Food security at European Economic Congress 2015

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European Economic Congress 2015 in Katowice provided an excellent opportunity to discuss one of the pivotal issues in the contemporary world, namely food security. The representatives of Grupa Azoty took part in the debate.

On the one hand, the global population is constantly rising. On the other hand, the acreage of arable land is falling. Are the systems of agricultural organization and food production capable of feeding all the people in the world?

Immense potential of Africa

The current proportion is 0.21 hectare of land per member of population, but the figure is bound to fall in the future. Providing food for the ever-increasing number of people is feasible on condition that the strategic approach of the governments changes.

Africa appears to promise good perspectives in this context. In Ethiopia for example, only 15% of land which could be used for agricultural purposes is cultivated at present.

Changing structure of food consumption

Let us consider the changing structure of food consumption in particular countries. In 1996 an average Chinese citizen consumed 4 kilograms of meat, while by 2011 the quantity had risen to 60 kilograms. In order to produce so much meat, more fodder is required. About 8 kilograms of feed are necessary to produce 1 kilogram of beef, which means that more plants ought to be cultivated as well. The question remains about the methods to feed all the people on our planet, seeing that the arable land resources are shrivelling.

No country can neglect taking care of food security. It would be perfect to have all the states produce enough food to satisfy domestic demand, and export the excess. The situation is far from balanced, though, as the African population is constantly on the increase, and food production across the Southern hemisphere is insufficient.

Improving farming culture

Water use management provides another challenge, while the application of excessive quantity of fertilizers in some places results in too little nitrogen reaching the crops. Fertilization practice should be optimized, and agrarian culture improved.

Popularizing good agricultural practice is essential nowadays. For this reason, Grupa Azoty PUŁAWY and Warsaw School of Life Sciences take pride in organizing a postgraduate course for agricultural technicians and agricultural advisers who benefit from a syllabus tailored to their future tasks.