OECD Insights: Agriculture and Food

Feeding Nine Billion People

Release Date: October 1, 2010

Global food production will have to double by 2050 in order to feed the projected world population of nine billion people. Experience suggests it can be done, but the agriculture and food sector is facing a number of challenges.Economic growth is being accompanied by a shift to resource-intensive, Western-style diets worldwide. Farming has to cope with environmental pressures and competition for land from other uses, and climate change introduces new uncertainties.

This book argues that farming is resourceful and inventive enough to continue providing the food the world needs. Science and technology are exploring new solutions to the physical challenges. Changes in policies and practices can encourage a shift toward sustainable means to produce and distribute enough food to satisfy demand without destroying the planet’s resources.

OECD Insights: Agriculture and Food examines the state of world agriculture today and discusses the major forces shaping its future, including trade, the environment, government policy, and farming practices. It looks at how social change and economic conditions influence how our food is produced, what we eat, and where we buy it. It also considers the question of food security and the links between poverty and hunger.