Can we feed the world? Although the rate of increase is falling, the world’s population continues to grow at an explosive rate, doubling since the early 1960s. Fortunately, the quantity of food has increased even faster. The average human being in 2010 has 25 percent more food than in 1960 despite the huge increase in population. Although that’s an average figure, the proportion of humanity that is undernourished has also fallen. Extending and intensifying has improved our fate. But we have reached a point where not much more nature can be converted into farmland without serious negative impacts on other vital environmental services such as water catchments, carbon sequestrations, and conservation of biodiversity. A quarter of the world’s ice-free surface is already used for farming. So how can we increase food production to feed the increasing number of people as well as improve the nutrition of the millions who are still malnourished, especially in Africa? Pessimists regularly predict catastrophic food shortages. The specter of starvation can be traced back to the ideas of the English parson Thomas Malthus, who fretted about the population explosion he witnessed toward the end of the eighteenth century. A typical couple at the time had four children and sixteen grandchildren, which meant the population was growing exponentially. Malthus anxiously predicted a shortage of food, as he didn’t believe new farmland could be cleared fast enough to keep feeding all those extra mouths. Linear growth in the area under cultivation—an...
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Round-ups are the summaries of handpicked papers around trending topics published every week. These would enable you to scan through a collection of papers and decide if the paper is relevant to you before actually investing time into reading it.
Climate change Research Articles published between Aug 08, 2022 to Aug 14, 2022
Aug 15, 2022
Articles Included: 5
Introduction: There is no consensus on the policies that should be seen as implicitly pricing carbon (see World Bank (2019a) for a discussion). The OE...Read More
Gender Equality Research Articles published between Aug 08, 2022 to Aug 14, 2022
Aug 15, 2022
Articles Included: 4
I would like to thank Anna Khakee, Federica Zardo and Ragnar Weilandt for their very useful comments as well as the participants of the workshop of 21...Read More
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