FAO estimates that to feed a world population expected to number around 9 billion people in 2050, global food production will need to be increased by 70 percent. Global energy demand will increase by 36 percent by 2035, and competition for water between farming, cities and industry will continue to intensify as a result.
“Tackling the challenges of food security, economic development and energy security in a context of ongoing population growth will require a renewed and re-imagined focus on agricultural development. Agriculture can and should become the backbone of tomorrow’s green economy.”
According to Mueller, agriculture lies at the centre of the “water-energy-food” nexus. “When you start looking at the issue of how we are going to provide food, water, light, heat and other services and products for 9 billion people, it becomes quite clear that agriculture is perhaps the linchpin of everything,” he said. “If we have the political will and farsightedness, we can make agriculture the engine of tomorrow’s green economy. Climate-smart farming systems that make efficient use of resources like water, land, and energy must become the basis of tomorrow’s agricultural economy.”
– FAO Assistant Director-General for Natural Resources, Alexander Mueller