Food Security

Food Security


Seven billion is a lot of people to feed, but it is also the reality of our world population right now. And with high birth rates continuing in many developing nations, we’ll need to feed more than 9 billion people by 20501.  While food security becomes an increasing challenge, farmers have a shrinking amount of land on which they can plant and harvest crops.

The good news is that there are new technologies to help farmers grow more food on their existing land and increase food security. For example, production of major crops has more than tripled since 1960. The yields for rice, a staple that feeds almost half of humanity2, have more than doubled, and yields for wheat have increased nearly 160 percent3.  It’s through innovations in plant science that farmers are able to realise this improved yield to help feed a hungry, growing world.

Crop protection and plant biotechnology helps farmers grow more food on less land by protecting crops from huge losses to pests and diseases, and raising yields per hectare. With farming tools and practices used in the 1980s, farmers could produce 1.8 tonnes of food on one hectare – that’s a piece of land about the size of a rugby field4.  Thirty years later, they can produce 2.5 tonnes on the same amount of land5.

Our access to fresh, nutritious produce also relies on crop protection. A U.S. study estimated that without fungicides, which protect plants from disease, yields of most fruit and vegetables would fall by 50-90 percent6

And the threat doesn’t stop once it leaves the field – bugs, moulds, and rodents can all harm a crop in storage. Pesticides can prolong the viable life of the produce and prevent post-harvest losses from pests and diseases. This helps to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of food.

Biotechnology has also played a significant role over the past 15 years to increase food production. Through biotechnology, scientists can give plants new beneficial traits such as disease and pest resistance, or tolerance to drought. Between 1996 and 2009, farmers produced an additional 230 million tonnes of food and fibre thanks to biotech crops7.  Without access to this technology, they would have had to plant 75 million more hectares8  – that’s an area roughly the size of Chile.

 

Feeding Nine Billion Infographic
 

 

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Resources

Feeding Nine Billion: The Issues Facing Global Agriculture

Infographics highlighting how plant science products are enabling farmers to improve their farm, family, community and environment.

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Farming First Guide to Food Security Initiatives

Farming First Guide to Food Security Initiatives

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CropLife International Perspective: Food Prices

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization food prices are expected to rise in the next decades and price volatility is also anticipated to increase

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CropLife International Perspective: Food Security

How to feed the world sustainably?

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Feeding the World Sustainably

Fact Sheet

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Water

Conserving water – the most important input for agriculture

Soil

Protecting agricultural land for future generations

Land Use & Biodiversity

Protecting the variety of life on Earth through higher yields and innovative techniques


Climate Change

Addressing climate change through innovative products and practices

Food Quality & Nutrition

Improving global nutrition through plant science innovation

Food Security

Improving yields to help feed a growing world


Investment & Innovation

Agricultural innovation to meet global challenges

Farmer Livelihood

Enabling farmers to improve their quality of life

Economic Development

Building rural prosperity and economies through agricultural productivity