Seven Challenges for Food Security: Investment is Needed

Published Date: 20 October 2008

© IAEA The world's population is predicted to increase by another 3 billion people by 2050, surpassing 9 billion. © FAO / Sy Djibril Opportunities for expanding the land area for growing crops or keeping productive livestock are becoming increasingly limited. So are the possibilities for tapping renewable fresh water resources. Widespread land degradation is causing further low and declining soil fertility. © IAEA Attempts to increase crop and livestock productivity in many developing countries is hampered by low and declining soil fertility caused by widespread land degradation. Additionally, harsh local conditions — such as drought, salinity, frost and flooding — underscore the need for expanding the availability of plant varieties that can be productively grown in such environments. © FAO / Giulio Napolitano Animal and plant diseases — and pests that can ravage harvests — extract heavy tolls on productivity, trade and livelihoods. At the same time, the increased use of agrochemicals and numerous outbreaks of food-borne diseases raise concerns about both environmental and food safety. © IAEA The resilience of food production systems to climate change must be increased. © IAEA The balance between crops grown for food and those used to produce biofuel requires better management. © IAEA More attention is needed to deal with soaring prices of food and agricultural inputs which disproportionately affect the poor. © IAEA © IAEA