Most experts estimate that the global population will exceed 9 billion people by the year 2050. That’s over 2 billion more people on the planet than there are today. Meeting the huge increase in global demand that comes with this population growth will put a tremendous strain on agricultural production.
In fact, it is estimated that the agriculture industry will need to increase production by over 70% to meet this demand. This is no surprise when you consider all of the things agricultural products are used for: from food and clothing to fuels, plastics and many other everyday products.
Along with the world population, median income is also growing, especially in developing countries. Think about India, many African and South American countries and, especially, China. In all of these geographies, people are making more money, and so they are spending more on clothing, automobiles, and diets that increasingly include more meats, fruits, and vegetables, rather than traditional diets based on cereals and rice.
As population increases, more and more production acres are also getting planted. However, at least in developed countries like the United States and many Western European countries, growers will have to help meet food demand on 10-15% less arable land than is currently used for production today. At the same time, growers will have to face increased regulation at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as pressure from consumer and advocacy groups who want to influence how growers produce their crops.
Although some may see this as a negative environment in which to live and work, we see the future of agriculture as one of the brightest out of all the industries out there.
Is it even possible to more than double our production per acre? Absolutely! Look at corn production over the last 40 years. With the advent of corn hybridization, optimization of fertility practices, and use of biotechnology, we have more than doubled corn production per acre. More recently, we have increased national corn production per acre by an average of 16% in just six short years.
No one sector of the agricultural industry alone will be able to take production to the levels needed to meet future food demands. It will take a combined effort, ingenuity, and the focus of all agricultural sectors to help our growers meet these demands. New plant varieties, equipment, cultural practices, and innovative technologies will help us get there.
At Agricen, we are helping growers with biochemical-based technologies that help maximize nutrient availability and plant uptake. This, in turn, helps growers increase their yields and improve their crop quality, while also addressing environmental concerns. Our relationships with growers and partnerships with both Loveland Products and Crop Production Services help us better understand the challenges that the agricultural industry faces every day. They also provide direction for our ongoing research and development efforts, which are focused on commercializing solutions to help the industry meet the demands of a growing global population.
Yes, the challenges are big, but we believe that we have the right tools, technologies and, most importantly, the right attitude to ensure that the future is a bright and healthy one.
Learn more about biocatalyst technologies by browsing Agricen's collection of resources, which includes product studies, videos, publications and infographics.