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Study warns food, energy demand may outpace production

July 10, 2009 by  

Study warns food, energy demand may outpace production According to a newly published report, with the caloric needs of the global population expected to rise by 50 percent in the next 40 years, better planning and investment in global agriculture are becoming critical.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) participated in preparing the report that found a gap between agricultural production and demand that is expected to get even worse due to climate change, increasing demand for biofuels and a growing scarcity of water.

"There will come a point in time when we will have difficulties feeding world population," says David Zaks of NIES, a co-author of the report.

"The solution is only going to come about by changing the way we use land, changing the things that we grow and changing the way that we grow them," he believes.

The authors says growing demand can be met by a combination of expanding agriculture to now marginal or unused land, substituting new types of crops and expansion of technology that includes improved irrigation, fertilization and precision, high performance equipment.

They also advocate intensifying yields using genetically modified crops.

Meanwhile, those who are concerned about food shortages and their survival may consider storing food.

Items that are good for storage include non perishable foods such as dried or canned meats, fruits and vegetables as well as bottled water.

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