The Future of Global Food Production – Part 2
Increase in Biofuel Production
In contrast to fossil fuels, biofuels are fuels made from organic substances like plant and animal components. These biofuels are produced using crops like corn, soybeans, sugarcane, palm oil, and palm oil.
Numerous farm subsidies have been implemented to encourage these crops’ cultivation since they are considered a valuable substitute for fossil fuels. However, biofuels are more detrimental to the ecosystem than anticipated and may also have a disastrous impact on the food system.
Global population displacement and increased food prices have been caused by an increased dedication of agricultural land to producing food-based biofuels.
The rivalry for land has increased due to incentives to generate biofuels, making it more difficult for smaller farmers to compete or hold onto their land. Less space is dedicated to cultivating foodstuffs for human consumption, while more land is committed to producing crops associated with biofuels.
Limited Accessibility to Food
The challenge of not having enough food affects populations all around the world. It results in about 149 million children under the age of five who are victims of chronic undernourishment, according to a 2021 report by the FAO.
Both consumers and farmers worldwide struggle to find markets and pay for the costs associated with either consumption or production. In developing nations, just a third of farmers sell to the market, and only 40 percent of each crop is marketed.
Additionally, around 16% of the rural population does not have easy access to the market due to infrastructural deficits.
Lack of Sustainability in Food Production Practices
The FAO claims that agriculture, which accounts for 1/5 of all greenhouse gas emissions, significantly contributes to climate change.
Deforestation for agricultural use is thought to be responsible for between 10% and 11% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, while intensive farming techniques employ fertilizers and pesticides that can poison bodies of water, causing dead zones downstream.
Increase in Food Wastage
Wasted food affects both the production and consumption of food. Around 1.3 billion tons of food, or more than 1/3 of all food produced around the globe, are wasted annually.
Food waste on the consumer end occurs when food is thrown out due to quality or safety concerns, while on the producer end is frequently caused by problems with harvesting and storage techniques or destruction by pests.
Future Trends in Global Food Production
Embracing new methods of food production:
In the agricultural sector, the accommodation of advanced ways of farming is liable to aid the reduction of environmental disorder without limiting the rate of production.
Although most advancements in the past in agricultural farming procedures focus on mechanical tools and genetics, this future trend is backed by the application of digital features.
Two methods on the future trend include:
Precision farming: Instead of distributing irrigation, fertilizer, and pesticides uniformly at predetermined times, amounts, and frequencies, this includes applying them at variable rates based on the needs of the crops.
Vertical farming: This is the art of growing crops in vertical layers through hydroponics methods that reduce the consumption of area, water, and soil.
Increase in production of functional foods:
Another emerging trend in global food production is functional food production. Probiotics, vitamin C, and other components are being added to foods by suppliers to support a more robust immune system and other functions as the distinction between food and health supplement become less and less distinct.
According to studies, 60% of consumers want more foods and beverages that can boost immunity. As a result, in the years to come, there will be a further rise in consumer demand for foods that boost the immune system and reduce stress.
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