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Global demand for major grains projected to increase


May 27, 2011
Hohoe, May 27, GNA - Global demand for major grains, such as maize, rice, and wheat, is projected to increase by nearly 48 per cent from 2000 to 2025 and by 70 per cent between 2000 and 2050.

Per capita meat consumption is expected to increase in many developing regions of the world and it would be more than double in Sub-Saharan Africa from 2000 to 2050 and result in doubling of total meat consumption by 2050.

These are contained in a research presented by Mark Rosegrant, Director of Environment and Production Technology at the International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI), during the 2011 Ag Innovation Showcase held in St. Louis, United States, on May 23-24, made available to GNA at Hohoe.

The research said that at the same time growth in production of staple foods is expected to decline significantly in most parts of the world.

It indicated that "Climate change, high and volatile food and energy prices, population and income growth, changing diets, and increased urbanization will put intense pressure on land and water and challenge global food security as never before.

"If agricultural production and policymaking continues down its present course, there could be severe consequences for many poor people in developing countries".

The study said using state-of-the-art economic modelling based on alternative future scenarios for agricultural supply and demand that took into account the potential harmful impact of climate change, IFPRI projected crop yields, food prices, and child malnutrition through 2050 and beyond.

It said even without climate change, the prices of rice, maize and wheat were projected to increase by 25 per cent, 48 per cent and 75 per cent respectively by 2050.

The research said climate change would further slow productivity growth, increase staple food prices and reduce progress on food security and childhood malnutrition.

The study said: "Although the threats to food and nutrition security are very real, these outcomes are by no means inevitable.

"The myriad challenges underscore the importance of agricultural research, better policies, new technologies, and social investments to feeding the world's burgeoning population while protecting critical natural resources."

According to IFPRI's sophisticated computer model, developed by Rosegrant, with US$7 billion of additional annual investments in research to improve crop and livestock productivity, nearly 25 million less children in developing countries would be malnourished in 2050 compared to a business-as-usual scenario.

If projected business investments in agricultural research are increased along with greater spending on irrigation, rural roads, safe drinking water, and girls' education, for a total additional increase of US$22 billion per year, the number of malnourished children in the developing world currently projected to be 103 million in 2050, would drop substantially to 45 million dollars.

The study said: "Spending in these areas would particularly help farmers to boost their yields, improve their market access, increase their incomes, and improve the health and wellbeing of their families.

"Greater crop productivity also means that more of the growing demand for food can be satisfied from existing land, limiting environmental damage and ensuring that progress in the fight against hunger and poverty is sustainable."


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