What must we do so the food production and agribusiness industry can meet the current goal of feeding eight billion people daily, which will increase to ten billion in approximately 25 years?
The planet’s resources are limited therefore, we present here a list of five points that must be part of the strategy to achieve current and long-term goals in sync with the reasonable use of resources:
- The land naturally suitable for agriculture has reached its extension limit; the urban sprawl has spread over land suitable for cultivation, and lands that were originally forests or jungles have been opened to cultivation, whose soils have degraded in such a way that they are now not useful for agriculture and are not forest reserves either.
- Recovery of eroded soils so that they become natural reserves again.
- Ordinance of urban development (do not convert land suitable for cultivation in urban developments)
- Agricultural development in desert areas
- Agricultural development on coasts
- We have been led to believe that there is more water than land on the planet, that it is an abundant resource, but it turns out that the opposite is true. Freshwater reservoirs are only 2.5% of the planet’s total water, of which 69% is permanent ice and 30% is groundwater. Surface water (lakes and rivers) is only 1% of the total fresh water on the planet.
- Efficient use of fresh water available on the surface and groundwater tables and avoid contamination.
- Wastewater treatment so that it does not contaminate other sources and is reused.
- Use of rainwater for agricultural and human use
- Multiplying seawater desalination plants with renewable energy.
- Oxygen and the sun are the other fundamental elements of life on the planet. Thanks to the oxygen in the atmosphere, aerobic beings exist in nature. The sun allows phanerogamous plants to carry out photosynthesis along with carbon dioxide to create food for all herbivorous beings on the planet.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions (agricultural producers are responsible for 25% of these emissions).
- Optimal use of light for the generation of solar energy and its agricultural use.
- Optimal use of the wind for the generation of wind energy and its agricultural use.
- Human Capital. Despite the fact that there are around 500 million farms on the planet and one billion people live in the countryside, these farms need workers and there are not enough of them because the young people of the new generations do not want to work in the fields.
- Fair pay to farm workers
- Decent working conditions in the field
- Development of permits and work visas for people from other countries who want to work in the fields of countries where day laborers, technicians and professionals are needed.
- As in almost all industrialization processes, the technology that has been imposed is that which maximizes productivity at the cost of previous resources: land, water air and human capital.
- Development of technologies that optimize the use of land, water, air and human capital.
- Use of green technologies (clean energy, minimum tillage, incorporation of organic matter into the soil, efficient use of irrigation, compost management and biogas generation in animal farms, controlled grazing and rational use of forest and sea resources.
- Genetic development of new plant varieties and animal species with higher yields and better adaptation to prevailing conditions.
- Planning production, transportation and logistics to reduce food waste.
Article written by Jorge Segovia, CFR Global Executive Search Mexico
Photo source: Pixabay