In the coming decades, agricultural production is predicted to grow faster than the world population growth rate. However, this margin is predicted to continuously decrease. The annual production per individual increase will be reduced by half between the period 1970-1990 and 1990-2010. This slowdown is not all negative because in many countries, people get all the food they need. However, it does reveal that there are hundreds of millions of others who need more food but cannot afford to purchase it at prices designed to stimulate additional production.
If you live in China or India, you will be pleased to know that you should not run out of food anytime soon. China is the country that produces the most food and India comes in second. Unfortunately, the food in India is often sold at such high prices that most Indians cannot afford it.
Gains in production will mainly result from more intensive forms of agriculture and increased crop yields, not from farming new lands. Increased yields represent more than 60 percent of the growth in crop production within developing countries. This factor is also responsible for over 80 percent of the crop production increase within South Asia.
According to an October 2009 statement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, global output increased 12 percent to a record of 682.3 million metric tons from January through May. It was predicted that during the fall 2009 season, output would total 668.1 million, the second highest figure attained. According to the Department’s July 2010 Food Security Assessment, the number of people considered food-insecure decreased from approximately 953 million to 882 million between 2009 and 2010.
Various groups point to trends in production of different types of food. For example, the worldwide production of fish currently stands at 160 million tons, eight times 1950 levels. As the global population increases, food production will need to exceed that pace.
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