The agricultural and food industry is facing huge challenges. It has to feed a rapidly growing world population while at the same time ensuring the best-possible conservation of our scarce natural resources. Increasingly extreme weather conditions such as droughts and flooding, limited arable land and changing dietary habits make this task even more demanding.
The majority of people affected by hunger live in rural areas of developing countries, for example in Asia or Africa. However, the factors that have a negative impact on food security are global rather than regional.
While agriculture plays a less important role economically in industrialized countries, it is one of the most important segments of the economy in developing countries. Smallholders play a key role in food production.
The amount of arable land available for food production per person is limited and constantly decreasing. This is due to population growth, but also factors such as urbanization, erosion and desertification. So only 0.5 percent of the Earth’s surface can be used for growing food crops.
Strong population growth has led to an increased demand for food. By the middle of the century, the demand for agricultural products will be 50 percent higher on average than in 2013.
An increase of 112 percent is forecast for the Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia regions (Source: FAO 2017).
There are already more than 7 billion people on Earth today, and this figure will rise to almost 10 billion by the middle of this century. This means that the demand for food will rise significantly.
The dietary habits of consumers in industrialized countries necessitate large amounts of resources and cause climate-damaging greenhouse gases.
Agriculture needs innovation: the challenges of tomorrow cannot be resolved with yesterday’s methods. Investment in research and development is more important than ever before, in order to make agriculture more efficient and also more sustainable at the same time. Digital solutions, crop protection and modern breeding methods will all play an important role in this process, as will targeted support for smallholders.
Bayer has therefore commissioned the Handelsblatt Research Institute to produce this beneath highlighted brochure. It contains a wealth of information about nutrition and agriculture that was derived from acknowledged sources and may serve as the foundation for a constructive dialogue.
Learn more facts and figures regarding the challenges of modern agriculture and our vision of creating a sustainable future.