Does agriculture need more innovation?
Rise of the global population is closely linked to food security, and has become the main threat to the stability of agricultural production in the world. However, researchers have tended to overlook an important aspect of the current demographic boom in the world, namely the shift in the structure of the society.
Growing population is a growing problem
Population growth is far from the only challenge connected with providing world food security. The increasing proportion of the so-called “middle class” has been emerging as an issue in itself. According to “Forbes”, the size of this social stratum is forecast to grow by 600%, and these changes are easily translated into changing eating habits on a global scale! Rice, potatoes and cereals are the staple diet of the poor. However, members of the middle class seek food richer in protein and fat. Agricultural production struggles to meet the rising demand generated by the growing number of middle class citizens.
Problems with food production or distribution?
It is worth knowing that enough food is currently produced in the world in order to eradicate famine. Poverty emerges as a more serious problem than food production capacity, with some members of the population simply unable to afford foodstuffs. There are also regions producing more than necessary on the local scale, but shipping food to places where it is scarce is too costly. We can infer that much food is wasted in the Northern hemisphere due to its uneven distribution rather than poor production level.
Innovation to the rescue
Overpopulation as a problem has been addressed by economists for decades. Thomas R. Malthus looked into the growing world population and the ensuing limited access to resources. Increasing number of world inhabitants and food shortages have been a problem since the 19th century. However, a worldwide famine has not happened since then, owing to innovations and agricultural revolutions. After all, mankind is known for its ability to adapt to new conditions. Work on increasing crop efficiency is very intensive at the moment, and another breakthrough in this field is probably just round the corner.