Nearly 1 billion people in the world today suffer from chronic hunger. Another billion are undernourished. This, despite the fact that enough food is produced today to feed the entire world population of 7 billion.
Who are the hungry?
The majority of the hungry, some 915 million, live in developing countries. A full three-quarters of those are from rural farming areas and amazingly, half are actually farmers themselves, living off marginal land. Landless families who depend on agriculture represent 20% and another 10% live where their community is directly reliant on agriculture for survival. The rest struggle to survive in poor urban areas. More than half are women and a quarter are children.
How big is the problem expected to become?
By 2050, the world’s population will reach more than 9 billion. For the first time in modern history, the world will not be able to produce enough food using today’s technologies. Scarcity of food will further exacerbate the problems we already face in getting food from where it is produced to where it is needed.
As we face the reality of the additional food requirements and changing diets of 9 billion people, global agriculture will have to produce 70% more food than it does today—and it must do so in a sustainable manner on less land, with diminishing natural resources. Only 10% of increased production will come from new lands being farmed. That means 90% must come from getting more food off the same land we farm today.