Agriculture & food systems to 2050: Global trends, challenges and opportunities
This book (PDF) by World Scientific features a comprehensive foresight assessment, exploring the pressures — threats as well as opportunities — on the global agriculture and food systems between now and 2050. The overarching question it addresses is: “How should agricultural research and policy re-orient itself to address the ‘perfect storm’ of global threats and opportunities facing our planet?” It aims to help understand the context, by analyzing global trends and anticipating change for better planning and constructing pathways from the present to the future by focusing on the right questions and problems. The book has a number of key messages: 1) Rapid urbanization, income growth, and the consequent rising demand for food—in terms of both quantity and diversity—provide a new growth opportunity for the agricultural sector in developing countries. This implies a shift from ‘agriculture as a way of life’ to ‘agriculture as a business’ for smallholder farmers in developing countries. 2) The rise of obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in developing countries needs urgent attention. Diversifying from the current focus on staple grains toward a nutrition-sensitive food system can help address the double burden of malnutrition. 3) Adaptation of transformative innovations and modern science tools with ‘big data’, ICT, and precision agriculture to smaller scales in developing countries is a major challenge for research and technology design, but has considerable potential to generate high returns towards sustainable intensification. 4) Food systems thinking can help identify synergies and trade-oﬀs between the SDGs, and indicate leverage points for policies and interventions.
A brief outlining some of the book’s key headlines can be found here.