FOOD SECURITY FOR A GROWING POPULATION

Modern agriculture using plant science has doubled the production of world food calories since 1960, while keeping a stable area of land for agricultural production. In India since 1960, we have been able to increase our food production to 251 million tons. This has enabled us to feed a population that has grown from 440 million to 1.2 billion nationally and from 3 billion to over 6 billion globally, while sparing virtually negligible land from agricultural use. Crop protection help farmers to grow more food on less land by protecting crops from pests and diseases and raising yields per hectare. This ensures the availability of a year-round, affordable supply of a wide variety of nutritious, fresh produce. Yet growing population continues to put pressure on agricultural production and if we are to meet the world’s food needs in terms of food quantity, quality and affordability, agricultural output must double in the next 20 to 30 years. This needs to be achieved in the wake of changing weather conditions due to climate change, a declining ratio of arable land to population and growing water scarcity. Plant science provides tools to help farmers meet the world’s nutrition needs today, as well as technologies that will help to meet the future challenges of feeding a growing population with fewer natural resources. Here is how: