Thursday, February 23, 2017

Food and Agriculture: Looking to the Future

As we all know our world population is growing and things are changing in agriculture and food production. The short video below from the FAO takes a look at trends in agriculture and food and challenges that are coming our way. I encourage you to watch the video and utilize the discussion points to start conversations with others. To catch all the trends and challenges you may want to pause the video from time to time if needed.


Discussion Points
  • Many trends were shared. Which trend did you find of the greatest importance (or most surprising) and how will it affect food and agriculture production?
  • Ten challenges were shared facing food and agriculture. Pick out one of these challenges and explain why it is important. Additionally, share how you feel this challenge can be met by farmers and consumers around the world.
  • There are many additional challenges facing food and agriculture today, beyond the ten mentioned. What is an additional challenge that comes to mind and why is it important?
Additional classroom activity: Break into groups and divide the ten challenges up amongst the groups. Have each group become experts in that area. Have them research and present their findings including: Explanation of the challenge, supporting data (how/why do we know this is important), how this challenge may look different around the world, possible solutions to the challenge, etc.

36 comments:

Unknown said...

The most prominent issue within the food and agriculture industry is the fact that most of the world is starving. 800 people are chronically hungry and 2 billion suffer from food deficiencies, this is a problem for the agriculture business because supply cannot meet the demand. More people are hungry and less food is made. Another issue is that more people are obese, eating more than their fair share, and those without money or resources are not able to get their fair share.

brent said...

The number of 15-24 year olds will increase in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. With that, the demand for food will increase. This will positively affect food production because I'm sure they'll work to either produce or buy food.

BD said...

The biggest and most surprising trend I noticed was that by the year 2050 the worlds population will be 9.7 billion, and with more and more people the demand for food is just going to get bigger and bigger. Which I believe will turn agriculture products into quantity not quality, because there will be such a high demand for food people wont care about quality they'll just want food

laroyer said...

One of the most important trend that is surprising, but yet an issue is the fact that most of the world is starving. 800 million are chronically hungry and 2 billion suffer from food deficiencies. This will affect agriculture because the supply can not meet the demand. Overweight and obesity are increasing worldwide and that is a problem because that means they are eating more than their fair share and those that are in poverty will not be getting their fair share.

nick said...

its hard to think that we are in such a food crises and many people are starving and many people dont know were their next meal will come from and on a global scale we throw away 1/3 of our food. I work at a restaurant and its hard to beleave how much food people throw away and if they are paying good money for food and to go out to eat just imagine how much food people are wasting at home.

Devon said...

As time moves on then there would proplen like when there is less food to be able to support the people by the way of how poulatin would sky rocket and would bring the world palutin up until the earth would not be able to stand the climit

BV said...

The biggest issue with food industry is that most of the world is starving now. 800 people are very hungry and billion people suffer from food sufficiency and not having enough food to feed there family's. This is a problem for the agriculture food business because they can not be where they need to be and they are behind there demand. More people are getting hungry and less and less food is being made. The next biggest point is the total opposite because more people are becoming obese while other people are dying from starvation. People that are obese are eating more then there fair share while that food could be going over to another country to feed other people and could be split up evenly throughout the world, and poor people or even homeless people are starving all because of money and are not able to buy their own food.

Safrancis said...

What surprised me the most in watching this video was the fact that the amount of people with obesity is climbing throughout the world, but there are still around 800 million people who are chronically hungry and 2 billion people who suffer from nutrient deficiencies. By 2050 we are said to have a population of around 9.7 billion. That is a 2 billion jump from todays population. How will we have enough food? The supply of food will decrease continuously as the populations grow, creating a crisis demand for food. With the constant need for energy that we rely on, fossil and other energy creating plants speed up climate change which kills plants, livestock, and fish stocks. There isn't an even spread of food for people. On one end of the globe we have obesity problems, and on the other people are starving. I believe that if we change the ways we do energy to a more clean way such as solar energy. This way the environment is not as effected and we can begin to live in a world where the food supply grows.

Mason Rstom said...

The most shocking trend that i saw was that 1/3 of all food is lost or wasted from production to consumption, resulting in lost for farmers. And the way this affects agriculture is that it brings down loss' for the farmer and then it raises future prices and it just expands from there.

unknown said...

Most important issues i saw were that 800 million people are chronically hungry and that climate change is jeopardizing crop and livestock production. Farmers have to increase food production and preventing natural hazards

jenna wood said...

Something that is surprising is that there is 800 million people that are chronically hungry and 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient.

paadams said...

Challenge number four really stands out to me, because it says "Eradicate extreme poverty and reduce inequality". This stood out to me because this is a very important and a crucial task. By the year 2050, the world population is expected to be 9.7 billion. So, with the increasing population the food demand is going to increase. Right now the world population is around 7.4 billion. And within that population there are 800 million people already chronically hungry, and 2 billion suffering micro-nutrient deficiencies. With obesity and overweight increasing as well. So, if we want to fix this challenge for the future, we have have fix this problem right now, in the present.

Chad smith99 said...

An important issue that is going on is that there is 800 million chronically hungry and the global warming is jeopardizing the production of crops and livestock.

MH said...

I think climate change is an important challenge when thinking about the future of agriculture because it has a huge impact. Greenhouse gas emissions can kill crops and animals and that's a big problem. If we can find away to get around these emissions then the agriculture industry will be able to grow more effectively

unknown said...

The most shocking trend that i saw was that 1/3 of all food is lost or wasted from production to consumption, resulting in lost for farmers. And it is a loss to the farmer so that affects agriculture.

Brandon K said...

Another challenge is finding all the room for all the extra food we will have to produce since 2/3 of people will live in urban areas the towns and cities will have to grow limiting crop size and farm land.

cory gustafson said...

We for real need to end obesity bro.

MRK said...

I think that the amount of change that is going to happen from right now, 2017, to 2050. With the population growing to 9.7 billion, there is going to be a higher demand for agriculture, therefore, we are going to have to improve agricultural productivity. Also, its scary to think that so many people are starving and are undernourished. To fix this, we need to help the people who aren't getting the food and nutrients they need.

IG said...

by 2050 there will be 9.7 billion people in the world, which means we will have less room on the planet but we will need more room for agriculture so we can expand our food production. Which is scary because 800 million people are already starving

Josh Swenson said...

Why must our world be so corrupt, broken, diseased, and polluted? Why is almost third of the population starving while another third is overweight to obese?

unknown said...

The trend that I found to be the most surprising was the number of 15-24 year old will increase dramatically in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It will affect food and agriculture production by the drastic increase the industry will have to produce. One of the challenges in the video was making food systems more efficient, inclusive, and resilient. In class we are currently talking about the technology that can help with the increased production that will take place. To feed the nine billion people it will take every farmer and production company to use every advancement so optimum product is produced. Technology can help this challenge because it can help the food systems become resilient and efficient as long as everyone is on board. Another challenge I feel that we will face is the lifestyle change everyone will face. Everyone right now is so pro "organic" and "all-natural" but in order to produce more food it may come to genetically modifying foods and producing more from a single harvest. Everyone must overcome the misconception of GMO's and become educated about the problem. Somonauk ST

M.E.T said...

The fact that 700 million people living in rural areas while being extremely poor is a trend that is only increasing with time. By the year 2050, 9 billion people will be living all around the world. In order to accommodate this mass amount, more land will be cleared for housing, which means less farmable land to grow and harvest the food we need. This is a serious problem as world food production must increase by 70% if we plan to feed 9 billion people in the next 30+ years. As available land decreases for farming, we need to take full advantage of what land is available to us. With so many people living in rural areas, while facing poverty, we need to allocate our resources and teach these people how to farm so they can sustain themselves and their community with the land they have available to them. Not only will this feed themselves and their community, but it will help alleviate the strain from other countries that are trying to produce enough food to feed themselves and other countries as well. 700 million people living in rural areas is a lot of acreage, acreage that we need to take advantage of if we plan to feed 9 billion people. Since we are a developed country, we have the resources to genetically engineer seeds and crops that can withstand different climates and soils, which will help increase crop yield, but without taking up more land. We need to produce more from the same amount of land, without as many environmental impacts. If we are able to modify our crops so they are able to grow in different climates than the yield will increase and there will be a greater supply of that crop. We need to help those who don’t have the means to help themselves, because it in turn can benefit the entire world by increasing food production.

R.S. said...

By the year 2050, there are going to be approximately 9.7 billion people in the world. A great question that can and needs to be asked now is “how are we going to feed this many mouths?” Throughout the video there are many trends shared however, the trend that I find to have the greatest importance is that today there are 700 million people living in rural areas who are extremely poor, 800 million people who are chronically hungry, and 2 billion who suffer from micronutrient deficiencies which means they lack essential vitamins and minerals required in small amounts by the body for proper growth and development. This will affect food and agriculture production immensely. In underdeveloped and developing countries new farming techniques are going to need to be acquired in order to take on the increase in population in the next 40 years and to help with producing sufficient amounts of food in order to feed a growing population. In order to feed 9.7 billion people new ways of life are going to need to be adapted as well. This means changes such as the way food is packaged so it can be stored longer, the amount of food being wasted needs to be drastically improved in developed countries, and so many more that will need to be made to account for another 2-3 billion mouths. A fact that I found quite alarming in the video is that there is an ever increasing amount of overweight and obese people while so many today are starving. How can it be that there are countries who have so many people without enough food or food that is too expensive for them, while others have more than the abundance of food that they can almost eat their worries away? A challenge from these trends is to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition. I think that this is a challenge that although it may be in the slightest way impossible, that it is a great mindset to have when thinking about the future of our world. With new technologies and innovations there could one day be an end to hunger and malnutrition.

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G.C said...

In response to ST from Somonauk, I agree that the number of 15 to 24 year olds increasing dramatically in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia is a very important trend. After doing some research, I found that the three poorest countries on our earth (Congo,Niger, and Burundi) are found in Sub-Saharan Africa. It almost dosent make sense that these would be the countries with the increasing population. The families in the countries are so poor, what in the world would compel them to have children in a time of such poverty? Unfortunately the only way for these families to feed themselves and survive is to have a lot of children. The children serve as the families own workers on the farm and the more kids you have the easier it is to work the farm. On top of this issue, sub-Saharan Africa does not obtain the sex protection that is so easily accessible to America. While this dosent seem like it would be a big part of the population growth, due to the womens rights in the country I do not believe this is too far fetched to believe. These signs of the countries dramatic increase is not a sign of well being or thriving. Although it does seem contradictory to believe, the rest of the world needs to pay attention to it. Most of our population in 2050 will be due to undeveloped countries dramatic increase. Fixing this problem now will reduce it in the future.

McKenna said...

In response to R.S... Reducing food waste can help also. It will lower the food production from 70%, which is a significant amount, to 45%, which is not as significant but doable. Many countries have an abundance of food due to their production and the ones who don’t probably cannot afford to import it. Also, it is a struggle to ship food across seas because it has a chance of spoiling and becoming inevitable. Feed My Starving Children and the Food Resource Bank are two amazing organizations who help provide food, services and money to people in underdeveloped and developing countries by getting their communities involved. At FMSC, you package food and ship them off to countries in need. With FRB, the have “growing projects” which help raise awareness to world hunger. The FRB also travels to poor countries and provides money from fundraisers and helping hands as they are there. You may not think you’re doing something big when helping these organizations, but you’re impacting and enhancing the lives of the poor significantly. In the near future, scientist believe they will be able to clone plants and animals to resolve world hunger. Cloning plants and animals may be vital for survival by the year 2050. If plants and animals are dying, a clone of them can be used as a donor to save it. Also, cloning helps to create more disease resistant crops, which is helped by genetically modifying the plants and animals. The FDA mentions cloning is safe and the only difference between the real thing and the clone is that it was made by science. The world has a history of cloning and researchers are currently trying to expand their knowledge on the topic. However, cloning is very expensive, but if we find a way to make it cheaper, cloning could aid in our process of ending of world hunger. -K.P. Somonauk

Reagan Orzech said...

In response to M.E.T from Somonauk, I agree that a major concern will be the environmental impacts and lack of resources we will have as we try to feed an extra two billion mouths by the year 2050. However, I would like to add on to your information regarding underdeveloped areas and talk about how we can fix this problem in developed areas as well. You already mentioned that places like the U.S have access to produce genetically modified seeds and crops to help withstand different climates and soils. After doing my research, I have read specifically about new successes and attempts like a new corn variety called DroughtGard created by Monsanto. This crop was approved in 2011, and while many may not know about it, this genetically engineered crop helps the corn remain productive despite water shortages and is certified for sale in areas like Canada, Mexico, and Japan. Obviously, this scientific advantage will help increase crop yields but it is mainly focused on protecting our yields from climate change and may have a negative connotation because it is not “naturally” modified. Unfortunately, despite its amazing benefits, it is still adding to the problem of taking up land space that we do not have. I wanted to bring to your attention and ask you if you were aware of the new trends and technologies of vertical farming? Vertical farming, which seeks to produce more crops with less space, has most recently been talked about through a company called AeroFarms. In essence, this company, which is located in New Jersey, owns a facility where they grow stacks of crops upwards without soil or sunlight through artificial lighting and hydroponics. As they grow kale, lettuce, and other greens year round, this company produces organic products and appeals to the customer attraction of healthy food like ST from Somonauk mentioned. I bring this up in order to add to a list of new solutions and to pick your brain to ask if you think this is beneficial or controversial? It fits with our current class unit regarding new technology to increase food production and I believe it is a step for developed countries to focus on our advances since other areas need to first focus on the proper farming techniques like you already discussed. -R.O, Somonauk

M.P. said...

In response to G.C, I agree, the trend I found most surprising was the number of 15 to 24 year olds increasing in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. I found this surprising due to the fact that Africa is the poorest of the seven continents. Because of this, more people will continue to live in poor countries and will go hungry with the rest of their family. However, many families continue to have more and more children to help with farm work. One of the ten challenges that I found most important was number five. Number five was "end hunger and all forms of malnutrition", I think this is the most important because 1/3 of all food produced is wasted or lost. Because of this, farmers are losing money because of lost produce. However, they aren’t the only ones losing. More than 30% of our food isn't eaten, which doesn’t help those who are already starving. Many families from developed countries can afford to waste food, without the thought that others from developing/underdeveloped countries pray to get any type of food. Of about 2.8 trillion pounds, that 1/3 of food wasted/lost could feed approximately three billion people.

AC said...

In response to K.P, while cloning is a very huge ongoing process, there is still plenty controversy that makes these undeveloped and developing countries kind of nervous. If you look at it from a different perspective, you could see how the poor are not willing to eat food that has been genetically modified. I agree that the FDA has mentioned that cloning is safe but these undeveloped and developing countries do not have the technology or the knowledge on how to use it if it ever became available to them. We live in a developed successful country so it is easy for us to look at the advanced modern technology and see the full potential it could have. Unfortunately, undeveloped/developing countries do not have the luxury to look into the future and see how this could help us in the future because they have to worry about what is happening now. I wish it were as easy as creating clones or producing more yield from the crops. I completely agree that cloning is a wonderful first step into ending world hunger along with educating others about the growing demand for food. There are plenty of factors that play a major roll in world hunger including poverty, independence, fear of asking for help and many other things. -A.C Somonauk

unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
unknown said...

In response to M.E.T. from Somonauk, I would have to agree with the idea of helping people so they can help themselves. There are so many things that say that by 2050 there are going to be over 9 billion people roaming the Earth which is about 2 billion more mouths to feed than there are now. Some people think that there is no need for growing your own food or raising for yourself and your family because you can just easily go to the store and get what you need, right? Well, most of these people do not have the money or accessibility to get food from the store. M.E.T. talks about how we can teach people in these rural areas how to farm to sustain themselves and that this would get rid of some of the strain from other countries that are helping feed the whole world. My thought about this is that farming can also be expensive; in developing countries, people may be able to produce some food, by I could imagine it is nowhere near enough to feed their whole family for days let alone an entire community. This is part of the reason so many individuals are malnourished or even starving. Meanwhile, the number of people who are obese is rising and 1/3 of all food is wasted. If all people would eat smarter and waste less food there would be fewer be that are deathly sick due to both obesity and malnutrition. Maybe if all these ideas are brought together, a real difference--other than what has been done--can be made. Outside of what M.E.T. said, I found the most shocking trend to be that climate change is hurting agricultural production because people rely heavily on farming and agriculture production and the fact that the climate has drastically affected this makes it hard to survive for many. The climate goes from being so hot to a point where crops dry out to being so cold that crops freeze and are destroyed. Other than climate, there are also natural disasters. Drought kind of ties in with climate, but things like floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes affect produce and livestock as well. Unfortunately, these trends and challenges do not seem to be much of a shock to some people, but as life goes on these can become more of a problem. Can these things be helped at all? -E.D. Somonauk

Chism said...

In response to M.P. the fact that talks about that the number of 15 to 24 years old in Africa are increasing does that mean that more people are getting immune to the diseases in Africa and living longer? But I thought people in Africa and countries like Africa have more children because they normal have their children for farming so wouldn't that increase the food production? Or since when you get older you eat more than when you are a kid does their have to be a larger food production? Couldn't we make a GMO seed that has more nutrients for people that are malnourished? Since we are a developed country and have more technologies. Or instead of having like all you can eat buffets why don't we have something like at restaurants since Americans eat out a lot, where when you buy a meal you also buy a meal for someone hungry? But instead of it being like an actual meal it could be like the seeds people need to farm. So that we could also be teaching people how to farm that need it. E.C. Somonauk

pencesam said...

GC makes a great point about the lack of sexual protection in low economy countries. These countries have little to no punishment to crimes of rape, and they also tend to lack medical assistance as well. Things developed countries take for granted are things like birth control and condoms that other countries could not dream of affording. These people tend to mainly focus on living day to day by prioritising foods and vitamins, rather than these items. This definitely affects the population growth partially since offspring can’t be easily avoided. Also, since these countries keep having more and more children , the demand for food is much higher. If we could find a way to help low income women be more sexually protected, the population scare of 2050 would definitely be of less concern. -SP Somonauk

Unknown said...

In response to ST...I agree that the one of the most interesting trends is the fact that the increase 15-24 year olds in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia will be very large. Like ST said in her response this will put even more pressure on farmers and agriculturists around the globe to find ways to produce this surplus of food. One question that I have for ST in regards to her response is: Do you think that these Sub-Sharan countries would benefit from the modified and resilient crops? If I had to answer this question myself I would be answering yes. Even though sometimes the bigger issue in these countries is that do not have the money or access to the food, not that they can't grow it, I still think resilient breeds of crops would be beneficial. If they can produce more of a crop, it simply just means they will have more food. One other fact that I found important in this video was that globally about one third of all food production goes to waste. I think this fact is extremely important in regards to feeding the nine billion, because this issue really is not something scientists can fix. In my opinion, this will be one of the hardest things to reverse when fighting world hunger. Reducing food waste will take a great deal of time because in order to eliminate it every person needs to make a lifestyle change and getting everyone on the same page is near impossible. Ultimately in order for us to successfully feed 9 billion people, changes need to be made and people need to be open to that change.
J.P. Somonauk

katiek said...

In response to J.P. I agree with you that the resilient breeds of crops would be very beneficial to the people in the Sub- Saharan countries. I think if we can get the farmers there to plant these new crops would be great. However, a big problem I believe would happen is getting them to change their ways. Farming is their way of life and they may not be very open to planting something that is genetically modified. Another issue is actually getting the genetically modified seeds to these people and teaching them about them. In regards to your statements of food waste I could not agree more. I believe in order to feed nine million food waste needs to be limited. It is going to be much more of a lifestyle change rather then something that can be scientifically done. Technologies are starting to be developed to help with this lifestyle change. Multiple apps and a smart fridge have been created to help reduce food waste. Limiting food waste is going to be a difficult change but needs to be done.
K.K Somonauk

Cassidy Johnson said...

In response to K.K., I agree with your thoughts on getting the farmers to change their ways. As we have talked about in class the people of developing and underdeveloped countries are often hesitant to give up what is already working for them. People fear what they do not know or do not understand, and there is no real reason for these small family farmers to trust what the people of developed countries have to say in terms of bettering their farming techniques. You are completely correct when you said that getting them to trust us is one battle, but teaching them what we know and making it work for them is a whole other challenge. As for the video, many challenges were shared and the one I find the most surprising is number three which talked about climate change. The reason I find this so surprising is because it is a rather controversial topic. Where some people blame climate change on all bad things that happen in the world, and others completely ignore that is even exists. I think that all of the other challenges are less controversial because they are clearly the right thing to do for humanity. For example, no one is going to say that challenge number five, ending all forms of hunger and malnutrition is a bad idea. However, getting everyone to agree on climate change and global warming is a challenge all on its own. C.R.J.-Somonauk

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