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A NEW STUDY: TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE MEASURES TO FEED THE WORLD’S GROWING POPULATION

A new study has recently shown that the world’s existing cropland could feed at least 3 billion extra people with a more efficient planning. In line with this, experts has outlined that the large increases in population expected in the next three decades need not result in widespread hunger.

According to the study, more than half of the fertilizer currently poured on to crops in many countries is wasted. Experts show that about 60% of the nitrogen applied to crops is not needed, as well as about half of the phosphorus: data also indicate that the sources of these elements are alarmingly diminishing.

Experts have found that between one-third and a half of the viable crops and food produced around the world are wasted in the developing countries due to a lack of adequate infrastructures, and in the rich world because of wasteful habits. Recent forecasts has estimated that the world population will amount to more than 9 billion people by 2050, compared with 7 billion people today.

Related to that, the study has stressed the importance to focus on staple crops such as wheat and rice in strategic countries, such as China, India, the US, Brazil, Indonesia, Pakistan and Europe, in order to achieve concrete solutions to produce the adequate quantity of food needed for the world’s growing population.

In this context, also water related issues are playing a central role. The study has indicated that between 8% and 15% of water currently used for irrigation could be saved with appropriate programs. The authors has suggested that governments and policymakers should strengthen their efforts in order to increase agricultural productivity in crucial areas as Africa, where the actual crop yields lag severely behind their potential.

Additionally, politics should reinforce their commitments to undertake basic measures in order to look after food supply. According to the study, feeding people in a sustainable way represents one of the most challenging issues of the international agenda.

The gLAWcal Team

and

the team of University Institute for European Studies (IUSE), Turin, POREEN project

Thursday, 17 July 2014

(source: The Guardian)