5 ways to feed 10 billion people in 2050…
Greg Foot – BBC Future…
The world’s population continues to grow. According to some estimates, the global population will reach 10 billion by 2050. It will take record-breaking food to feed all these people. What kind of changes are needed in many areas from agricultural production to retail?
This will require changes in many areas, from agricultural production to retail sales. Here are some of them…
Agricultural products have an important place in nutrition. However, there are some problems that this creates.
70 percent of the total freshwater resources on earth are used in agriculture. One third of the total greenhouse gas production in the world stems from agricultural activities. It also affects biodiversity negatively and causes soil degradation.
Since the land available for agriculture is limited, it is necessary to find ways to achieve more efficient agricultural production.
It is also important that we change our consumption habits…
According to the UK-based Research Council for Biotechnology and Biological Sciences (BBSRC), one in three people in the world is experiencing nutritional problems. This includes hunger or malnutrition at one end and obesity and obesity at the other. Malnutrition is seen as the cause of many diseases.
On the other hand, one third of the food produced goes to garbage. An important part of the carbon emissions that lead to global warming is due to agricultural production. Continuing in this way, climate change becomes a threat to some products. It is predicted that this may lead to an increase in the price of food products and even a deterioration of public order.
In short, important transformations are needed in agricultural production and in the food supply chain and consumption habits. But what steps are being taken to overcome these problems and reach the level of production that will feed 10 billion people?
Robotic agricultural production…
Many farmers say that using the time spent in the field and on the tractor for administrative work will increase productivity.
Repetitive jobs can be transferred to robots. For example, the Small Robot Company produced three types of robots. One of them is used for planting and the other is photographing and recording their locations one by one while the plants in the field grow. According to the results obtained here, the third robot starts to spray the plants in need. This prevents unnecessary pollution and waste of resources.
Protect the soil…
These small robots can replace traditional tractors. As the tractors are heavy, it compresses the soil in the field and causes the pores that hold the air and water in it to close. In this case, plants cannot use water and nutrients in the soil efficiently.
Small robots used in agricultural production can solve this problem. These vehicles may not replace the harvesting machines. But the focus is on changing traditional agricultural methods rather than repeating them in this way.
Age of multi-storey city farms in agriculture…
Can agricultural products be increased by genetic coding?
Stop food waste…
According to data from the United Nations, about one-third of food products are disposed of by consumers or markets, or disrupted by inefficient transport and collection.
After the USA, the country which exports the most food, Holland is one of the places where food waste is the most.
The Dutch government aims to reduce food waste by half by 2030.
One of the inspiring initiatives is “Too Good To Go”, which is installed on smartphones. In this way, retailers are able to offer food to the consumer at a more favorable price, which can be eaten but still eaten.
Slow down the maturation process…
Even though we cannot turn back time, it is possible to slow down the ripening process in some fruits.
For example, bananas consumed in the UK come from countries such as Ecuador, the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica. These bananas need to be picked when they’re green to get here. Sometimes 40 days pass on the road.
When they reach the grocery stores, these bananas should be ready for consumption in a beautiful yellow tone. For this, it is important to manage this process well.
Meanwhile, if the banana ripens early, it starts to release ethylene gas. Early ripening in a banana affects others because of this gas. Sometimes 15 percent of the cargo becomes unusable for this reason.
Some scientists in the UK are working on changing the DNA of certain genes in the banana to produce less ethylene. Thus, during the transportation of banana spoilage can be prevented, shelf life can be extended in the market.
In some countries, these practices can be started immediately, while genetically the approval process may take a long time in regions with strict regulations for products that have been developed.
Is it possible to farm in the desert with sea water?
How will the earth problem be solved in the world?
Making smart choices…
The information I got from my discussions with manufacturers, retailers and consumers shows that the current food production and sales are not sustainable.
In order to feed 10 billion people in 2050, the agriculture and food industry must become more sustainable.
For this, planting, planting, harvesting, production, transportation, storage and sales models to go to many changes, governments and businesses will be willing to make this change, will need to take steps. We are also consumers.
This means not necessarily picking the most perfectly shaped fruit or vegetable from the market, but also choosing the tuber, forcing markets to take steps to include carbon footprint and water consumption information on their product labels, or to be ready to use new technologies to avoid waste.
Building a world based on sustainable agriculture is a difficult task. Farmers, scientists, engineers, businesses, markets and governments must work together to produce food for all of us in the future. And we, as consumers, do our part…