21 March 2017
The FAO’s latest sobering report warned of the need to significantly increase investments in agriculture to meet the anticipated 50% increase in food demand by 2050. Asia as a net food and animal feed deficit region needs to up its game.
The latest report by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is sobering. Issued in February and titled “The Future of Food and Agriculture – Trends and Challenges”, it warned of the need to significantly increase investments in agriculture to meet the anticipated 50% rise in food demand by 2050. This will be driven by population increases but more notably, by rising incomes, which in turn fosters diet changes towards higher consumption of protein and processed food.
All this is occurring on the back of the growing urbanisation of Asia, where by 2050, more than 50% of the region’s people will live in cities. This is concurrently accompanied by a declining farmer population which is fast ageing and farming less land each year. Asia, where more than 60% of the world’s people live, is particularly vulnerable to several of the challenges highlighted by the FAO report. As it will certainly not be “business as usual”, new thinking is critically needed to improve supply of food.
… Paul Teng is Principal Officer, National Institute of Education and Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. Christopher Vas is Director of Murdoch University’s first offshore R&D centre, the Singapore Centre for Research in Innovation, Productivity and Technology (SCRIPT). Both were members of the Second Murdoch Commission which published the 2016 report on “Food Security, Trade and Partnerships”. This is the first of a two-part series on the Future of Food in Asia.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 22/03/2017