Alternative futures for global food and agriculture
This report (PDF) by OECD aims to provide insights into the possible futures, challenges and opportunities facing the food and agriculture systems. Three alternative scenarios are presented, depicting alternative pathways in the period leading up to 2050. The three scenarios “Individual, fossil fuel-driven growth”, “citizen-driven, sustainable growth” and “fast, globally-driven growth” differ in the amount of co-operation between countries; the focus on economic, environmental or social issues; and technological developments in different domains. Each scenario features its own priority challenges, nevertheless, all three futures see the environment being placed under increasing strain, although to varying extents. Farmers incomes are expected to increase due to increasing food prices, however, agricultural sector contribution to GDP and employment will fall. The increase in world meat production could slow in the Sustainable scenario. While cereal production growth may accelerate in the Individual and Fast scenarios due to large productivity gains and strong population growth. The scenarios highlight the fundamental uncertainties surrounding forward-oriented decision making, and point to the crucial importance of international co-operation across multiple policy areas by both governments and private actors. The report outlines five key strategy areas for policy, industry and society: 1) accelerated movement towards more sustainable lifestyles and consumption patterns, 2) increased coherence of food market regulations, 3) sustainable productivity growth and climate resilience, 4) strengthened infrastructure and 5) improved and broadened risk management systems.