The Future of Earth’s Sustainability – Food & Agriculture In the Coming Decade

The Economic Recession to Present Times

The 2008 global crisis, created quite a stir in the economy. With recession raising its ugly head and

global inflation creating an upheaval, a general atmosphere of fear and uncertainty overshadowed the

economy. The agricultural sector was not only affected by these manmade casualties, but even natural

calamities that destroyed many crops.

Fortunately, after a few turbulent years of unfortunate weather and the dismal state of the agricultural

economy, the agribusiness is on its road to recovery once again. Especially the year 2013 has seen the

increased production of major agricultural commodities, primarily in basic cereals like wheat and maize

and oilseeds like soybean. This has consequently led to the buildup of stocks and a boost in trade.

The Demand in the Decade Ahead

The OECD- FAO Agricultural Outlook 2014 estimates that the agribusiness between the years 2013 to

2023 will witness a rise in the production of agricultural produce and food. A general sigh of relief in

the Glocal (Global + Local) village, will be due to fall in crop prices for the next couple of years with

stable prices thereafter. The Consumer Price Index for Food (CPIF) was 6.4% in the beginning of 2014,

showcasing a considerable fall in food price inflation.

The stable increase in incomes and the consequent rise in the standard of living, will lead to a demand

shift from cereals to proteins, fats and sugar. An unusual increase has been recorded in the demand

of feed, and statistics show that globally, almost 160 Mt of additional feed will be required by the

beginning of the next decade. Coarse grain and oilseed demand is projected to grow by 20 % and

26% respectively, due to increasing demand of bio-fuel in the market. Developed countries today face

a saturated sugar growth and the coming years will showcase a stagnant growth of sugar in these

countries. Global meat consumption has been estimated to increase 1.6 % p.a in the next 10 years, with

equal dairy consumption.

Production Boom in Developing Countries

While increase in consumption rates includes both 1st

will experience a higher growth of food production in developing countries. Estimates show that 75 %

of additional production growth will take place in countries of Latin America, Sub – Saharan Africa and

parts of Asia.

In general, food crops production will increase but the demand for cash crops, meat and poultry will be

higher, due to the paradigm shift from dietary food consumption to eating food rich in protein, fat and

sugar content.

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