline some of the reasons why demand will increase and ways we can address this demand growth. Above all, however, for agricultural production to continue in the long term, production needs to become more environmentally sustainable and decrease the impact it is having on the environment. This itself is a challenge, as "sustainable agriculture" is not necessarily something that is either simple to define or measure and moves towards sustainability may decrease production (through decreasing yields) and make the challenge worse.
I will address some of the potential solutions towards increasing global production sustainably, and highlight some of the choices that we will need to make about how to do this."