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.