Saturday, July 07, 2018

Feeding the world

Agricultural production in Western Europe is set to decline over the coming decade by around 3 percent, with output in Africa and Asia expected to increase. This is one of the predictions of a report, released by the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The unrest-wracked Middle East meanwhile faces a rising threat of food insecurity, the report said, as conflict, climate change, and poor policy all have the effect of keeping the region overly reliant on imports. In sub-Saharan Africa, crop production is set to expand by 30%, with meat and dairy both set to grow by 25%. Nonetheless, the region’s food security is set to remain dependent on global markets, because “domestic production capacity will remain insufficient to meet the region’s growing consumption needs”.

South and East Asia – which includes China and India – are the world’s biggest producers of a wide array of agricultural products. Growth in output will remain high in the region, the report said. “The coming decade is likely to add new challenges, in particular, the need to reconcile high output levels with increasingly stringent standards for sustainable production. Nonetheless, the region is expected to expand agricultural and fish production by 17% over the outlook period.”

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