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The Resource Outlook to 2050: by how much do land, water and crop yields need to increase by 2050?

Expert Meeting on How to Feed the World in 2050







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    Document
    The resource outlook to 2050:
    By how much do land, water and crop yields need to increase by 2050?
    2009
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    This paper discusses the natural resource implications of the latest FAO food and agriculture baseline projections to 2050 “World agriculture: towards 2030/2050“. These projections offer a comprehensive (food and feed demand, including all foreseeable diet changes, trade and production) and consistent picture of the food and agricultural situation in 2030 and 2050. The main purpose of this paper is to provide an indication of the additional demands on natural resources derived from the crop production levels in 2030 and 2050 as foreseen in the FAO 2006 projections.
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    Can Technology Deliver on the Yield Challenge to 2050?
    Expert Meeting on How to feed the World in 2050
    2009
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    This paper focuses on the yield prospects of wheat, rice and maize since these cereals dominate human diet, and since continued yield growth is considered the major route to meeting future global demand for food, feed and fuel. We define for a region farm yield (FY), attainable yield (AY, as reached with the best technology and prudent economics), and potential yield (PY, yield with the best varieties and agronomy and no manageable biotic or abiotic stresses). FY progress is a function o f progress in PY and in closing the gap between PY and FY (we express this gap as a percent of FY). Globally wheat and rice annual yield increases (as a percent of current yield) are falling and are now just below 1 percent, while that for maize is 1.6 percent. For rice and wheat, the growth of yields in absolute terms (kg/ha/year) are also falling in developing countries. Global demand modelling to 2050 predicts large real price sensitivity to yield growth rates, with significant pric e increases if current rates cannot be increased. FY, PY and yield gaps are examined in more than 20 important “breadbasketâ€Â regions around the world. For wheat annual PY progress currently averages about 0.5 percent, and the yield gap 40 percent (range 25 to 50 percent), while for rice PY growth is also about 0.5 percent while the yield gap averages 75 percent (range 15 to 110 percent). Maize is distinctive with a current average PY growth of around 1 percent and a yield gap which r anges from around 30 percent (Iowa, some uncertainty with PY) to over 200 percent (sub-Saharan Africa). A yield gap of 25 percent or less probably implies that FY is approaching attainable yields, AY. Yield gaps tend to be larger in developing countries, and seem to be closing only slowly except in the case of maize in Iowa and major cereals in Egypt.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    World agriculture towards 2030/2050: the 2012 revision
    ESA Working paper No. 12-03
    2012
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    This paper is a re-make of Chapters 1-3 of the Interim Report World Agriculture: towards 2030/2050 (FAO, 2006). In addition, this new paper includes a Chapter 4 on production factors (land, water, yields, fertilizers). Revised and more recent data have been used as basis for the new projections, as follows: (a) updated historical data from the Food Balance Sheets 1961-2007 as of June 2010; (b) undernourishment estimates from The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2010 (SOFI) and related new p arameters (CVs, minimum daily energy requirements) are used in the projections; (c) new population data and projections from the UN World Population Prospects - Revision of 2008; (d) new GDP data and projections from the World Bank; (e) a new base year of 2005/2007 (the previous edition used the base year 1999/2001); (f) updated estimates of land resources from the new evaluation of the Global Agro-ecological Zones (GAEZ) study of FAO and IIASA. Estimates of land under forest and in protected ar eas from the GAEZ are taken into account and excluded from the estimates of land areas suitable for crop production into which agriculture could expand in the future; (g) updated estimates of existing irrigation, renewable water resources and potentials for irrigation expansion; and (h) changes in the text as required by the new historical data and projections.

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