In The News
While farmlands occupied approximately 12% of the worldwide land about two decades back, they have contributed to humans by providing approximately 90% of overall food calories. Demand for crops and croplands are constantly on the rise and this demand shall continue owing to population growth and changing lifestyles.
The global scenario in agribusiness
In the international market, land harvested for food cultivation increased by almost one third over the past 40 years. Moreover, globalization in agri- trade resulted in huge volumes of worldwide trade, thereby creating distances between the cultivators and the consumers.As the land meant for export crop production developed at a rapid rate, areas dedicated to domestic crop cultivation remains stagnant. Studies involving method as yield-gap data showcase that changes in cultivation land management and natural resources aid equally to crop exporting as well as importing countries. Further research points out that boosting yield have more scope for decreased cultivatable land in the future as compared to increasing and managing volumes of trade based on land production capabilities.
Statistics do not confirm whether these recent trends are a result of changes in trade patterns in domestic and international markets. Trade empowers areas to develop and modify their consumption levels with very little or no pressure on the producers. It is even capable of driving farmland extensions regardless of consumption levels. With the increase in relevance of global agriculture trade, factors beginning from local farmland utilization techniques and its impacts are gaining more attention.
Can the trend be managed?
International trade statistics project that nations are being brought closer through trade. However, there are many instances where global trade has resulted in debates regarding areas for export crop cultivation and areas for domestic consumption. Countries leading in exports seem to have a higher crop cultivation rate as compared to crop importing nations. These differences might arise due to shifts in farmland management, patterns of agriculture etc. Efforts to reduce these differences along with regulating the environmental effects are the most sustainable methodology to be employed in the trade market currently.