Oct

28

The 40 Year Food Outlook:

   • World population will grow 2.3 billion by 2050, to over 9 billion
   • Nearly all this growth will come in developing countries
   • This population growth will require a 70% increase in global food production
   • In developing countries, production will need to nearly double
   • Making this happen will require annual investment averaging $209 billion.

Jeff Watson writes:

With our productivity in agriculture, the population increase will be great for our exports and great for business. With science being applied to agriculture, yields/acre have been steadily increasing for the past 300 years. There's no need to think we've hit the maximum in production either. 40 years ago, Erlich, in The Population Bomb sounded alarms about the population doubling by 2010 and he laid out a doomsday scenario. We're here and none of Erlich's predictions have been realized. 

Michael Ott writes:

Jeff makes great points. Additionally, yields for commodity crops are surging and seed companies are investing in growing crops in suboptimal soil.

This year's decline in yields is an aberration due to late season flooding. Farmers that I have talked to are getting 190-200 bushels of corn per acre or 120 if they were flooded. It's netting out to an average of 168 or so with a leptokurtotic distribution. I expect next year to average 180+, given reasonable weather. Combined with new crops designed to grow in arid and sandy soil, we should be swimming in excess.

Seed companies are scrambling to find uses for extra corn, so famine and starvation not an issue for those who are actually paid to grow the food.

George Zachar writes:

It's wealth, not religion, that governs birth rates.

Alternatively wealth is caused by (low) birthrate.

Kim Zussman comments:

GZ's excellent link sheds light on a prior study sent to the list, showing high positive correlation between national per capita GDP and distance from the equator ( abs (latitude) ). Fertility rate is generally higher in countries closer to the equator, which on average are poorer.

1. It is warmer and women wear less

2. There is little work and more idle time

3. Indoors + outdoors vs just indoors

4. Mountain movement necessitates more Mohammeds


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