Find below some key figures that help to figure out in our minds a broad picture of essential facts of world agriculture.
So, did you know that…
- World agricultural production has grown nearly 300% over the last 50 years, while the cultivated area only did it by 12%. Furthermore, more than 40% of the increase in food production came from irrigated areas.
- In the same period, global cultivated land per person declined from 0,44 to 0,25 Has/person. This shows how successful intensive agriculture has become.
- Rainfed agriculture is the world´s predominant agricultural system. Current productivity of rainfed systems is, on average, 50% of its potential, and in the poorest countries only 20%. Increasing climate variability is bringing grater uncertainty in production levels.
- Around 350 million people were affected by drought and other natural disasters between 2010 and 2011, mostly in Africa and Asia.
- Until 2000, agriculture was the mainstay of employment around the world. Since then, the services sector has assumed this mantle and the gap between the two has widened. Although employment growth in agriculture has slowed, the number of workers in this sector reached over 1 billion in 2009. In sub-Saharan Africa, growth in agricultural employment accounted for half of all employment growth between 1999 and 2009.
- In the coming decades, climate change may bring further risks and unpredictability to harvests; it is anticipated that key agricultural systems will have to cope with new temperature, humidity and water stress.
To me, all the above mentioned clearly shows:
- How successful agricultural intensification has been.
- The need to increase the efficiency of land and water use.
- The need to prevent food production be affected by weather conditions.
- It also leads to the consideration of modern intensive agricultural production systems as an strategic pillar of the food sufficiency in this planet.
What do you think?